Friday, 12 February 2010

Society supports road closures at Stonehenge

The Society supports the road clsure proposed by Wiltshire Council at Stonehenge and has written to Wiltshire Council.

The Consultation is open until 15 February - full details and an online form are on the Wiltshire Council website.

The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society supports without reservation the proposed Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) prohibiting motorised vehicles, with exceptions, on part of the A344 and the Byways within the Stonehenge World Heritage Site.

The inscription in 1986 by UNESCO of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site indicated the necessity of closing the A344 by Stonehenge as an urgent consideration , and this has continued to be a just concern of the World Heritage Committee . The closure to motorised vehicles of the A344 is the crucial, necessary, enhancement of the immediate environment of the Stonehenge monument to re-join it to the Avenue, and, equally important, to eliminate the impact of motorised vehicles on the monuments and landscape in the central region of the World Heritage Site through which the A344 currently runs.

The equally imperative permanent TRO on the Byways within the Stonehenge World Heritage Site will not only enhance people’s appreciation of the World Heritage Site through the removal of the distraction of both moving and parked vehicles, but also minimise the ongoing damage to the archaeological remains, both scheduled monuments (e.g. SM 10317 and 10327) and the remains of other features which survive within the unploughed margins of the Byways, where current motorised vehicles have increasingly widened the traffic-worn and rutted tracks.

The Society encourages, for the same reasons and as a matter of parity, the Council to propose as soon as possible the permanent prohibition too of motorised vehicles on Byways in the Avebury part of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site.