To receive and note the questions asked and statements made from members of the public on issues relating to the responsibility of this Forum.
Members of the public and visiting councillors may speak at the Forum, provided they have registered to speak three working days in advance. Please contact Democratic Services by 5pm on Friday, 9 September 2022 via firstname.lastname@example.org or (01962) 848 264 to register to speak and for further details.
Mike Slinn (on behalf of Kings Barton Residents’ Association), Chris Gilham (on behalf of the Transport Group of WinACC), Nigel Davison (on behalf of the residents of Harestock Road), Charles Crawford and Andy Key (for Cycle Winchester) spoke during public participation regarding Andover Road and road networks in the north of the city, as summarised below. In addition, Ian Tait also spoke during public participation and his comments are summarised below:
Mike Slinn made reference to the following points:
· The ‘Keep Andover Road Open’ petition submitted to Hampshire County Council in July 2022 and to the comments made by the 3,000 signatories.
· Residents of Weeke and Harestock as well as Kings Barton had also expressed concern that their housing estates would be used a ‘rat run’ following the closure of the Andover Road.
· The consequences if the Andover Road was to close including heavy traffic movement through the Kings Barton development, reductions in road use by pedestrians and cyclists and increases to noise, air pollution and carbon emissions.
· Misconceptions that roads create traffic when it should be noted that it was people that created traffic, not whether Andover Road was closed or not. The problems he suggested were being caused by people using the City Centre to and from the Andover Road as a rat run through to Junction 9 avoiding traffic congestion on alternative routes to and from the A34.
· Improvements to bus, cycling and pedestrian for the residents of Kings Barton to reduce the amount of traffic were sought.
Andy Key made reference to the following points:
· Cycle route plans rely on Andover Road not being a through road for traffic.
· He suggested that Winchester Avenue could be made a low traffic neighbourhood with reduced traffic access for vehicles as this would be a useful active travel route.
· Traffic congestion issues.
· Additional cycling friendly routes.
Chris Gilham made reference to the following points:
· Significant concern that the closure of Andover Road would increase total road traffic capacity.
· Cannot accept that Winchester’s central traffic should be reduced through a policy of imposing junction congestion.
· If there was an argument for retaining Andover Road that road capacity must be constrained by other means.
· Solutions had to be about sustainable transport planning and there was continuing concern that the Winchester Movement Strategy had lost its way, with its main aim to reduce traffic currently unaltered.
Nigel Davison made reference to the following points:
· Representing several residents of Harestock Road which was the main diversion route for traffic from the M3 roadworks. He asked that consideration be given to wheelchair users with existing pavement width offering inadequate space in this area.
· Sought traffic calming, speed reduction and road maintenance repairs to be carried out along Harestock Road.
Charles Crawford made reference to the following points:
· Expressed concern regarding the 40mph speed limit along Chilbolton Avenue and Harestock Road.
· Speed limits at the top and bottom ends of Chilbolton Avenue are currently set at 30mph and the rest of the road should be reduced to the same speed limit.
In response to the highway matters raised above, the Chairperson reminded those in attendance that highways were the responsibility of Hampshire County Council. However, it was noted that Hampshire County Councillor Heron had been asked to attend the next meeting.
Councillor Tod responded to points raised during public participation in his capacity as Hampshire County Councillor. He acknowledged the concerns of residents in relation to how the road would run from the north and general concerns regarding under specification of the road and severance points. He highlighted the importance of taking a balanced view of the issues and the need for a comprehensive road system plan for the whole of the north of Winchester that also enabled residents to choose sustainable transport.
In conclusion to points raised by the Forum, the Leader agreed to contact Hampshire Highways and Highways England on behalf of the council, to address the diversion issues being experienced across the city and to address the wider road issues in the north of Winchester.
Ian Tait made reference to the following point:
· Begging in the city centre – Mr Tait thanked that council for the actions taken in Kings Walk which had been successful. He continued to be concerned regarding the number of beggars on city centre streets and made reference to the diverted giving scheme to allow residents/visitors to deposit funds into an appropriate channel for beggars which needed further promotion to raise general awareness of its existence.
At the conclusion of public participation, the Chairperson thanked all those in attendance for their contribution.