Wiltshire

Stonehenge traffic inquiry begins

  • 20 September 2011
  • From the section Wiltshire
Stonehenge
Image caption The proposals would see various byways closed to vehicles in the World Heritage Site

A public inquiry into plans to prohibit the use of motor vehicles at Stonehenge has begun.

The proposals, by Wiltshire Council, would see various byways closed to vehicles, with certain exceptions, within the site and part of the A344.

The reason given for the plans is to "improve the amenity of the area".

The proposals have met with opposition from various people and groups including Druid leader King Arthur Pendragon.

The inquiry, at Salisbury Rugby Football Club, is due to run until 5 October.

The inspector will then make recommendations to Wiltshire Council, which will make the final decision.

Druids and Pagans

Mr Pendragon is one of those due to give evidence at the inquiry.

He said the closure of the Netheravon Coach Road in Amesbury would prevent people from holding the three-day solstice and equinox celebrations.

"By prohibiting all people from celebrating at Stonehenge, Druids and Pagans would be disproportionately discriminated against, since the solstices and equinoxes have particular significance for our beliefs," he said.

An earlier inquiry into plans by English Heritage to close the main road east of Stonehenge and return it to grass was held in June.

English Heritage wants to stop traffic from travelling close to the stones and "restore the dignity" of the World Heritage Site by closing the A344.

The report has been submitted to the Secretary of State for Transport, who will make a final decision.

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