You are currently browsing the daily archive for 03/05/2009.
There’s a perceptible whiff at Stonehenge just now. Arthur Pendragon, eccentric druid protestor, is to be ejected from Byway 16. The Court order has now been obtained (although we suspect it won’t be enforced until midweek when there are few people around to watch).
Arthur has used his caravan as a protest base for the past ten months and has daily been picketing in all weathers at the depressing huddle of shacks that passes for the visitors’ centre (so depressing in fact that if his caravan was parked near them or the stones, which it isn’t, the tone of the neighbourhood would probably be raised!).
So is he being a nuisance and have the visitors complained about him? Not that we’ve heard. As everyone knows he is affable and amusing and simply wants to publicise the mess and call on the government to sort it out without further delay (and to express his personal view that the fences should be removed). So not a dangerous radical then, just an ordinary citizen expressing a lot of what everyone thinks.
So maybe he’s blocking the road? No, not that either. His caravan is parked on the side of the track and gets in nobody’s way. As Arthur says – I’m not blocking access on the road, emergency services could easily get through. I have a right to protest and I will continue to do so.
Yet in a whiff-worthy expression of zeal Wiltshire Council has gone to court requiring zero encroachment upon THIS particular track, citing it’s duty to maintain everybody’s right to use its full width without interruption – despite the fact that there are thousands of miles of other roads in the county where hundreds of thousands of vehicles park fully on the carriageway without a squeak from the council.
So what’s special about Byway 16 that Council Tax payers need to go to court to keep every inch of its width unobstructed? Not a lot, that we can see. It’s little used and it’s made of dirt, that’s about it. Indeed, it was this very track that was to be downgraded and made accessible to ZERO traffic except wheelchairs as part of the Stonehenge improvement project so if that had gone through then the Council would right now be making a closure order rather than obtaining a possession order!
No, there’s no obstruction being caused and there’s nothing special about the track. Except for one thing. Arthur is there, and he’s publicising a very embarrassing message.