In England today, the towns with the lowest levels of car dependency are most likely to have the most vital shopping centres. Helping people to do without their cars seems to be good for the local economy.

In 2015, WinACC Transport Action Group compared two recent surveys done independently of each other:

Retail analysts Harper Dennis Hobbs published an assessment of the economic vitality of 500 retail centres.

Meanwhile, coincidentally, the Campaign for Better Transport assessed the degree of car dependence of a number of town centres:

WinACC Transport Action Group compared the two pieces of research and found a very high correlation (98.7% chance of it being true) between centres with low car dependency and high levels of town centre vitality.

This suggests very strongly that reduction in car access to Winchester City Centre will increase the vitality and economic contribution of the city centre. This could be achieved through:

  • implementing the gateway car park policy
  • better walking  and cycling access
  • better public transport such as good interchange and a better local rail service
  • reducing parking and traffic volumes in the historic centre, within the old city walls.