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“STONEHENGE, the grandest prehistoric monument in the British Isles, is at last in sight of the end of its troubles….”
– The New York Times, October 16, 1927.

A major stage has been reached in the process of returning Stonehenge to a more appropriate setting. Wiltshire Council has accepted the Inspector’s amended recommendations so there is now no legal impediment to plans to close the lower section of the A344 completely. However, not everything has been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction because the Inspector recommended closure of the A344 but NOT the byways. Thus the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport has accepted the Inspector’s report and has decided that the traffic restriction should be made to apply only to the A344 and not the Byways.

That is a source of satisfaction to some off-roaders and others who feel they have spiritual rights extending to a right to both drive and park close to the stones. However, it doesn’t please English Heritage or perhaps most people as a right to drive and even park within the Landscape close to any of the monuments would seem to be against the whole point of the improvements.

It seems that various practical and legal problem remain, not the least of which is the fact that the Management Plan says “Vehicular access to Byways within the World Heritage Site should be restricted apart from access for emergency, operational and farm vehicles.” It’s to be hoped something can be done. A project to return Stonehenge to “splendid isolation” ending with off-roaders in 4×4 vehicles retaining the right to drive across the World Heritage Site? Surely not?

Splendid Intervention.... ?


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