The Winchester bypass borders the city and St Catherine's Hill. A new extension of motorway was planned to be built on the other side of the hill. This road would pass through an area called the Twyford Down, home to many insects and the Chalkhill Blue butterfly which visited every year. People got together and protested by writing to their MPs, and even school children got involved. People in favour of the new road thought it would reduce traffic jams, reduce the number of accidents on the existing roads, and ensure the swift delivery of goods. Others felt there was a risk of wiping out species, increasing noise from traffic, exposing ugly chalk wedges which would be seen for miles, and encouraging even more traffic. Eventually the road was built but before work started some of the earth was moved from one side of the road to the other.
Before watching the clip, pupils should locate the city of Winchester and the M3, using an atlas. They should be able to describe its location in the UK, as well as in relation to where they live using the eight points of the compass. After examining a simple map of the proposed bypass, discuss with the children why a new road might be beneficial to the area eg quicker routes for road users, less congestion and therefore less air pollution, increased business activity for the neighbouring towns and cities. Collect and list these ideas on the board. Pupils should then compose a contrasting list of disadvantages for the proposal - more noise pollution, destruction of habitats, more traffic in the area, more accidents. Watch the clip to identify further arguments and challenge the children to add two extra reasons to their lists. The class could be divided into two main focus groups - 'For' and 'Against' the construction of the new road. They could be further subdivided into lorry drivers, elderly people, developers, commuters, environmentalists, children. Pupils could take on roles and each write a persuasive speech or develop petition props (placards, posters etc) conveying their point of view. This work could culminate in a class debate where the children present their arguments to the teacher, who acts as the local councillor and decides whether or not the bypass will be built. To conclude this project, all children could write a newspaper report to convey both views represented at the public meeting.