Letter: Bypass operation

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Your article on the "battle" over Winchester's park-and-ride (5 July) fails to make it clear that it is an extension to an existing scheme which was built as an experiment to test whether the principle of park-and-ride would work in Winchester. It has been too successful: virtually every weekday it is full by 9.15 so that it is available only to commuters arriving early in the morning.

As your excellent map makes clear, the extension affects only about 15 per cent of the former bypass and does not affect the newly opened-up access from the city to St Catherine's Hill and the water meadows.

The inspector who reported on the public inquiry certainly said that he expected many people to continue believing that the proposal was contrary to a pledge that had been given, and that they would do so in the face of the facts and his findings.

He also reached the following conclusion: "I do not consider that the proposals would either contravene policies, or cause significant harm, in relation to the protection of recreational land, ecological issues and historical and archaeological matters. I am satisfied, too, that the environmental effects of the proposals would, overall, probably be slightly beneficial, but at worst would be neutral. I also believe that the traffic implications of the proposals would in total be beneficial, and would not cause serious problems to traffic or pedestrians on any part of Winchester's road network."


Chairman, Winchester Movement and Access Panel

Hampshire County Council