Arrangements For Summer Solstice 2018

English Heritage have announced the following arrangements for Summer Solstice 2018.   Full details and links can be found at their website here and by clicking on the highlighted links below

Visitors watching the sun rise over Stonehenge at summer Solstice

Please note that last normal day admissions to Stonehenge is on Wednesday 20 June at 13:00 and the site will close at 15:00 in preparation for Summer Solstice Managed Open Access. Stonehenge is closed on Thursday 21 June and will re-open at 09:00 on Friday 22nd June.

English Heritage is pleased to provide free Managed Open Access to Stonehenge for Summer Solstice. We ask that if you are planning to join us for this peaceful and special occasion that you read the Conditions of Entry and the information provided on the following pages before deciding whether to come.

Stonehenge is a significant World Heritage Site and to many it is sacred – please respect the stones and all those who are attending.

Admission to the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge is free of charge.  We hope the weather will be kind and wish you a peaceful and celebratory solstice.

WEDNESDAY 20 JUNE
SOLSTICE CAR PARK OPENS 19.00 hours
ACCESS TO STONEHENGE MONUMENT FIELD 19.00 hours
SUNSET 21.26 hours

THURSDAY 21 JUNE
SUNRISE  04.52 hours
LAST ADMISSION TO SOLSTICE CAR PARK 06.00 hours (or when full)
STONEHENGE MONUMENT FIELD CLOSES 08.00 hours
SOLSTICE CAR PARK TO BE VACATED 12.00 hours (Noon)

For further information about Managed Open Access for Summer Solstice at Stonehenge, please call English Heritage Customer Services Solstice Information Hotline on 0370 333 1181.

Follow @eh_stonehenge on Twitter for live information during the Summer Solstice.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

 

Privacy Policy

To support changes in European data law, known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), I have updated our Privacy Policy.  This new data protection law came into effect on 25 May 2018.  The new policy provides clear information about the data we collect, and how we process and protect your personal information. It also covers your rights as an individual and how the law protects you.

What is personal information?

When I use the term “Personal information”, I mean the same as “personal data”.  Personal data includes any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person.  This means any individual who can be identified directly or indirectly by reference to an identifier such as name, identification number, location data, online identifiers (for example, IP addresses – if they can be used to identify you) or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person.  Put simply, this includes data which either by itself or with other data held by us or available to us, can be used to identify you.

The categories of personal information I collect

Personal information collected from you includes the following:

  • your name and
  • your e-mail address,

The purposes for which I use your personal information

I will only use your personal information for the purposes that you would reasonably anticipate or that we state when we collect it and, where necessary, for which you have given us your consent.

Disclosure of your Personal Information to other third parties

I do not disclose your personal information to third parties.

Retention of your personal information

I will keep your personal information for no longer than is necessary to fulfil the purposes for which it was collected taking into account the requirements from the following criteria:

  • any laws or regulations that we are required to follow;
  • whether we are in a legal or other type of dispute with each other or any third party; and
  • the type of information that we hold about you.

Individual rights

You have various rights under data privacy laws.  These may include (as relevant) the right to:

  • access information held about you.  You must make your request in writing and provide me with enough information to permit me to identify your personal information.  In certain circumstances under the privacy laws, I may not be required to provide all the details of personal data held;
  • amend and rectify personal information that is inaccurate;
  • request restriction of information processing concerning you or to object to processing of your personal information;
  • the right to request the erasure of your personal information where it is no longer necessary for us to retain it;
  • the right to data portability including to obtain personal information in a commonly used machine-readable format in certain circumstances such as where our processing of it is based on a consent;
  • the right to object to automated decision making including profiling (if any) that has a legal or significant effect on you as an individual and the right to object to marketing; and
  • the right to withdraw your consent to any processing for which you have previously given that consent, without affecting the lawfulness of any processing based on your consent prior to its withdrawal.

if you wish to exercise any rights please contact me on clerk@winterbournestokepc.org.uk; I will endeavour to acknowledge requests within two working days and the appropriate response and information promptly and within the relevant statutory timescale (usually one month).

 

 

URGENT: A Flood Alert Has Been Issued For The Village

A Flood Alert has just been issued (11:40 Tuesday 10th April 2018) by the Environment Agency.

Flood Alert in force: Groundwater flooding in the Salisbury Plain area.

Flooding is possible for: Boscombe, Cholderton, Collingbourne Ducis, Hanging Langford, Hindon, Hurdcott, Idmiston, Newton Tony, Orcheston, Porton, Salisbury, Shipton Bellinger, Shrewton, Stratford Sub Castle, Tidworth, Tilshead, Tisbury, Wilton, Winterbourne Stoke and Woodford.

For more information please go to bit.ly/fwsinfo or call 0345 9881188, Quickdial 210022

If you have emergency pumps, please check that they are working correctly.

The Tilshead borehole level is today at 97.63 metres – about 1.4 metres below the level where the Environment Agency predict flooding – bear in mind that this is ONLY a best guess.  The Red X shows the current level, the fine red line shows the anticipated flood level.

Having Problems With Highways England’s e-Response Form?

Having received a few adverse comments about the A303 Stonehenge Response Form,  which Highways England had provided in PDF form, we did a bit of digging and had a play ourselves.   We don’t think it’s a particularly friendly format and some of you may find it difficult to near-impossible to edit with your available computer system and software; especially if you are an Apple user.  Most of you will be unable to attach photographs, diagrams, charts or tables should you wish to do so, without buying specialist software.   We didn’t think that was either fair or sensible.

Consequently, we produced a version of the document as an MS Word file which you can get here.  Apple users can get a Pages version here.

We have checked with Highways England and have been assured by Heather Price, the A303 Stonehenge Correspondence Officer, that you can use these templates to produce your reponses, provided you save it as a PDF file when you have finished editing it.  This is simple to do both in MS Word and Apple Pages.

Please let us know if you have any issues with either the original PDF format, or the two templates we have provided.

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.

Onboard and Online: A303 Stonehenge Scheme Community Forum

Last week, Highways England launched the A303 Stonehenge Scheme Community Forum at a meeting in Amesbury.  This is one of a number of fora that have been set up, others we understand are for local landowners, farmers, businesses , etc.  The Community Forum covers not only Parish Councils, but established groups like the British Horse Society, the Bustard Trust,  the Campaign for the Preservation of the Lower Till Valley and the Stonehenge Traffic Action Group that operate in the area of the new road scheme.  Darren Henry as the Wiltshire Council representative for the Till and Wylye Valley is also a key part of the group.

The forum is designed to act as an information conduit from Highways England to the local community and vice-versa.  It looks as though it will address virtually anything and everything that is raised by the community, including issues that arise after the formal consultation period has ended.  It will deal with legacy issues, that will be very important to Winterbourne Stoke,  and which don’t form part of the formal DOC process.

Time will tell if this is a realistic goal, whether it’s overly ambitious. That said, it was quite clear from the tone of the meeting that community representatives want to use the forum to hold Highways England to account.

The forum will not generate minutes, but there will be action points arising from the bi-monthly meetings.  The first meeting was largely taken up with representatives identifying their areas of interest and concern and establishing how the forum would move forward.

The forum is likely to be long-lived – it was suggested that it might be needed until 2026 or later and its current terms of reference can be found here.

If you wish to help us to contribute to the Community Forum, please either join the website forum and add your thoughts to that, send an email or letter to the clerk, or speak to a Parish Councillor.

We are particularly interested in the following things, over and above the actual design and mitigation features of the new road:

What could Highways England do in advance of, and during, road construction to minimise the impact to us and other local communities?

What are our key legacy issues (eg. village infrastructure, non-vehicular connectivity with other local communities and areas such as the World Heritage Site).

There may be other topics that are of general, or specific interest that we have overlooked, so please get your thinking caps on!

 

What Lies Beneath?

Earlier on today,we noticed that Wiltshire Archaeology were back in the recently harvested field between the Berwick St James road and the River Till.  When they were last there, back in the spring before the Oilseed Rape had even sprouted, they were conducting a magnetometer survey to see if there was anything of interest in the ground that could impact on plans for a southern bypass route for Winterbourne Stoke.  Today, they had upped the ante, and were using ground penetrating radar (GPR) – a technique that can, depending on the terrain and soil composition, look deeper in the ground than magnetometry and also establish the depth of buried archaeology.

We have to ask ourselves: “Why?”

Speculation is all we have for the moment, which isn’t ideal, but there would seem to be two likely situations.  First, that the magnetometer survey found nothing and the GPR survey is something of a belt and braces activity to double-check; as once covered by a dual carriageway if the Southern route was selected, it wouldn’t be possible to look again. So it’s being done for completeness.

Second, the magnetometer survey found something interesting and they are now back for a more detailed look.  Time will tell.

The only certainty is, that along with all the other archaeology and environmental surveys for both the northern and southern routes that have been undertaken on behalf of Highways England for the A303 Stonehenge to Berwick Down Scheme, all the results SHOULD be made public.

 

Government Looking at Private Finance to Improve the A303 – Delays Seem Inevitable

Villagers may be very interested to made aware of the 2017 Annual Report on the Government Major Projects Portfolio (GMPP) from the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA),  published yesterday (18 July 2017) by the Cabinet Office.

Buried in one of the supporting documents is the following text relating to the Stonehenge to Berwick Down A303 Project:

Construction of twin-bored tunnel of at least 1.8 miles as the road passes Stonehenge coupled with a dual carriageway bypass for Winterbourne Stoke to link the existing dual carriageway section around Amesbury with the dual carriageway at Berwick Down. Project aims are: – To create a high quality route between the South East and the South West that meets future needs of traffic – To enable growth in jobs and housing by providing a free-flowing and reliable connection between the South East and the South West – To help conserve and enhance the World heritage site and to make it easier to reach and explore – To improve biodiversity and provide a positive legacy for nearby communities.

The red delivery confidence rating (This means:Successful delivery of the project appears to be unachievable. There are major issues with project definition, schedule, budget, quality and/or benefits delivery, which at this stage do not appear to be manageable or resolvable. The project may need re-scoping and/or its overall viability reassessed. ED) that was awarded at Gateway 1 reflects the complexity of the project. To improve this rating an action plan was put in place. A review of progress made against the recommendations was carried out in October 2016, in which the delivery confidence rating was upgraded to red/amber (This means the project is now viewed as follows:  Successful delivery of the project is in doubt, with major risks or issues apparent in a number of key areas. Urgent action is needed to address these problems and/or assess whether resolution is feasible.)

. The review team acknowledged the progress made by the project team but proposed a review of the delivery schedule, in light of the recent decision from HMT to adopt a Private Finance DBFM approach. The project team will ensure successful, timely delivery of the project by undertaking the recommendations proposed by the review team.

Project is on track with the option selection process prior to a statutory pre-application public consultation planned for January 2018 as part of the Development Consent Order Process. The Road Investment Strategy (RIS) has set a challenging target of starting works within the first RIS period, i.e. prior to April 2020. This target can only be achieved if the project is publicly financed. A revised Private Finance delivery programme is being developed.

The key take home-message seems to be that successful delivery of the project is still in doubt, the Treasury have decided to adopt a privately-financed design, build, finance and maintain (DBFM) approach to funding this scheme – despite the assurances that the funding had been ring-fenced.   So, the time scales we have previously been given (start in 2020 and completion by 2024) are now, seemingly, irrelevant.

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