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English Heritage don't understand STAG view
3:49pm Wednesday 16th October 2013 in Postbag
I ATTENDED an informal meeting on Friday, October 11, at the request of English Heritage.
I’m actually not clear why they asked for the meeting because in my opinion, we achieved nothing. The one item of concern to them was a proposed protest that may or may not take place at the opening of the new visitor centre on December 18.
I assumed – wrongly - that they wanted a better understanding of the action group STAG.
But they hadn’t even taken the time to research what STAG was prior to the meeting, therefore paying scant regard local opinions and feelings.
STAG is a newly formed and evolving action group including villages and towns around Stonehenge, all united against the greatly increased non local traffic in our area caused by the closure of the A344, together with so-called road improvements at Countess and Long Barrow roundabouts, prior to dualling of the main trunk A303.
To find out more, go to shrewton.com and click STAG.
Most of what English Heritage had to say appeared to be scripted and had been used many times before.
They didn’t appear to have a handle on the topography of the area surrounding the monument and that people actually live and go about their daily business in the villages of Shrewton, Orcheston, Chitterne, Tilshead and beyond.
Or that traffic on the A303 did not magically disappear when the A344 was closed in June, but remains on the A303 for another mile to the abomination that is the “improved” Long Barrow roundabout, therefore causing the tailback of traffic especially at peak time and holidays, up past Beacon Hill and on into Hampshire on some weekends.
The poor design of the Long Barrow roundabout is well documented and does not allow light vehicles to negotiate the roundabout without HGVs invading other lanes.
The new Airman’s Cross roundabout is another abomination. Negotiating all aspects of this roundabout is difficult, not least if you happen to be driving an HGV toward Bustard crossroads on the B3086 north.
What we all want to know is why was the wider picture not taken into account beyond the planning and finalisation of the new visitor centre, with scant consideration paid to local people.
It does appear that much alteration will be required in the not too distance future, but at what cost?
The whole concept is, yet again, a waste of taxpayers’ money, along with the £43m already spent on feasibility studies on dualling the A303.
JANICE HASSETT, STAG
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