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From Monday 17th January the A344 will be closed from its junction of the A303 at Stonehenge bottom to the entrance/exit to Stonehenge. This closure is likely to be in place for up to 14 weeks. We have been assured that all works are to be completed and that the A344 road closure will be lifted before the Easter weekend.
This news is a little late for those who have already found the A344 closed at Stonehenge, but this closure is a blessing in disguise, a taste of what it could be like when the closing of the road becomes a more permanent fixture. Heritage Action member Jim Mitchell recently visited the stone circle and reported that…
I was there last Saturday 12th and was surprised at the big difference it makes. A much better atmosphere at the Heel Stone, quieter and less stressful with people wandering across the road to look at the Avenue. The concrete barriers are just to the east of the entrance to the car park and people are parking on the double yellows there.
He also makes the point about how much visual intrusion is less than expected from the stones looking towards the A303, but that the noise intrusion is still there, and suggests noise reduction tarmac is readily available, a re-surfacing perhaps?

The details of how to get to Stonehenge can be found below.

Arriving: Visitors coming to Stonehenge will need to access the site from Airman’s Cross; then driving down the A344 to Stonehenge.
Leaving: When leaving Stonehenge vehicles will have to turn right out of the car park and proceed back down to Airman’s Cross, before rejoining the A303 at Long Barrow. … roadworks/

Countess Roundabout; Details of work to be undertaken
* Traffic signal installation on all four approaches to the roundabout.
* Widening and resurfacing the A303 approaches to, and around, the roundabout.
* Permanent 40 mph speed limit applied on A303 approaches.
* Safety barrier, road signs and road markings replaced.
* Extension of subway under A303 westbound approach, to accommodate carriageway widening works. 

So much has been said by the authorities about the need to improve Stonehenge and how they will achieved it that it is easy to lose sight of what ought to be the aim. It was well expressed by this caption to Constable’s famous painting:

“The mysterious monument… standing remote on a bare and boundless heath, as much unconnected with the events of the past as it is with the uses of the present, carries you back beyond all historical records into the obscurity of a totally unknown period’.

We can but hope.


February 2011

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