By Chris Bradley
English Heritage has proposed that the road passing by Stonehenge should be closed. They feel that turning the road back to grass will preserve the site and restore the dignity of the most famous stone circle in the UK. However, there has been opposition to the move by a selection of people.
Chief Druid Arthur Pendragon is one of those that feels the move would not be good. He says that it would give English Heritage a monopoly on the site access. An inquiry is taking place, to look at the plans and see whether they will be practical. The proposal is to take away the current car park and visitors centre and lay that to grass. In order to do this they will put in a new roundabout and close part of the A344 and B3086 and improve the Longbarow Roundabout. These changes should help to ease traffic flow in the area thus not causing congestion due to the road closure. They feel that the intrusion of traffic near to the site compromises the landscape and they want to eliminate this.
However, Pendragon is very much on opposition to the scheme feeling that this will stop many people from being able to enjoy the area because it will be too costly for them to get near to the stones. Planning permission has already been granted for a new visitors centre to be built 1.5 miles from the site, allowing the existing one to be demolished eventually, as the first stage of the new plans.