Mike Bowden CEng.MIMechE, an octogenarian campaign supporter, shared his exchange with Highways England about their Supplementary Consultation.
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Re: Highways England response – Your enquiry about the A303 Stonehenge – ref 0808180
15 August 2018
Dear Heather Price,
On 15 Aug 2018, at 11:10, A303Stonehenge <A303Stonehenge@highwaysengland.co.uk> wrote:Dear Mr BowdenThank you for your email of 8 August in relation to the supplementary consultation for the A303 Stonehenge scheme.I’m sorry to hear that you’re concerned your previous consultation response was ignored, and I’d like to assure you that this isn’t the case.We’re still continuing to review and refine the scheme proposals, taking into consideration the feedback we’ve already received and the results of ongoing surveys and assessments. For now, we have identified those changes on which we would welcome further views before determining what we take forward as part of our application for development consent. We’re still assessing the merits of other potential changes and have enough feedback from the earlier consultation to inform our consideration.We’ll be publishing a report on both consultations, setting out the feedback received and our response to the feedback, when we submit our application for development consent to the Planning Inspectorate later this year.I hope this has provided some reassurance, and thank you again for taking the time to contact us. If you have any further questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 0300 123 5000 or email A303Stonehenge@highwaysengland.co.uk.Kind regardsHeather Price, A303 Stonehenge Correspondence OfficerHighways England | Temple Quay House | 2 The Square | Temple Quay | Bristol | BS1 6HAWeb: www.highways.gov.ukWe’d love to get your feedback about our reply to you today, simply click here to complete our short survey.
From Mike Bowden
Re: A303 Stonehenge scheme – Supplementary consultation on proposed updates
Dear Mr Parody,
Response to Highways England’s A303 Stonehenge Consultation 2018
Response to Highways England’s A303 Stonehenge Consultation 2018
I have seen the CPRE paper on the scheme.
I am sure you will receive lots of comments on the major flaws of the scheme, but I approach it from a different viewpoint based on experience which only octogenarians like myself can have.
I make two points.
First, in the 1950’s I regularly cycled along the A303 (and the A360) past Stonehenge. I saw it in the morning mist when I could almost hear the clank of roman armour as a legion passed by. I saw it as the sun set and imagined neolithic gatherings and celebrations. No cars, no people, just nature and history. Occasionally I would divert and touch the stones (as you could do) to feel the magic of the place. I and my peers were very lucky as this atmosphere has been lost as traffic and commercial activity increased.
I have passed it many times since by car and it still evokes wonder but not to the same depth. Two years ago my wife and I spent a whole day walking to the extremities of the extended site to see some of the later discoveries.
Second, This is such a unique and important world site with many, as yet, uncovered secrets, that only vandals would propose cutting through. Do we, as a country, really want to be branded as barbarians who degrade and despoil a unique international treasure?
Third, Look to the future. We are guardians of our origins and protector of the future for our children. Have some spirit and vision of what the future could hold if only you are bold enough. Stonehenge is of vastly more value than the cheapest easement of a traffic problem.
Return the problem to the political and public sphere to seek support for a long term solution that will not degrade Stonehenge and, most importantly, the surroundings. Aim to re-establish that quiet peacefulness that I experienced.
As a minimum solution look to take ALL traffic out of sight and sound of the stones. Something like a loop on the general line of Bulford – Larkhill – Shrewton – Mere, then close the A303 past the stones completely. It will cost more but the country can afford it and there will be praise all round.
Better still, move all the facilities (except loos) at least a mile away. Transport to the site by electric vehicle, walk or cycle. No cars, no bustle. Make the site available early morning and evenings when the atmosphere is best.
M. J. Bowden.
On 17 Jul 2018, at 09:32, A303Stonehenge <A303Stonehenge@highwaysengland.co.uk> wrote:Dear Sir or MadamEarlier this year you contributed your feedback to our consultation on improving the A303 past Stonehenge, between Amesbury and Berwick Down. We’ve been using the feedback we received to further develop our plans.From this, we’ve identified three changes on which we would welcome your views before we submit our application to build the scheme.These are:– To remove the previously proposed link between Byways 11 and 12 in the Stonehenge World Heritage Site– To widen the green bridge proposed near the existing Longbarrow roundabout– To move the proposed modification to Rollestone crossroads.A number of people also asked us to clarify our public rights of way proposals along the scheme, so we’re taking this opportunity to do this.Supplementary consultation on the proposed changes runs from 17 July 2018 to 14 August 2018.
You’re welcome to view all the latest documentation and submit your feedback on the scheme online. We’ve updated the scheme website and consultation page.We look forward to hearing your views.Kind regardsDerek Parody, Project DirectorHighways England | Temple Quay House | 2 The Square, Temple Quay | Bristol | BS1 6HA
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