Fifty people came to a public meeting on air pollution on 12 July 2016 organised by Winchester Friends of the Earth and WinACC.

After hearing about the impact of poor air quality (Friends of the Earth presentation) and what the City Council is doing (Winchester City Council presentation) people gave twenty-six practical suggestions to improve the streets of central Winchester:

  1. Move the Brooks Centre car park barrier at the entrance further into the car park in order to prevent tailbacks onto Friarsgate, which has the unintended consequence of clogging through traffic
  2.  Similarly the right hand turn into Lower Brook Street car park often causes tail backs onto Friarsgate, which can be addressed by barrier reconfiguration
  3. There needs to be better management/control of commercial loading and unloading on Friarsgate and St Georges Street, as it causes congestion to through traffic
  4. The creation of a dedicated loading and cycling lane along Friarsgate and St Georges Street to enable a smooth run of through traffic 
  5. No commercial unloading during peak hours 
  6. More enforcement against cars parked on the double yellow lines along Friarsgate and St Georges Street to prevent congestion 
  7. The development of a local commercial delivery ‘distribution hub’ to negate the need for articulated and other HGV’s from entering the Air Quality Management Area and clogging up the one way system (though this failed when tried in the Miracles Project) 
  8. Better enforcement against idling vehicles especially at traffic lights - the City Road / Sussex Street junction is particularly ‘bad’ as it can take several minutes for the lights to change 
  9. Having a traffic light ‘timer’ system in place to inform drivers as to how many seconds there are left before they will change.  This could be adopted in conjunction with signage requesting drivers turn off their engines until the lights change 
  10. No café seating in areas of poor air quality (e.g. the Casson block in St George's St) 
  11. Adoption of ‘green walls’ trees to ‘capture’ poor air quality, though this has almost no benefit for NOx and could potentially worsen the ‘canyon’ effect 
  12. The adoption of many more free electric vehicle charging spaces in the City Centre car parks 
  13. Dedicate car parking places to electric vehicles only (if Friarsgate car park is re-opened, then it should be dedicated to them only) 
  14. A car club, with much better promotion of it 
  15. Large employers in the City should adopt very low emission vehicle pool fleets and not swanky mini’s 
  16. When St Clements Surgery moves to Upper Brook Street, disabled parking will be an issue.  Sufficient provision needs to be made for this 
  17. Do we need for a bus stop outside Sainsbury’s when the bus station is so close? (though some people can’t carry their shopping longer distances)
  18. Signage to encourage drivers (especially taxis) to switch off when they are stationary rather than idling their engines.  A voluntary Clean Air Zone would require signs about air quality, raising the issue in the minds of drivers 
  19. We need somewhere to change buses (either a bus hub or station) because many people come into Winchester on the bus to catch another bus.  Does that need to be in the Air Quality Management Area?
  20. We need to know where cars are coming from and going to. Are they driving through Winchester on their way to somewhere else, or coming to central Winchester - or just going round and round to find a park place? The County Council must include this in their research before they revise the Winchester City Transport Strategy / Town Access Plan.
  21. Check that monitors measuring air quality are at optimal height?
  22. Increase cycling routes e.g. by turning one of the lanes in St Georges Street into a cycle route.
  23. More free charging points for electric cars.
  24. Use of E-Bikes – put infrastructure in place.
  25. Dedicate best parking spots to electric vehicles e.g. make Friarsgate car park for zero emissions vehicles only. This would send a signal.
  26. Reintroduce a car pool e.g. the County could join in this.

After the meeting, people who'd taken part sent more ideas:

  • Congestion charge with the aim to reduce traffic within the former walls and perhaps including railway station (free for 100% electrical cars)
  • Increase parking fees (never free unless 100% electrical car)
  • Make bus travel the better alternative to cars: frequent service, linking all parts of Winchester and surrounding villages (e.g. Olivers Battery has no link at all), reduce fees substantially to be competitive with car travel and free for over 60s and under 18s.
  • Reduce one way traffic in city centre to one lane and leave the other for loading and cyclists, buses (but not taxis)
  • Charging for electrical cars provided by 100% renewable energy sources
  • Cycle routes along all major routes into city centre

 See:

Information for participants about lobbying: