It was good to see so many Winchester CTC members amongst the 100 or so cyclists who attended the Taking Cycling Seriously workshop. The meeting, held on 9 November 2017, agreed that we needed to build a stronger voice for cyclists locally.
The meeting was prompted by the current consultation by Hampshire County Council and Winchester City Council on a once-in-a-lifetime Movement Strategy for the city and the surrounding area.
After hearing about the Movement Strategy from a City officer, the various issues were discussed in smaller groups and ideas were shared on how to make cycling safer and easier in Winchester.
Amongst the conclusions were that the highest priority should be given to pedestrians and cyclists, particularly in the City Centre, followed by public transport and private cars last. This is already government policy and it should be reflected in the Movement Strategy as well as the Supplementary Planning Document for Central Winchester which is also out for consultation.
It was also agreed that contraflow cycling would improve access to, from and through Winchester. Other ideas included uphill cycle lanes and advance stop lines at junctions as well as more radical solutions such as restricting the area within the old City walls to pedestrians, cyclists, public transport and essential motor vehicles such as those for users with a disability.
The meeting called for safe, effective and attractive cycle routes into the city for work, shopping and school. To increase confidence, more cycle training is needed for both children and adults and a change in attitude so that employers and traders view cycling as a good way to increase business and help their workforce.
Representatives from the meeting will meet the two Councils to discuss ideas in more details whilst others are planning publicity to engage more people, including a Facebook page and a publicity event.
Sue Coles, speaking as a member of the Winchester Cycle Working Group said “It was great to see to many people, who had a real opportunity to say what they wanted. It shows the level of support for changes that encourage people to get out of their cars and cycle.”