A TRAFFIC survey monitoring vehicle movements on the A303 and through the surrounding villages is being carried out in early August.

Hundreds of cameras will track the routes that drivers take between the traffic-choked Countess Roundabout and Stonehenge Visitor Centre.

The monitoring exercise uses automatic number plate recognition technology to individually track the behaviour of motorists in the survey area.

The A303 is blighted by lengthy tailbacks at peak times and throughout the summer holidays, and local residents say the problem has been made worse by the closure of the A344 near Stonehenge.

Traffic management consultancy Atkins will be carrying out the research from Monday, August 4 to Sunday, August 10, focusing in particular on the amount of extra traffic and the impact it is having, on Shrewton and Larkhill.

Six key questions have been indentified including the route most drivers take between Bulford and Winterbourne Stoke and how traffic reaches the visitor centre.

It will also ascertain if these routes vary due to the time of day and day of the week or according to the extent of the delays on the A303.

And it will be asking if leaving the A303 and finding alternative routes really saves time for drivers, or if any time savings are only perceived, and whether traffic routing in the area is adding to the problem.

With hundreds of new homes being built at Larkhill to accommodate thousands of troops returning to Salisbury Plain from Germany, the survey will help to monitor traffic movements in the area before construction gets under way.

People in nearby Shrewton are hoping the study will highlight just how severe traffic problems have become in the village in the last year.

Wilshire councillor Ian West said: "Residents of Shrewton believe the speed and volume of traffic in Shrewton has been made worse by the closure of the A344.

“One of the main concerns expressed by local residents is the speed and volume of traffic, it is quoted as one of the main safety factors which people see as a barrier to travelling around their communities on foot or by bicycle or to letting children travel independently. This has very much affected the quality of life in Shrewton.

“We very much look forward to the results of the Atkins survey because the increase in traffic is becoming unbearable in Shrewton and the surrounding villages both sides of the A303.”