Meetings over Stonehenge right of way

First published in News Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author by

TALKS have been held about whether to close an ancient right of way near Stonehenge to the public.

Byway 12 is where Druid leader King Arthur Pendragon once set up a picket calling for the stones to be left unfenced and open to the public.

A court ordered him to dismantle it in 2009 after Wiltshire Council said he was blocking a right of way which it had a duty to keep open.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey visited the World Heritage Site on Wednesday to learn more about its traffic problems.

Since the closure of the old public car park, passing motorists have been parking on the byway to take a look at the monument, rather than paying to use the new £27m visitor centre.

A ‘no right turn’ sign has proved an inadequate deterrent, and drivers trying to make the turn are holding up the traffic.

Mr Vaizey, who was met by English Heritage and Wiltshire Council staff, took the official route to the stones.

One way of closing the byway would be to put a statutory instrument through Parliament, but nothing is likely to be done until after the summer.

The Minister also met Salisbury MP John Glen, who said: “I took the opportunity to tell him about how recent changes to the road system have adversely impacted traffic, and the enormous apprehension that exists as we approach the peak tourist season.”

Mr Glen wants to see the A303 put through a tunnel, and is continuing to investigate the potential cost.

Comments (7)

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9:11pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Yer Tis says...

Exactly what NT and EH want, stop ANY and ALL access to the Stones unless you pay them their extortionate fee!

A LOT of people have parked there and used it to the walk the area, and park there to cross over to the Normanton Down area.

But will they listen to us ...... Not a hope. The courts told them to keep it open, so now NT&EH are goign to go over the courts heads.
Exactly what NT and EH want, stop ANY and ALL access to the Stones unless you pay them their extortionate fee! A LOT of people have parked there and used it to the walk the area, and park there to cross over to the Normanton Down area. But will they listen to us ...... Not a hope. The courts told them to keep it open, so now NT&EH are goign to go over the courts heads. Yer Tis
  • Score: 20

7:46am Wed 23 Apr 14

minivin says...

Those by-ways have been there LONGER than the stones. They are ancient rights of way and have more right to be there than a pile of rocks, partially rebuilt by the British Army Engineers during the 1960's as an exercise. This is the last route that connects the ancient Byway network on Salisbury Plain, to the network on the South Wiltshire Downs (other than travelling a fifteen miles round trip west to Yarnbury Fort, near Wylye). English Heritage are re-writing the history of Wiltshires countryside for their own benefit. Wiltshire has one of the largest By-way networks in the United Kingdom and EH are slowly trying to destroy these ancient rights of way.
Those by-ways have been there LONGER than the stones. They are ancient rights of way and have more right to be there than a pile of rocks, partially rebuilt by the British Army Engineers during the 1960's as an exercise. This is the last route that connects the ancient Byway network on Salisbury Plain, to the network on the South Wiltshire Downs (other than travelling a fifteen miles round trip west to Yarnbury Fort, near Wylye). English Heritage are re-writing the history of Wiltshires countryside for their own benefit. Wiltshire has one of the largest By-way networks in the United Kingdom and EH are slowly trying to destroy these ancient rights of way. minivin
  • Score: 18

7:52am Wed 23 Apr 14

Battlechieftain says...

This issue was dealt with at a Full Public Inquiry called by Wiltshire Council where we pointed out that they were NOT in the buisiness of revenue protection for the soon to be Autonomus Charity English Heritage who wish for an unfair advantage by closing what is at present a By-Way Open to all Traffic. An Independent Inspector ruled on that occasion when they sought a Stop up Order for the former A344 and a Traffic Restriction Order on the By-way that it was is and should remain a BY-Way open to all traffic.Like spoilt children EH seem to be 'Jumping up and down screaming' until they get what they want. When will they understand that NO means NO. King Arthur Pendragon /|\
This issue was dealt with at a Full Public Inquiry called by Wiltshire Council where we pointed out that they were NOT in the buisiness of revenue protection for the soon to be Autonomus Charity English Heritage who wish for an unfair advantage by closing what is at present a By-Way Open to all Traffic. An Independent Inspector ruled on that occasion when they sought a Stop up Order for the former A344 and a Traffic Restriction Order on the By-way that it was is and should remain a BY-Way open to all traffic.Like spoilt children EH seem to be 'Jumping up and down screaming' until they get what they want. When will they understand that NO means NO. King Arthur Pendragon /|\ Battlechieftain
  • Score: 17

8:52am Wed 23 Apr 14

White5 says...

I drove back from Devon on Friday, a clear run until I got to Stonehenge. The A344 should never have been closed. All the traffic now has to use the A303 passed the stones. The junction between the old A344 and the A303 could have easily between made safer, if it was that hazardous why was not the speed limit reduced to 50 or 40 like the rest of the roads in Wiltshire.

No, the reason the A344 was closed because EH hated the fact people could see the Stones for free, why do you think they pressed so hard for a tunnel. During the tunnel consultation EH promised to remove all fencing so local people to just walk in, now the A344 has been removed shouldn't the fencing be removed.

No byway should be closed, it is the last rights of way a common person has. EH should be pushing to keep byways open, but EH is now just a money making organisation with little to no regard of history.
I drove back from Devon on Friday, a clear run until I got to Stonehenge. The A344 should never have been closed. All the traffic now has to use the A303 passed the stones. The junction between the old A344 and the A303 could have easily between made safer, if it was that hazardous why was not the speed limit reduced to 50 or 40 like the rest of the roads in Wiltshire. No, the reason the A344 was closed because EH hated the fact people could see the Stones for free, why do you think they pressed so hard for a tunnel. During the tunnel consultation EH promised to remove all fencing so local people to just walk in, now the A344 has been removed shouldn't the fencing be removed. No byway should be closed, it is the last rights of way a common person has. EH should be pushing to keep byways open, but EH is now just a money making organisation with little to no regard of history. White5
  • Score: 13

11:35am Wed 23 Apr 14

Stonehugger says...

EH are clearly caught between a rock and a hard place. The traffic levels on the a303 are infeasible long term and will be dealt with no matter what the druids, EH or locals say. They are attempting to manage that process without damaging the archaeology surrounding the henge. If DoT had their way, the a303 would have been duelled 20 years ago.

The a344 was closed to stop a busy road cutting the immediate landscape next to stonehenge in half. That road, old visitors centre and carpark are a disgrace and we should all be glad its gone. Sure the byway may have to go too else the a303 becomes a carpark at times thanks to the selfish actions of those turning in from the southbound direction, but its a small price to pay.

Never forget modern day druidism is a conceit created in the 1800s with no link to Bronze age in the uk. No more claim to the stones or their environment than anyone else.
EH are clearly caught between a rock and a hard place. The traffic levels on the a303 are infeasible long term and will be dealt with no matter what the druids, EH or locals say. They are attempting to manage that process without damaging the archaeology surrounding the henge. If DoT had their way, the a303 would have been duelled 20 years ago. The a344 was closed to stop a busy road cutting the immediate landscape next to stonehenge in half. That road, old visitors centre and carpark are a disgrace and we should all be glad its gone. Sure the byway may have to go too else the a303 becomes a carpark at times thanks to the selfish actions of those turning in from the southbound direction, but its a small price to pay. Never forget modern day druidism is a conceit created in the 1800s with no link to Bronze age in the uk. No more claim to the stones or their environment than anyone else. Stonehugger
  • Score: -1

7:55pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Wiltshireresident65 says...

This article is woefully inaccurate. Byway 12 has indeed been a place of human access since it was diverted from its original route across the Stonehenge Field some time between the two World Wars. We won the right at the inquiry to keep this PUBLIC ACCESS open, and have watched with interest English Heritages propaganda efforts to denying us our last free access to the Stonehenge Landscape, for over 70 years we have turned right onto the Byway and to suggest otherwise is pure hokum. From the Countess Roundabout the A303 has a 50 mile speed limit, travelling at this speed, vehicles race up the hill only to grind to a halt as the A303 suddenly and abruptly filters traffic from a two lane onto a single lane. That this happens on the brow of the hill, where travellers get their first glimpse of Stonehenge seriously contributes to the chaos already created by shockingly poor traffic management. A fact skilfully being silenced as English Heritage aim to convince people of their right to steal the Byway, stopping anyone from seeing Stonehenge unless they pay vast and ridiculous amounts of coin. That the journalist of this article is so willing to not research the facts lends one to ask why is the Editor allowing such an inaccurate article to be printed, maybe in another county you may have got away with such fabricated misdirection, but to try and tell the locals such an incredulous pack of untruths is really quite startling.
This article is woefully inaccurate. Byway 12 has indeed been a place of human access since it was diverted from its original route across the Stonehenge Field some time between the two World Wars. We won the right at the inquiry to keep this PUBLIC ACCESS open, and have watched with interest English Heritages propaganda efforts to denying us our last free access to the Stonehenge Landscape, for over 70 years we have turned right onto the Byway and to suggest otherwise is pure hokum. From the Countess Roundabout the A303 has a 50 mile speed limit, travelling at this speed, vehicles race up the hill only to grind to a halt as the A303 suddenly and abruptly filters traffic from a two lane onto a single lane. That this happens on the brow of the hill, where travellers get their first glimpse of Stonehenge seriously contributes to the chaos already created by shockingly poor traffic management. A fact skilfully being silenced as English Heritage aim to convince people of their right to steal the Byway, stopping anyone from seeing Stonehenge unless they pay vast and ridiculous amounts of coin. That the journalist of this article is so willing to not research the facts lends one to ask why is the Editor allowing such an inaccurate article to be printed, maybe in another county you may have got away with such fabricated misdirection, but to try and tell the locals such an incredulous pack of untruths is really quite startling. Wiltshireresident65
  • Score: 4

11:46am Mon 5 May 14

Druids Lodge Resident says...

Stonehugger wrote:
EH are clearly caught between a rock and a hard place. The traffic levels on the a303 are infeasible long term and will be dealt with no matter what the druids, EH or locals say. They are attempting to manage that process without damaging the archaeology surrounding the henge. If DoT had their way, the a303 would have been duelled 20 years ago.

The a344 was closed to stop a busy road cutting the immediate landscape next to stonehenge in half. That road, old visitors centre and carpark are a disgrace and we should all be glad its gone. Sure the byway may have to go too else the a303 becomes a carpark at times thanks to the selfish actions of those turning in from the southbound direction, but its a small price to pay.

Never forget modern day druidism is a conceit created in the 1800s with no link to Bronze age in the uk. No more claim to the stones or their environment than anyone else.
I wondered how long it would be before English Heritage tried to close the Byway so that you have to use their Car Park.
If you are not a local and just passing Stonehenge in a hurry and want to take a Photograph You turn into the Byway from the Eastbound carriageway and park up safely while you take your pictures. If E.H have their way, people will just stop on the 303 for the minute or so that it takes to photograph the stones and you can imagine what that will cause.
If EH think that people turning into the byway cause a traffic hazard, then let them suggest that the 303 should be widened for a slip lane so people can turn in and out more safely, If the parked cars are an eyesore then lower the level of the Byway so that the cars cannot be seen from the stones. The cost of this must be irrelevant when you consider the cost of moving the A360/A303 roundabout ten meters to the south so that they could get and extra lane onto it. 3 lanes into 1 at the exit?????
[quote][p][bold]Stonehugger[/bold] wrote: EH are clearly caught between a rock and a hard place. The traffic levels on the a303 are infeasible long term and will be dealt with no matter what the druids, EH or locals say. They are attempting to manage that process without damaging the archaeology surrounding the henge. If DoT had their way, the a303 would have been duelled 20 years ago. The a344 was closed to stop a busy road cutting the immediate landscape next to stonehenge in half. That road, old visitors centre and carpark are a disgrace and we should all be glad its gone. Sure the byway may have to go too else the a303 becomes a carpark at times thanks to the selfish actions of those turning in from the southbound direction, but its a small price to pay. Never forget modern day druidism is a conceit created in the 1800s with no link to Bronze age in the uk. No more claim to the stones or their environment than anyone else.[/p][/quote]I wondered how long it would be before English Heritage tried to close the Byway so that you have to use their Car Park. If you are not a local and just passing Stonehenge in a hurry and want to take a Photograph You turn into the Byway from the Eastbound carriageway and park up safely while you take your pictures. If E.H have their way, people will just stop on the 303 for the minute or so that it takes to photograph the stones and you can imagine what that will cause. If EH think that people turning into the byway cause a traffic hazard, then let them suggest that the 303 should be widened for a slip lane so people can turn in and out more safely, If the parked cars are an eyesore then lower the level of the Byway so that the cars cannot be seen from the stones. The cost of this must be irrelevant when you consider the cost of moving the A360/A303 roundabout ten meters to the south so that they could get and extra lane onto it. 3 lanes into 1 at the exit????? Druids Lodge Resident
  • Score: 0

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