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 June 2023 via email@example.com or (01962) 848 264 to register to speak and for further details.
Nicola Rule and Deirdre Wood spoke during public participation regarding Winnall Moors Nature Reserve and traffic issues on Hyde Street respectively. In summary they made reference to the following points set out below.
Nicola Rule made reference to the following points:
· Suggested that the profile of Winnall Moors Nature Reserve be enhanced to bring it to the forefront of Winchester’s public eye as a space in the heart of the city that few residents currently used and fewer visitors know about.
· With 64 hectares of space and two and a half miles of boardwalk Winnall Moors featured flora and fauna and included the River Itchen and should therefore be signposted in town with a connection corridor created to the centre to enhance the public realm for the city.
· A prominent entrance should be considered with a manned kiosk in the style of the National Trust to welcome visitors or an honesty box with a view to charging in future to assist with the preservation of the Moors.
· She suggested that improvements be made to the lake area with the installation of benches, rare species of plants and flowers could be a labelled, carbon capture from the trees could be monitored and greater community involvement could be explored with the introduction of rotational working groups.
· The story and history of the Durngate could be explained at the entrance that area, with the involvement of other organisations such as Natural England to help ambitions for growth and work towards carbon neutrality targets.
In response to Ms Rule, the Forum considered that some of the suggestions raised should be explored further in dialogue with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and the Winchester Town Forum Parks and Recreation Informal Group.
Reference was made to the planned works at Friarsgate which proposed to open up walking routes from The Broadway through this part of the town and to the nature trail project ‘Wonky the Woodpecker’ that was created to encourage young people to use the local parks and open spaces.
Deirdre Wood made reference to the following points:
· Growing unhappiness in Hyde Street regarding the volume and speed of traffic due to the narrow nature of the road, resulting in the 20mph speed limit introduced in 2014 being rarely observed.
· Noise, vibration and pollution from heavy traffic use with vehicles using the road as a ‘rat run’ and a high risk of road traffic accidents and a danger to cyclists and pedestrian users.
· The effective slowing of traffic in this area with proper controls would have a major impact on pollution, could improve road safety and decrease car emissions.
· The 20mph speed limit painted road signs have worn away and there were no repeater signs reminding drivers of the speed limit. The installation of red and green speed recording lights and gated white residential area markers were suggested as an effective way of patrolling traffic speed and tackling the worsening situation in this area.
In response to Mrs Wood, the issue of speeding traffic in Hyde Street and in other areas of the city centre was recognised. Councillor Tod stated that he supported the 20mph speed limit in Hyde Street in his role as HCC Councillor and reported that he sat on the working group looking at 20mph speed limits and options to extend their use and improve implementation. Fading road markings and lack of repeater signs had been reported to the HCC and would be followed up with the road safety team in due course. It was noted that there was a capital cost to install flashing speed light signage with safety audits etc and the town forum would explore the cost implications of this going forward. It was reported that there were a number of measures coming forward which should improve traffic on Hyde Street, including project work funded by Active Travel England to reduce traffic levels along Hyde Street by re-engineering Worthy Road, improving road safety for cyclists and pedestrians. Lastly, it was noted that Speedwatch investigated driving speeds and behaviours and residents interested in this matter were encouraged to come forward and participate on this group.
At the conclusion of public participation, the Chairperson thanked public speakers for their comments and contribution.