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Summer season brings traffic jams
2:51pm Wednesday 21st August 2013 in Salisbury Letters
SINCE the Longbarrow and Airman’s Cross roundabout alterations in Amesbury as recently reported on in the Journal, the town has been under siege from traffic.
Tailbacks all the way from Thruxton, some six miles away, are creating rat runs through our ancient town.
Eastbound queues from the West Country have been seen all week.
The residents of Winterbourne Stoke must be getting tired of the constant noise from engines all day.
No other village in the UK must be experiencing this sort of snarl up and blight on their daily lives.
Huge lorries with Devon and Cornwall addresses on the side flow past my London Road home in a westerly direction.
I presume they go on through Amesbury town centre - to the delight of all who are trading and shopping - to link back up with the congested A303, having shaved off half an hour’s traffic jam time to the detriment of us residents of the blighted, under siege town.
People in Bulford, Durrington, Larkhill and even Shrewton are having to live with all this too, so why has it become far worse?
We have had massive hold ups in Amesbury since the 1960s.
The Amesbury by-pass helped but now it’s all back again.
The Longbarrow Roundabout was altered despite the residents of Shrewton and Winterbourne Stoke having doubts about the feasibility study carried out by people who do not have to suffer this almost daily blight on their lives.
There is a solution, a new dual carriageway by passing Winterbourne Stoke through the natural valley that runs to the south of the village, crossing open land almost hidden from view, and joining up with the existing dual carriageway to the west of Winterbourne Stoke.
There would be no high roads on stilts, no cutting through Countess Road or roads running close to Larkhill residents.
Then the old A303 can be covered over, pleasing English Heritage.
I believe compulsory purchase orders can be made on land if the owners are reluctant to give it up.May be this siege can be lifted for us poor residents.
TONY BULL, Amesbury
THE picture above was taken on the static A303 or, as we now know it, the car park.
Last year I did a report on this, after millions was spent slowing up the traffic by so-called “improvements” and installing traffic lights at Countess Roundabout.
At the time this doubled the traffic delays and the time spent queuing through the notorious Stonehenge bottle neck.
Before this venture, traffic used to queue to the top of Beacon Hill. After these works it queued back as far as Parkhouse, even on weekdays.
Improvement to traffic flow it was not.
Now, despite being told it would cause chaos and also lots of local protesting, the A344 junction, which did relieve some congestion in the past despite being an accident black spot, has been closed.
I have today been out and had a look to see how we are doing with the traffic. Wow, it looks like they really have done it this time.
Westbound traffic is now stopped in two lanes from Stonehenge to Weyhill, 12 miles away.
It is taking between 1 hour 20 minutes and 2 hours to travel that distance.
I have not looked but apparently the other side of Stonehenge is the same with tailbacks at Wylye on the A36 for eastbound traffic.
I do hope the Department of the Environment, is also monitoring this and taking into account the traffic build-up in the local villages as stranded motorists look for alternative routes.I will continue to monitor this, it should be gridlocked just in time for the bank holiday. I wonder what the record is for the longest static queue.
DAVID HARGRAVE, Durrington
As the summer season has rolled on, the traffic jams on the A36 coming in to Salisbury from the Southampton direction have continued due entirely to the appalling road planning on Southampton Road, which is damaging both commerce and tourism.
These jams are made much worse by the unbearable arrogance of some drivers who regularly take it upon themselves to police a non-existent rule that other drivers are not allowed to use both lanes, and break the law themselves by driving down the middle of the carriageway.
On several occasions I have seen tempers fray and have been close to it myself.
Perhaps the council might be persuaded to put up 'queue in both lanes' signs similar to those outside most cities and towns where traffic has to merge.
And perhaps the police might like to start stopping this 'tactical driving' by using the new powers that have just been given to them?
NICHOLAS COOPER, Salisbury
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