A303 traffic misery looms

Traffic on the A303

Traffic on the A303

First published in Headlines by

MONTHS of misery could lie ahead for motorists using the traffic-choked A303, local residents and councillors fear.

They say the problem is being made worse by the new Stonehenge visitor centre and are calling for action to be taken now before the summer months when the queues are likely to get even worse.

Last year huge tailbacks built up on the road near Countess Roundabout forcing thousands of motorists to seek alternative routes through nearby villages.

Meetings between police, residents, the Highways Agency, local councils and English Heritage are being held and traffic cameras have been installed to monitor vehicle flows.

Traffic surveys are also being carried out, along with petitions and local campaigns to highlight the problem.

“Lots of work is going on behind the scenes,” councillor John Noeken told Amesbury Town Council last week.

“The Highways Agency has agreed to look at the calibration of the signal controls and more signage on Countess Roundabout.”

Criticism has been levelled at the new Stonehenge visitor centre, which local people say is adding to the congestion, particularly when the car park is full.

“What we need is message boards on the A303, or even back as far as the M3, advising people when Stonehenge is closed to everyone but prebooked ticket holders,” added Councillor Noeken.

“And we need to know where rat-running is taking place. We need to keep up the pressure.”

The issue was raised at Amesbury’s town meeting last month.

“The people at Stonehenge need to sort it out,” said Cllr Richard Crook. “There is no mention of Amesbury up there but we’re the ones who put up with all the traffic and the aggro.

“When the overflow parking falls behind, we suffer.”

Kate Davies, general manager of Stonehenge, said: “The problems with traffic on the A303 during the busy summer months are not new.

“But where the new Stonehenge visitor centre is concerned, we've worked closely with local groups, listened to their concerns, and responded.

We've applied to the Highways Agency for signage to alert visitors in advance if the car park is full. And during busy periods, we have car park attendants to ensure that all spaces in the car park are used.

“Amesbury is highlighted as a place to visit in a film right next to the ticket booth.

“We work closely with Amesbury Museum and promote visits to Amesbury via Facebook and Twitter.”

Comments (6)

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4:16pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Old Salisbury Boy says...

....and the situation will only get worse when that huge warehouse at Solstice Park opens, how many HGV's a day are coming and going from that? I bet every road for miles around will be jammed by rat running HGV's trying to get to Solstice Park but avoiding the A303, it will be chaos!
....and the situation will only get worse when that huge warehouse at Solstice Park opens, how many HGV's a day are coming and going from that? I bet every road for miles around will be jammed by rat running HGV's trying to get to Solstice Park but avoiding the A303, it will be chaos! Old Salisbury Boy
  • Score: 18

9:30am Mon 14 Apr 14

whiteparishoner says...

It's not just in the Westbound direction either. We were coming back from Exeter on Sunday 6th April and the traffic on the A303 was generally light with good speed maintained - until the A360 roundabout where the traffic going on up the A303 was nose-to-tail. Fortunately, we were able to turn off here towards Salisbury but what is it going to be like in the peak holiday season?
It's not just in the Westbound direction either. We were coming back from Exeter on Sunday 6th April and the traffic on the A303 was generally light with good speed maintained - until the A360 roundabout where the traffic going on up the A303 was nose-to-tail. Fortunately, we were able to turn off here towards Salisbury but what is it going to be like in the peak holiday season? whiteparishoner
  • Score: 6

4:56pm Mon 14 Apr 14

smfp49 says...

Try living in Shrewton-we can,t get to Salisbury without crossing the A303-that is,if we can get round the queue that will be blocking the Airmans roundabout when the dreaded visitors centre is oversubscribed! Likewise-the residents of Winterbourne Stoke-who must curse the Highways Authority for not sorting out the much needed bypass.
Try living in Shrewton-we can,t get to Salisbury without crossing the A303-that is,if we can get round the queue that will be blocking the Airmans roundabout when the dreaded visitors centre is oversubscribed! Likewise-the residents of Winterbourne Stoke-who must curse the Highways Authority for not sorting out the much needed bypass. smfp49
  • Score: 5

7:21pm Mon 14 Apr 14

John Wigs says...

A303: I have been in touch with the Highways AGENCY both in Bristol and London Headquarters since the very beginning in regards to the traffic lights at Countess Roundabout all through my MP Claire Perry! There is absolutely no way any calibration of these lights are going to work under pressure! They work up to a point in light traffic, but this is rare. The AGENCY DID ADJUST the priority of the A303 on my second request but the only way you will see this is on the rare occasions of Light traffic! The problem is bad now as the Westbound traffic still block the A345 while in a Que on the A303.
This is going to get much worse as the increase in Troops come on stream
and the Builders arrive putting up 450 houses, not to mention the new Large Warehouse on Solstice Park starts in October this year the Journal reports!
There is a priority at both ends of Stonehenge, a Bye pass at Long barrow and Countess Roundabout I wonder who will miss out? Of course we could all shop in Andover! The journey is at least more pleasant and even quicker, parking cheaper too!
A303: I have been in touch with the Highways AGENCY both in Bristol and London Headquarters since the very beginning in regards to the traffic lights at Countess Roundabout all through my MP Claire Perry! There is absolutely no way any calibration of these lights are going to work under pressure! They work up to a point in light traffic, but this is rare. The AGENCY DID ADJUST the priority of the A303 on my second request but the only way you will see this is on the rare occasions of Light traffic! The problem is bad now as the Westbound traffic still block the A345 while in a Que on the A303. This is going to get much worse as the increase in Troops come on stream and the Builders arrive putting up 450 houses, not to mention the new Large Warehouse on Solstice Park starts in October this year the Journal reports! There is a priority at both ends of Stonehenge, a Bye pass at Long barrow and Countess Roundabout I wonder who will miss out? Of course we could all shop in Andover! The journey is at least more pleasant and even quicker, parking cheaper too! John Wigs
  • Score: 12

11:36pm Mon 14 Apr 14

karlmarx says...

Thank heavens the ludicrous Salisbury by-pass scheme which proposed putting North-South traffic onto the East-West A303 didn't come into being,

The ACT Stonehenge A303 Realignment Plan (The ACT "Parker Plan")

The ACT Stonehenge A303 Realignment Plan (previously known as the "ACT Parker Plan") is an alternative road plan for Stonehenge prepared by Graham Parker, supported by the Association of Salisbury Council Taxpayers (ACT) South Wiltshire.

It proposes an alternative route for the A303 that would go south of the World Heritage Site and offers a northern Salisbury bypass at the same time.


Can you imagine the total chaos and bedlam that this scheme would have created, it's bad enough now with just the East-West traffic flow, add in the North-South traffic flow and it's goodnight Vienna.
Thank heavens the ludicrous Salisbury by-pass scheme which proposed putting North-South traffic onto the East-West A303 didn't come into being, The ACT Stonehenge A303 Realignment Plan (The ACT "Parker Plan") The ACT Stonehenge A303 Realignment Plan (previously known as the "ACT Parker Plan") is an alternative road plan for Stonehenge prepared by Graham Parker, supported by the Association of Salisbury Council Taxpayers (ACT) South Wiltshire. It proposes an alternative route for the A303 that would go south of the World Heritage Site and offers a northern Salisbury bypass at the same time. Can you imagine the total chaos and bedlam that this scheme would have created, it's bad enough now with just the East-West traffic flow, add in the North-South traffic flow and it's goodnight Vienna. karlmarx
  • Score: 3

9:22am Tue 15 Apr 14

John Wigs says...

We are told that behind the scenes there is a lot happening! This behind the scenes act has been going on for over 30 or more years where each and every exercise has cost the Country millions, with very much to show for it. There is no secret to be given, they really do not know what to do about it!
We locals living on the north side of the Countess Roundabout now go through 4 sets of lights to pass into Amesbury! There are days and times when the Que begins at the exit into Countess road south, sometimes blocking the West bound traffic! The Island is now just a holding ground in the middle for us!
London road and High street Amesbury junction, will at some stage in the future, give us a real traffic hold up problem.
We are told that behind the scenes there is a lot happening! This behind the scenes act has been going on for over 30 or more years where each and every exercise has cost the Country millions, with very much to show for it. There is no secret to be given, they really do not know what to do about it! We locals living on the north side of the Countess Roundabout now go through 4 sets of lights to pass into Amesbury! There are days and times when the Que begins at the exit into Countess road south, sometimes blocking the West bound traffic! The Island is now just a holding ground in the middle for us! London road and High street Amesbury junction, will at some stage in the future, give us a real traffic hold up problem. John Wigs
  • Score: 6

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