Wiltshire

Thousands using Stonehenge village rat-runs, survey suggests

A303
Image caption Up to 1,700 drivers a day are cutting through villages around Stonehenge to avoid traffic jams on the A303, the survey suggests

Thousands of drivers a day are cutting through villages near Stonehenge, to avoid traffic jams on a main road, a Wiltshire Council survey suggests.

Between 1,000 and 1,700 extra vehicles a day cut through villages in the summer, to avoid using the congested A303 route, figures show.

Shrewton, Larkhill and Bulford were the worst affected villages.

In 2013 the A344, which runs past Stonehenge, was shut. The council denied the closure made traffic worse.

Ms de Rhe-Philipe, cabinet member for strategic transport at Wiltshire Council, said: "We have been working very hard to press the government to make sure the whole of the A303 is improved and dualled - particularly past Stonehenge," she said.

"We can look at possible weight restrictions in various places and possible re-signage but the immediate problem is not going to go away until that road is fixed."

'Made a mistake'

In 2013, the A344 was shut as part of a £27m to restore Stonehenge's "dignity".

Since its closure, residents of nearby villages claim there has been an increase in drivers using their villages as cut-throughs.

In the spring, a 10-day survey was carried out and repeated in August, using cameras at 15 monitoring sites.

"It's taken from February until now - November - to prove something we already knew," said councillor Ian West, for Till and Wylye Valley.

"I hope Wiltshire Council will sit up and say we made a mistake and we're going to help you [the community]."

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