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Finally some action on traffic chaos at Stonehenge

July 16, 2014 3:11 PM

Following a long campaign led by local Wiltshire Councillor Ian West and local residents Wiltshire Council is finally responding to extensive local concerns over changes in traffic volume and routing surrounding the Stonehenge site since the closure of the A344 and the relocation of the Stonehenge Visitor Centre.

The response involves committing to undertake an extensive monitoring exercise which will entail Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) surveys (or similar) to individually track and record the behaviour of vehicles within and throughout the survey area.

The next survey will be a seven day period between Monday August 4th and Sunday 10th August 2014.

Councillor Ian West said "Residents of Shrewton believe the speed and volume of traffic in Shrewton has been made worse by the closure of the A344 one of the main concerns expressed by local residents is the speed and volume of traffic it is quoted as one of the main safety factors which people see as a barrier to travelling around the communities on foot or by bicycle or to letting children travel independently. This has very much affected the quality of life in Shrewton.

"We very much look forward to the results of the Atkins survey because the increase in traffic is becoming unbearable in Shrewton and the surrounding villages both sides of the A303".

At a meeting between Wiltshire Council and Atkins on 9 January 2014, the key requirements were set out for an extensive monitoring exercise and traffic routing study on the road network surrounding Stonehenge. The scope of the analysis will incorporate those routes through local communities where an increase in diversionary traffic is perceived, focusing on Shrewton and Larkhill, and within the area shown on the original plan provided to the consultants (Annex A - attached).

The monitoring exercise and subsequent reporting will need to respond to the following six key questions:

  1. For journeys between the A303 at Bulford and the A303 at Winterbourne Stoke (and vice versa), what routes are being used and by what proportion of overall traffic between these points? Similarly for journeys between the A303 at Bulford and the A360 / B390 at Shrewton (and vice versa)?
  2. What routes are being taken by drivers to reach the relocated Stonehenge Visitor Centre?
  3. Do these routing proportions vary by time of day / day of the week?
  4. Do these routing proportions vary according to the extent of delays occurring on the A303?
  5. Do the alternative (non-A303) routes provide actual journey time savings for drivers? Or are journey time savings perceived?
  6. Does the evidence suggest existence of a problem with regard to traffic routing within the study area?

The monitoring exercise is set up to obtain traffic flow data that can be used as an evidence base in relation to the future planned development work at Larkhill.