A303 DCO: The Accompanied Site Inspection

If you had been keeping half an eye on the Planning Inspectorate website, you would have realised that today was the first (and possibly only) Accompanied Site Inspection that the A303 Stonehenge to Berwick Down scheme inspectors are going to make to our section of the A303.

This meant the inspection team was crammed on a coach with a collection of folks representing different groupings – mainly Stonehenge Alliance and others of their ilk who oppose the tunnel and any other solution that goes near the World Heritage Site. Cycling out to meet them seemed a much better use of the morning than sitting on a coach being blethered at by Highways England.

Somewhat perversely, you might think, they didn’t begin their tour at the western end of the scheme by Yarnbury Castle as you might expect. We can only hope that this was because it was deemed dangerous to let the inspectors and their entourage loose on a byway next to the A303, rather than a premptive decision by the Inspectorate to avoid any discussion of the dangers of the Yarnbury crossing point. Time will tell.

I met with them close to the old Sheep Hospital, up the hill at Over Street, where they were looking back at the view of the A303 to the north east; for the first stop of the day, they were over 30 minutes late. At this point, its worth pointing out the protocol of these Planning Inspectorate visits. Whilst you can exchange civilities with them and point out “things of interest,” you aren’t supposed to try and discuss the details of your case with them. Of course, rules are designed to curb the timid and offer a somewhat elastic framework to the bold. So, if you are prepared to talk loudly to yourself, or to he fieldfares and hares in an adjacent field, there’s not a lot the Inspectors can do about it. It’s a bit like one of those legal scenes where the council for the defence introduces something that is so left field, that the judge will throw it out immediately. The judge also instructs the jury to forget it was ever said. However, the truth of the matter is that once something is said, you can never un-hear it. So I used the opportunity to build on the case to get the visual barriers raised from the 1.5m size that Highways England are proposing to something that will obscure the lights at night from HGVs on the proposed Till Viaduct.

Thanks are also due to the RAF and Army Air Corps. who timed their recce of the grass strip behind Yarnbury to perfection. That allowed me to raise the issue of the crossing and its dangers. The Inspectorate weren’t biting, but a Guardian journalist did; so hopefully that aspect might get some attention in the Press.

Inspectors and entourage at Foredown House

After an exhilarating downhill ride back to Over Street and home, via Berwick St James, a swift shower and a change of clothes whilst the inspectors visited Parsonage Down, then off to Foredown House, where 3 generations of Turner’s were waiting for them – to point out the impact the road and the construction process will have on their business; the severance of the farm and the impact of that on their calving operation and the long term damage to the soil structure that dumping hundreds of thousands of tons of chalk will have; for decades, maybe centuries and possibly millenia. It was apparent that several members of the team had no real appreciation of what something 10 metres tall looked like in a rural setting (like the proposed viaduct) and were rather taken aback when the comparison of a barn was used by Robert Turner. A few questions were asked by the inspectors and the entourage.

Thanks to Fiona Turner for shouting a response across the throng of visitors, to a bellowed question about sight-lines from the top of the hill, along the line of the proposed road. You can see the Visitor’s Centre and into the World Heritage Site. That means vehicle headlight from eastbound traffic will light up the western end of the World Heritage Site.

The Turner’s were keen to get the inspectors to walk up to the point where the proposed route crosses the byway, to get a real feel for just how close it is to Foredown House. They weren’t prepared to do that today, but the Chief Inspector did say she would do so on one of the unaccompanied site inspections.

The Chief Inspector is clearly not yet adept at herding cats and was having difficulty getting her team, let alone the entourage, back on the coach; many who would have stayed longer. They eventually got on board and left, to visit points of the scheme further east. I’d love to report Fiona Turner’s closing comment to her grand-daughter, just before the coach doors closed, but I fear I shouldn’t. If you ask her nicely, she might tell you; she might not. It came from so far out of left field that I doubt anyone who was on the coach and heard it, will ever forget!

Tomorrow sees the start of the Open Floor Hearings in City Hall. Everyone who has asked gets 5 minutes to make their points. It is going to be truly awful, as any masochists amongst you will discover, if you turn up for a session.

Scoop It, Bag It, Bin It!

Over the last couple of years, we have tried all sorts of things in an effort to reduce the amount of dog mess around the village, in particular, on the public footpaths; nothing, yet, has worked.

Over the Christmas period, we received yet more complaints from villagers and it was quite clear that the situation was getting worse and not better. What was also clear was that some dog-owners, who are normally rarely seen around the village, were walking their dogs more than usual. It’s very tempting to think this may be cause and effect. Worse still, we now have at least one objectionable individual who see fit to bag-up their dog’s waste, then leave it and the bag in a hedgerow. Really!

It’s also been suggested that the Parish Council should provide a dog-poo bin down by the entrance to the meadow. There are several reasons why this is not a viable option, not least because we already know the idea is flawed and will fail. First, compare the ends of the two tracks that lead to Berwick St James. Most of the dog mess is found at our end. Now the nearest bin for disposal of waste in Berwick St James is that at the end of Duck Street, about 0.5 km from the start of the footpath. At the Winterbourne Stoke end, there are 3 waste bins suitable for disposal of bagged dog-poo within a very similar distance; two on Church Street and one on the A303. That strongly suggests that bins aren’t the answer – people are too idle to carry their dog-poo bags a short distance to a bin, or home.

An even more outrageous example is that one of the bins in Winterbourne Stoke lies at the end of the worst-fouled footpath, leading eastwards from the village, past Old Glebe Farmhouse. So, no point wasting money to erect a dog-poo bin close to a footpath, as some can’t seem to use a bin already provided right on the footpath.

So, what can we do? Well, in desperation, the Parish Council is looking at ways by which we can offer a reward for information and evidence that lead to a criminal conviction of an irresponsible dog owner. We will be pushing for the maximum fine of £1,000, in the hope the message will finally get through.

UPDATE: See comments below. Here is just one example of one of Wiltshire Council’s “serviced” dog poo bins. Actually, whilst not pleasant, this is quite a “good” example as there is no mound of bags on the ground underneath it. Until recently, there was one in Tidworth, near the entrance to Tedworth House, which had a foot-high mound of bags on top of it and a two-foot high pile underneath. I think the bin has now been removed – in disgust – and folks told to take their dog poo home. I personally favour cutting-out having such an experience in the first place and am happy to clear up after my own dog and take the bag home for disposal; it’s part and parcel of responsible dog ownership.

Onboard and Online: A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down (Stonehenge) Scheme Update

It has just been confirmed that Highways England  has applied to the Planning Inspectorate seeking to gain development consent for the A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down scheme. This is a requirement as the scheme is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.

The application now appears on the Planning Inspectorate’s website

The Planning Inspectorate has 28 days to decide whether to accept the application for examination. If accepted, it will schedule a timeline of detailed examination of the application, in which stakeholders and the public can participate. We expect examination to begin in early 2019.

Onboard and Online: Community Spirit

Regrettably, the Parish Council Meeting scheduled for last night (17th July) had to be abandoned as there were insufficient Councillors present for a quorum. I would normally open the meeting with a short statement and these are often time-sensitive. I’ve published what I was going to say below, rather than allow these things to be forgotten:

In opening the meeting, I’d first like to say a huge thank you to those villagers who helped out Richard Simms recently – Charlotte, Andy and Carol. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that these individuals saved a life by their actions; in fact, they saved two lives – that of both Richard and his dog. That is community spirit at its best

It made many of those I spoke to realise just how tenuous life can be and how vulnerable some members of our community are. It also struck home that when things do go wrong, we might not notice and if we do notice, we might not always know the best way of contacting other villagers; this is just a fact of modern life.

So thank you once again, on behalf of all the village, to Charlotte Andy and Carol. You represent the best of what Winterbourne Stoke has to offer.

Thanks also to the South-West Ambulance Trust and the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance without whose prompt action and professionalism we would have lost a villager. This event demonstrated the benefit of social media, in this case Facebook and we have introduced a way this could be of benefit to more villagers. Take a look at the Village website or the next edition of the Benefice magazine for details.

I’m delighted to say that Richard came home last Friday and seemed in good spirits when I spoke to him on Monday evening

I’d also like to thank William Grant for the excellent management of this years Solstice celebrations at the Stonehenge Campsite. The visitors of all ages were, quite frankly, delightful and a pleasure to meet. The one minor problem that cropped up was dealt with swiftly and without fuss by William and his staff. The music was not intrusive in the heart of the village and I received not a single complaint – actually, not true. I did hear one elderly resident complain that he hadn’t heard a thing and thought it had been cancelled.

Sadly, not everyone in the village is so public spirited. Frankly, I am appalled by the continued anti-social behaviour of a few villagers and possibly a few others from surrounding villages and further afield.   These are the selfish people who allow their dogs to foul roads, footpaths and byways around the village. If your dog has fouled on a footpath, or within a 2 metre lead-length from the edge of a footpath, it’s up to you to pick it up and take it home with you, or put it in one of the Wiltshire Council bins in Church Street or the High Street. Please don’t put it in your neighbours bin without their express permission; put it in your own.

Asking dog-owners nicely has clearly failed and so we will be meeting with the dog warden for this area, with a view to putting a stop to this selfishness once and for all.

A further Parish Meeting will be scheduled as soon as we can do so and certainly in before the next scheduled meeting in September.

Lambs Attacked in Village

We were saddened to hear that two of the ‘village’ lambs in the field to the east of Riverside Cottage were attacked and savaged between the evening of Thursday 7th June and Friday 8th June.  These were quite large lambs, born in March this year, so fox predation may be less likely than if they were newborns; but foxes are known to take lambs up to around 10Kg in weight.  The rear ends of both lambs were attacked which again seems unlike foxes, which usually go for the throat.  There are also badgers in the area and they again have a reputation for attacking lambs; though it’s hard to get and fact and figures on this.

Regrettably, we can’t rule out sheep-worrying by dogs and it’s true to say that villagers have noticed an increase in the use of the footpath alongside the field by dog-owners from, or visiting, the village.  Certainly, that is supported by the increase in dog mess alongside, and even on, that particular footpath.   If it is a case of sheep worrying then that is a crime and it needs to be treated as such.  If you saw or heard anything that might suggest that this could have been an attack by dogs, please let Wiltshire Police know asap.

Notes From Annual Parish Meeting: A303 Stonehenge Scheme Public Consultation

Firstly, a huge thank you to all who attended and contributed through observations, questions and comments. All were very useful and identified a host of issues that need consideration by all. Please don’t stop there though, please let us know, through the website, by email, snail mail or any other means that gets the information to us, as soon as you can, to help us put together the Parish Council response and also to advise and influence your fellow villagers (You can leave them here)

Last night illustrated that whilst each of us see many common issues, we also have unique viewpoints and interests that identify issues and concerns not picked-up by others. Airing them publicly tests the level of local interest and support and might influence how others respond to Highways England.

Any other ideas we receive will be aired on this website to give all villagers the opportunity to think about them and add them to their own responses should they so wish. Comments from villagers will serve to advise the Parish Council on the strength of feeling on those issues.

 

The representative of Highways England was Jeremy Damrel who is the Project Director A303 Technical Partner.

His presentation, together with that of Cllr Dr Andy Shuttleworth, Chairman of Winterbourne Stoke Parish Council have been uploaded to the “Recent Documents” section of the village website

Other Highways England figures mentioned during the evening were:

  • Tim Harper – specialises in Byways
  • David Bullock – had appeared at Amesbury Area Board and in context of closure of Salisbury Road, Amesbury

Some key points arising from Jeremy Damrel’s presentation were:

  • The new Longbarrow roundabout will be 8 metres below present ground level to minimise light intrusion into the WHS. The siting of the viaduct is on the narrowest crossing of the Till flood plain
  • The height of the viaduct is determined by the need to allow light underneath for ecological purposes.
  • A minimum of 5.4 metres headroom is needed to allow farm vehicles under the viaduct on byway WST04 (see map above) between Foredown House and Foredown Barn
  • There will be a minimum of 9 metres clearance at the River Till crossing
  • Highways England are legally obliged to deal with all points raised in responses to the public consultation
  • All interested parties should be prepared to register for the 3rd round of consultations later in the year.

Some key concerns identified by villagers, regarding the proposed scheme, from Cllr Dr Andy Shuttleworth’s presentation can be summarised a

  • Misleading, factually incorrect and exaggerated claims made in the Highways England Consultation booklet
  • Height of the viaduct
  • Spoil dumping and phosphatic chalk issues
  • Likely attenuated noise levels in the village rather than the unattenuated ones seen so far – may particularly impact noise at Foredown House in a beneficial way
  • Inappropriate siting of Western Site Compound
  • Many byway issues, particularly need for equestrian route from Yarnbury through village to Longbarrow and the WHS. Need to prevent access to western end of old A303 by ‘undesirables’.
  • The village would like to use some of the area on the old A303, west of Scotland Lodge Farm, on which to site a small village hall and other legacy features of benefit to the villagers of WS
  • Need for equestrian routes west of the village to be opened as part of “advance” works for the scheme to protect Livery at Scotland Lodge, etc
  • Access to the fields to the south-east of Parsonage Down should be via acess off the B3083 ratther than the proposed Green Bridge 1.   A car park for Parsonage Down should be sited at Parsonage Down
  • Concerns over suggestions that HGV’s servicing the chicken farm, south of the A303 on BSJA3, should exit and egress via the new byway created on the route of the old A303 west of Scotland Lodge, through the heart of WS.  No traffic should proceed along the route of the old A303 west of the Western edge of Scotland Lodge Farm and the proposed legacy area.
  • Need for safe crossings of the A360 into the WHS, ideally a Green Bridge, otherwise Pegasus crossings.
  • Re-siting the proposed new Longbarrow roundabouts back eastwards towards the current location, minimising land take from Manor Farm
  • Reviewing byways, restricting some Byways Open to All Traffic (BOATs), the need to consider byway exchanges based on proven usage, new byways/equine routes from Shrewton and WS towards the WHS
  • General positive view of proposals for Rollestone crossroads, but it should be an advance measure; ideally the first of the scheme
  • The need to start thinking now about legacy issues (see here )

The Q&A session raised the following issues. Please let us know asap if we have omitted anything vital or got anything wrong and we will amend asap. The height of the viaduct, the siting of the Longbarrow roundabout to the east of the proposed location and the need to ensure the western end of the current A303 did not become attractive to undesirable elements, was of universal concern

  • Concern over proposed land take on Manor Farm. Both temporary and permanent.
  • Ecological damage caused by this in Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Area of Conservation (SCA)
  • Concern that no information about what activity will take place where
  • Concern the WS is bearing the brunt of construction and spoil processing an dumping. Load should be spread.
  • Need for separate sites to store chalk and topsoil
  • No information of siting of worker’s accommodation – feeling that this should be at the eastern end of the scheme, close to Amesbury and all the amenities it has to offer
  • Reconsideration of putting spoil in SPTA
  • Some spoil should be used for sound-proofing embankments north of WS
  • Concern over traffic headlight intrusion on village
  • Confusion caused by HE stays on whether tunnel materials would be produced on-site or shipped in. Some told one thing, some another. Either way, raw materials and components will need to be shipped across the site
  • Suggestions that the construction sites currently placed immediately west of the new Longbarrow roundabout should, instead, be located immediately to the east of this location and towards the western edge of the WHS, both north and south of the current A303. This would minimise the need for land take along the south-eastern edge of Manor Farm where it bits the proposed route
  • Concern over impact of soil dumping on private water supplies
  • Concern that the run-off water treatment ponds at the western end of the scheme were totally disproportionate in size and extent to those already in place at the eastern end. Those at the western end should be re-considered and reduced in size

Jeremy Damrel made a number of other points of interest during the course of the Q&A session:

  • The next consultation, in the Autumn, would be run by a third party
  • Individuals and the Parish Council would need to register with the Planning Inspectorate as an“Interested party” in order to participate
  • HE have not yet decided many of the details being asked for by villagers, planning would continue until the Autumn and some of those questions would be answered for the next stage of consultation
  • Tunneling will be 24/7. Could not answer if processing spoil and dumping would also be 24/7, but admitted it was a logical assumption
  • Red lines (showing the temporary and permanent areas of land-take) will only get smaller (or they are unlikely to get larger)
  • Changes upwards would require further consultation – with involved parties (eg land owners)
  • Some questions posed by villagers would be answered by the Preliminary Environmental Information Report Summary (PEIR – see here)
  • The chairman pointed out that the PEIR summary gave relatively little hard information and villagers should take a look at the full PEIR and its four Appendices which can be found under the Consultation Information section here.
  • Villagers should be aware of two further documents scheduled to be published in the Autum; these are the Site Environmental Management Plan (SEMP) and the Code of Construction Practise (CCA)
  • The Chairman noted that writing to Highways England for clarification or raising question was yielding results, citing the following example provided by Berwick St James Parish Meeting:

RE: A303 ROAD SCHEME – RELEVANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE WORK SITE/TRAFFIC ROUTE DURING CONSTRUCTION OF WINTERBOURNE STOKE BYPASS

A Berwick St James resident requested more information about the work site (on B3083) and traffic route during construction of the Winterbourne Stoke bypass. Attached is Highways England’s response.

We hope we (the Parish Council) have captured your key concerns and issues

Cut-Off From Shrewton – No Rat-Running Tonight!

Those of you who heeded the warnings and stayed tucked up in doors over the last 24 hours may not be aware that we have been pretty much cut-off from Shrewton.  Here are a few photographs taken by a lovely chap, Matt Bennett, early this morning showing the snowdrifts on the B3083 beteeen here and Shrewton.

Heading up the A303 and then onto the A360 hasn’t been a much bettter prospect for most of the day – it’s been closed both north and south of Longbarrow roundabout.

This also shows that the B390 eastbound, from Chitterne to Shrewton, is also closed.  With problems further west on the A303 and A36 at Deptford and further east on the A345, it’s been an interesting day.   One thing is very clear.  It’s very unlikely that there will be any rat-running through Shrewton tonight.

Take care if you plan to go out shopping first thing on Saturday morning, just in case there have been low temperatures overnight making things icy.

Onboard and Online: The Annual Parish Meeting

The agenda for the Annual Parish Meeting, which will be held on Monday 26th March 2018 in the Education Suite of the Stonehenge Visitor’s Centre can be found here.

The Annual Parish Meeting, which has to be held between March and June,  is normally the one opportunity during the year when we can all discuss issues of interest to the electors of the parish.  At Parish Council meetings, the legal format is such that parishioners can raise questions, but debate and discussion isn’t entered into.

Clearly, with the A303 Stonehenge Scheme Public Consultation coming to an end in early April, we felt it essential to hold the Annual Parish Meeting in the same time period, to allow you all to discuss your views in public and give the Parish Council a better idea of the collective views and concerns of the village.   These will be reflected in the formal response the Parish Council makes to the consultation process.  We hope you have either already taken the opportunity to go and see one of the Highways England presentations on their plans, or plan to do so over the next few weeks, and will come to the meeting armed with points and ideas that will minimise the impact of the scheme on the village and villagers:

  • between now and the start of construction;
  • during the construction process;
  • following completion of the scheme.

The meeting will start with a 20 minute presentation by Highways England to set the scene, followed by the Chairman highlighting any issues relating to the scheme (and there are several) that have already been brought to our attention and that will be referred to in the Parish Council response.

From that point onwards, the meeting will be opened up to Electors of the parish.   We hope you will come along and participate.  We hope it may help you identify issues that you want to raise with Highways England yourselves in your own responses to the statutory consultation.

The March meeting of the Parish Council will follow the Annual Meeting of the Parish.

A list of the remaining Highways England drop-in events is shown below:

Tuesday 27 February 2018 14:00 to 20:00 The Laverton Hall Bratton Road, Westbury, BA13 3EN
Thursday 1 March 2018 14.00 to 20.00 Mere Lecture Hall Salisbury Street, Mere, BA12 6HA
Saturday 3 March 2018 11.00 to 17.00 The Guildhall, Salisbury The Market Place, Salisbury, SP1 1JH
Thursday 8 March 2018 12.00 to 20.00 Society of Antiquaries Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BE
Friday 9 March 2018 14.00 to 20.00 The Manor Barn High St, Winterbourne Stoke, SP3 4SZ
Saturday 10 March 2018 11.00 to 17.00 The Manor Barn High St, Winterbourne Stoke, SP3 4SZ
Tuesday 13 March 2018 14.00 to 20.00 Avon Valley College Recreation Road, Durrington, SP4 8HH
Wednesday 14 March 2018 16.00 to 20.30 Larkhill Primary School Wilson Road, Larkhill, SP4 8QB
Friday 23 March 2018 14.00 to 20.00 Antrobus House 39 Salisbury Rd, Amesbury, SP4 7HH

Pedestrians, Yes! Cyclists, Yes! – But What About The Horses?

When the Chairman of the PC attended the inaugural meeting of the A303 Stonehenge Community Forum, he met Myra Bennett, the British Horse Society’s County Access Officer for Wiltshire, and they agreed to meet up earlier this week for further discussions, as it seemed likely that their interests might align with those of the village and many of the villagers.

Since that meeting, Myra has provided us with an open letter, which can be found here in the “Notices” section of the website.  If you walk out of the village, ride a bike, or ride a horse, we would strongly suggest you have a look at what the British Horse Society has to say.

On the Wiltshire Council mapping above, footpaths are in purple, byways are brown, restricted byways in red and bridleways in green.

One of the greatest problems we have, as a village split by the A303, is safe access onto byways.  There are no byways that leave the heart of the village and head south.  The only strictly legal options in that direction, are to head out east or west onto the A303, before cutting back south on byway WSTO6A,  past Hill Farm, or south along the B3083 towards Berwick St James; less than ideal for cyclists – especially children – or equestrians.

Options for going north are not a lot better.  You first have to negotiate the A303 – difficult when there is a lot of traffic and dangerous when it is speeding through.  You have three alternatives – of sorts.  You could try byway WSTO3, from just oppoite the northern end of the B3083 Berwick road to a few hundred yards up the B3083 to Shrewton – good luck!  You could ride north on WSTO4, past Foredown House and onto either byway WSTO6B, or byway/bridleway WSTO5, north westwards Shrewton, but both these routes bring you out on the A360 at Rollestone – hardly a relaxing place.  The truly brave (some might say foolhardy) pedestrian, cyclist or horse rider, might – once they have found a route to WSTO6A, try crossing the A303 east of the village, through the small gate in the hedge on the northern side and onto WSTO6B which joins on to the two previously mentioned routes to the northwest.  Whilst you occasionally see a walker using this route and rarely, a mountain biker,  we’d never spotted a rider in over 30 years,  until this morning.  It was heart stopping to see a clearly spooked horse being led across to the south, with a juggernaut bearing down from the east at high speed…

Given all of the above, plus the fact that all new road schemes are meant to be equestrian friendly, you’d have though that Highways England might have tried a bit harder than they have.  We’ve prepared the map above based on the one provided by Highways England in the consultation document.  We have identified paths and byways using the Wiltshire Council numbering scheme in red and key points at junctions etc, with blue letters.  You can get copies of this map here as a PDF File and here as a PNG file.  We hope you will use this as a common scheme in your own responses to Highways England.  It will also make it easier to discuss things with other villagers.

Here are a few points to ponder when you are responding to the public consultation:

1. Although a pedestrian and cycle route is proposed between points A and T on the map above, along the course of the “old” A303.  Highways England don’t propose it being available for equestrians.  It needs to be a restricted byway;

2. They propose to run this pedestrian and cycle track on the northern side of the “old” A303 from P to S – the southernmost of the two new roundabouts at Longbarrow.This means that you would have to cross the “old” A303 into the village right next to what is going to be a very busy roundabout; not very clever.  This could be avoided completely by moving the footpath to the southern side of the A303, reducing the width of the current road to achieve traffic calming and avoid the need for a land take.

3. Worse still is the proposed crossing of the A360 to join up with Green Bridge No.4 and into the World Heritage Site.  According to Derek Parody of Highways England, it’s going to be at level, no underpass or overpass.  So, we are going to be dodging the traffic travelling at high speed to and from the direction of Salisbury – if that is allowed to happen.

4. We’ve also been made aware of the likelihood that the livery at Scotland Lodge could be cut off from its usual exits to points north during the construction phase – possibly for several years.  As it stands, and with no alternative that we are aware of offered, that seems completely unacceptable.  One option might be to construct the new proposed byway from A to G over the proposed Green Bridge 1, then from G to D ,as an “advance work” to give Scotland Lodge, and others, a hacking route out of the village before their northern exit is closed off.

5.  That said, the long-term use of the proposed Green Bridge 1 is likely to prove highly contentious.  It may act as a magnet to a host  of undesirables from outside the village.  On the other hand, the old section of the road from A-B might be a potential site for some legacy features for the village and wider community.  Lots of opportunities for discussion here and many issues to consider.  For instance, how do farmers get to fields north of the A303 if there is no permanent crossing at A to G?  One option might be an entrance off the B3083 at H and a track between H and G.  Of course, Green Bridge 1 is also meant as a bat crossing…

6. There’s then the issue of BSJA3 which currently opens onto the A303 at E.  That clearly isn’t going to be acceptable. So, what happens to farm traffic wanting to join the A303?   Presumably it will be expected to travel west from E to D at Yarnbury Castle, but what then?

7. Already, crossing from SLAN3 at D, north onto BSJA4 is very dangerous – even with a central divide.  The route is used regularly by pedestrians, cyclists, equestrians, farm-vehicles, the Army, off-road motorcycles and 4x4s. The traffic on the A303 is currently either at a standstill or travelling at high speed, but in the future it will (hopefully – given all the grief we are going to have to suffer!) all be travelling at high speed.  Consequently, given the need to cross north to south and the danger of doing so at grade, a proper crossing is needed.  One option might be to close both exits onto the A303 and move Green Bridge 1 further to the west from G to D; thereby solving two problems.

This is only scratching the surface and there are likely to be many more issues associated with paths, byways and bridleways.  Villagers: please use the forum pages to discuss these issues or to add more to the list. You can also come along to a Parish Meeting in March (details to be announced soon) to air your views.

A303 Stonehenge Statutory Consultation Documents

We have provided the two key documents for the A303 Stonehenge Scheme Statutory Consultation in the “Documents” section of this website.

The first of these is the e-version of the Public Consultation Booklet – February 2018 – Click the link to go straight to it.

 

The second is the Consultation Response Form.

Both of these will be available in hardcopy from the various briefing meetings, in local shops and doctor’s surgeries and, we hope, Stonehenge Filling Station.  Please can you ALL make individual responses to Highways England in addition to the one that we, the Parish Council, will submit collectively, based on the feedback we receive from villagers here online, in hardcopy and verbally.

We wouldn’t presume to tell you how you should respond to this consultation.  In any event, your personal and unique views and perspectives on the issue are likely to carry more weight than are multiple versions of a single statement.  That said, we will be happy to point you in the direction of any factual information we may be aware of and, if necessary, try and help you make sense of it.   The information being released by Highways England will be found here.