A PRE-booking system for visitors to Stonehenge may be causing coach drivers to park dangerously on the roadside.
More evidence emerged this week of reckless parking by drivers delivering visitors to Stonehenge and Wiltshire councillor Ian West says he believes a pre-booking system for coaches at the new visitor centre must be to blame.
He said: “I checked with one company and was told two of their coaches were ordered out of the official coach park because they had failed to pre-book.
“The system, although well meaning, seems to be creating problems for visitors who turn up at random.
“People don’t realise they need to book in advance. It seems it was introduced to prevent traffic on the surrounding roads which has been a problem for so many years.”
David Hargrave, of Durrington, was able to photograph at least six coaches at a lay-by at Bustards Cross which has become the focus of this growing row.
“At 12.30pm on Saturday, I counted only 15 coaches in the coach park. There were six coaches in the lay-by at Bustard Crossroads and two more up the road towards the Bustard pub. Also there was one on the A360 that was half way across the road.”
Mr Hargarve has forwarded his photographic evidence to the Stonehenge and Shrewton traffic group which is campaigning for road improvements to stop rat running and traffic congestion in the area.
Councillor West added: “Of course the root of the problem is the failure by the powers that be to upgrade the road properly. Fancy little schemes like a prebooking system might seem like a good idea to curb traffic jams but there are other knock-on effects such as this. One solution leads to another problem.
“This current problem could lead to a serious accident at some point and there may be a need for a re-think by English Heritage.
A spokesman for English Heritage said: “We are aware of the photos, and are continuing to work with local partners such as Councillor West regarding any issues.”
English Heritage says it has 30 spaces for coaches and a clear policy for overflow parking when the coach park is full.