Residents Object to Land Train Route
from the Salisbury Journal and Avon Advertiser, 5th Jan 04
Full article (thisiswiltshire.co.uk)
Residents living on the edge of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site have accused heritage bosses of placing more importance on life 4,000 years ago than the quality of life of today's inhabitants who live close to the ancient stones.
People living in Fargo Road and Strangways, near Larkhill, say English Heritage and the National Trust plan to remove "20th century clutter" from the site but will be replacing them with "21st century clutter".
The accusations were made at a public meeting in Figheldean last week, when English Heritage and the National Trust revealed their plans for the multi-million-pound Stonehenge visitor centre and the revolutionary land trains that will ferry tourists to and from the stones.
Residents living in Fargo Road and Strangways were notified just before Christmas that English Heritage and the National Trust had chosen their preferred route.
Drop-off points containing just a shelter will be at strategic points along the route and, once at the terminal, visitors will have a ten-minute walk along a bridleway to the stones. The bridleway will be upgraded, so that it can be used by disabled visitors and people in wheelchairs.
The route the land trains will travel goes within 50m of the backs of houses in Fargo Road and Strangways but tree-screening and fencing will help obscure the trains from the houses, said Mr Maloney.
Jane Danser, of English Heritage who is based in Salisbury, assured those present they would meet residents in the New Year individually or as a group, to talk over concerns.
Penny Worboys, who lives in Fargo Road, said the plans for Stonehenge only replaced 20th century clutter with 21st century clutter.
She said: "There are no land trains or tracks there now, no visitor centre. They are being introduced. You are putting something at the back of our houses that is not there now."
Residents were told that, on peak days, up to six land trains an hour would operate. On other days, there were likely to be between two or three an hour but during the winter months perhaps only one an hour.
Residents suggested that the land train route be sunk into the ground slightly, to reduce the impact, and they asked that any screening be as close to the route as possible, to maximise its effect.
Mr Maloney promised that all suggestions made at the meeting would be looked at and discussed further with local people in the new year, prior to the planning application.
The ministry has not yet agreed to sell the land it owns near Larkhill which is needed for the land train route.
Posted by Rhiannon
6th January 2004ce
Edited 10th February 2006ce