City of Winchester Trust
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  • cathedral
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  • westgate
  • guildhall
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Taking Cycling Seriously

The event was held on Thursday 9 November 2017 supported by Bespoke Biking, the City of Winchester Trust, Friends of the Earth Winchester, Winchester CTC (part of Cycling UK) and Winchester Action on Climate Change.

A hundred people packed in to a meeting to help build a stronger voice for cyclists locally as they shared ideas about how to make cycling safer and easier in Winchester.

After hearing about the consultation by Hampshire County Council and Winchester City Council on a “once-in-a-life-time” Movement Strategy for the city and surrounding area, many present promised to respond to the consultation with their ideas for change.

Among the conclusions of the discussions were that people on foot or bicycle should have the highest priority when streets and roads are designed, then buses, and that private cars should come last. This is already central and local government policy, so the Movement Strategy needs to put policy into practice. The same policies need to be reflected in the Supplementary Planning Document for central Winchester which is also out for consultation.

The problems of getting across town, whether east-west or north-south, could be overcome if the area within the old city walls were restricted to pedestrians, cyclists, buses, and essential motor vehicles such a disability vehicles.

Alternatively, “cycle contraflow” lanes would mean that cyclists could go in both directions along one-way streets. Uphill cycle lanes would reduce conflict with drivers, as would more cycle-friendly junctions and traffic lights with advance stop lines.

The meeting called for safe, effective and attractive cycling routes into the city, especially for commuters. To give people more confidence to cycle, cycle training is needed for children and adults, and a change in attitude so that employers and traders view cycling as a good way to increase trade and help their workforce.

Representatives from the meeting will meet the Councils to discuss ideas in more detail, while other cycling enthusiasts are planning publicity to engage more people who want to cycle, including a Facebook page and a publicity event.

“It was great that so many people came, and that they had a real opportunity to say what they want,” said Sue Coles of the Cycle Working Group. “It shows how much support there is for making changes to encourage people to get out of their cars and on their bikes.”

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