An end to drivers' rat-run

Winchester City Council has taken steps to stop a car rat-run in the city centre that is being used by up to 8,000 drivers a day.

An experimental one-way system in Parchment Street comes into force on Monday 8 November, with traffic-flow reversed from St George's St towards North Walls.

At the same time the one-way traffic order in Middle Brook Street, between its junction with North Walls and Cossack Lane, is to be cancelled, but traffic will not be able to turn right from North Walls into Middle Brook Street and will not be able to leave Middle Brook Street onto North Walls.

"We hope this will address a problem that residents in Parchment Street have had for some time with up to 8000 drivers a day using it as a rat-run," said Cllr Richard Knasel, Winchester City Council's Cabinet portfolio holder for economy and transport.

"We also listened to the fears that residents of Middle Brook Street had that traffic would merely have transferred to their road. We think this is a very sensible solution where we hope everyone can be a winner."

Parchment Street will be temporarily closed on the 8 November for as long as it takes the contractors to carry out the necessary work, and Middle Brook Street will be closed for about two weeks.

Access to Middle Brook Street will be restricted during this period and some parking bays will be suspended to provide safe working areas for the contractor to carry out kerb and carriageway realignment.

Traffic flows will be closely monitored during the experiment and a report will go to the City Council's Cabinet within the 12-month period to see whether the changes are made permanent or roads should be returned to their previous traffic flows.