If you have a story call our newsdesk on 01722 426511 or email us. To advertise call 01722 426500.
Something needs to be done about A303 traffic
9:55am Thursday 5th September 2013 in Postbag
I HAVE just found a letter of reply from the Highways Services based in Bristol dated September 7, 2007 that gave the same excuses in regards to the A303 then as it does now. The only thing different is that it has got worse.
Last Wednesday, the day before the Journal came out with letters in regards to the conditions on the A303 and especially the Countess Roundabout, motorists travelling down the A345 came to a total stop from Woodhenge.
The line of waiting cars started way back into the village. This event lasted all afternoon, locking owners of property indoors along this stretch of road, with a tailback of traffic around all the area for miles, which has never been experienced since the days of the early 1960s when the A303 traffic came down London Road, High Street and Church Street and out of the west of Amesbury up the Avenue to King Barrows.
Ambulance and fire crews would never have passed.
When the last government was in, they said they would fix this once and for all. At the costs of some few millions and many surveys, the very site that Lord Stevens of Stonehenge turned down for the new visitor centre from the very start of many choices and decision meetings, was first choice.
The lifeline for Shrewton has been taken away, together with the Devizes Road access being made ever more difficult to get into Salisbury. As for the Countess roundabout, the Highways Agency, has given top priority to A303 traffic and given road hogs, contrary to the Highway Code, permission to overtake on the roundabout for the A345 traffic and allowed them to cut up other users as they enter single lanes north and south.
If the Stonehenge centre is successful, it will bring no business to the area, what it will bring is misery as visitors will take all the rat runs they can find to avoid the A303.
Now has come the time for a flyover for the A303 over the A345 to allow us in the south of the county to lead our everyday lives and allow the traffic east to west and west to east a speedier journey to their destinations.
Local councillors, police and emergency services - your voices are important and need to be heard loud and clear by our MPs.
JOHN WIGGLESWORTH, Durrington
I AM writing in response to the letters by Tony Bull and David Hargrave (Postbag, August 22), both of whom I am in complete agreement with. We are all suffering for the decision to shelve the dualling of the A303 past Stonehenge in 2009 and the bypass for Winterbourne Stoke.
Mr Hargrave rightly hopes that the Department of the Environment is monitoring the increase in traffic around our area, but I understand that traffic flow readings are only carried out during the working week and not during school holidays. We need this to take place during a school bank holiday weekend, from Friday afternoon through Saturday in a westerly direction and then on Sunday in an easterly direction to get a true picture and comparison with previous studies.
May I draw readers’ attention to a new action group which can be viewed at shrewton.com, set up last week with the blessing of cllr Ian West. The aim is to allow the people of Shrewton and surrounding villages or towns to have their say and involvement. For it to carry any kind of weight, we need to speak with one voice and maybe a petition could be it. So please, take a look and get involved.
JANICE HASSETT, Shrewton
THE problem at Countess roundabout seems to have been created by massive planning blunders, first as the roundabout is between Amesbury, Boscombe, Bulford and Durrington where there is a considerable local civil and military population that has a right to use the junction. Countess is the first single level junction on the main road to the west from London and it is the first traffic flow obstruction. It is followed by sub-standard roads until beyond Winterbourne Stoke. After that there is a good run to Ilchester beyond which a better designed Roman Road helps.
Closing the Andover service station and building one approaching Amesbury gave a charter to the unwelcome bypass bypassers. The heritage lobby insisted Stonehenge was more important than the humans of Winterbourne Stoke. Doubtless the responsible planners are being shortlisted for knighthoods.
J STICKLAND, Tidworth
Comments are closed on this article.