ATTENTION ALL RIDERS IN THE A303 STONEHENGE AREA

BHS Wiltshire is a member of the Local Community Forum providing input to Highways England on the Stonehenge A303 tunnel project. As the BHS County Access Officer (volunteer) I represent the interests of local horse riders. My name is Myra Bennett and I can be contacted on myra@madasafish.com

This scheme represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect up previously disconnected off-road rights of way around and over the World Heritage Site. Horse riders from both the north and the south of the A303 tunnel stand to gain a very significantly improved hacking network, both in terms of round routes from communities and in connections to longer rides to the north and south of the A303.

TO ENSURE THIS HAPPENS, HORSE RIDERS NEED TO ADD THEIR VOICES TO THE CONSULTATION CURRENTLY BEING RUN BY HIGHWAYS ENGLAND: to say that they would make use of the new network of byways proposed by the consultation. Please respond that you as a horse rider would use them, either now or in the future or, if you don’t currently ride, that you support access for horse riders. The term ‘byway’ is used generically on the consultation; the user classes envisaged are pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders, except as below for Question 3.
The closing date is 8 April, and the consultation and response form can be found on:

www.highways.gov.uk/A303Stonehenge/consultation

Your support is particularly appreciated for the following proposals:

1 That all the proposed new off-road routes are for horse riders as well as cyclists/pedestrians, wide enough to allow safe use for all, ideally with a 3m grass verge for horse riders alongside any hard surface for other users.

2 BHS Wiltshire is responding to Question 2 and 3 to say that riders need direct west–east access between Winterbourne Stoke and the World Heritage site (WHS). Instead of the currently proposed pedestrian and cycle route out of Winterbourne Stoke on the north side of the road, we are proposing that this route includes equestrian access and is taken up the south side of the link road to Winterbourne Stoke (see page 25 of the consultation booklet, where it is shown on the north). We then propose an equestrian bridge over the realigned A360 (see page 15 of the consultation booklet) which would give access to all users to the WHS byway and to the old A360 byway.

3 BHS Wiltshire is responding to Question 4 to propose that the course of the old A360 and any necessary new route provision is designated a restricted byway open to horse riders leading both north over green bridge number 4 (see page 28 of the consultation booklet) as far as Rollestone Crossroads and south to Druids Farm, connecting up various existing rights of way open to horses.

4 BHS Wiltshire is responding to Question 7 to propose that the course of the old A360 is not stopped up (see page 41 of the consultation booklet) but forms the northern section of the proposed restricted byway (Question 4) past the Stonehenge visitor centre from Green Bridge number 4. This would allow riders from the south of the A303 safe direct access to all the hacking routes on Salisbury Plain and beyond. A suitable crossing over the road to Larkhill directly onto the bridleway to the north of this road is also proposed.

When you respond, please make the point that the legacy for local horse riders, particularly for child riders and disabled riders, is significant and would encourage those who would not currently ride out to do so. A vastly improved off-road network also represents a significant business opportunity for local stables and livery yards.

Comments (2)

  • William FG

    As a horse owner who lives in the village ( We infact own 4.5 horses) it is vital that we make sure that the byways, bridlepaths in and around the village allow us to cross under or over the A303
    Currently its very dangerous to cross in the village to the west and east
    I would be very happy to explain the practical problems

  • Richard Watts

    As Horse owners / riders ourselves, we are also very keen that HE take note of the comments / inputs from the various users of these access routes, whether walkers, cyclists and horse riders – non motorised traffic and normal traffic don’t mix well at the best of times. As it stands, it seems counter-intuitive to plan for crossings of what will be (still) busy routes when better alternatives can be found. We will read and digest the comments already posted by both the WPC Chair and the BHS and make our own comments on the matter in due course.

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