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Avebury & the Marlborough Downs



Avebury byways becoming impassable ...

... Rogue 4x4 drivers are blamed.

AVEBURY is leading the charge to get damaged byways fixed and protected.
Routes around the village, and the nearby ancient historic site of Windmill Hill are now so badly damaged that they have become impassable.
Rogue 4 x 4 enthusiasts - some who travel from as far afield as Germany to drive some of Wiltshire's 695km of by ways - are being blamed for the damage.
The campaign is being supported by the countryside charity CPRE. Anne Henshaw, the Wiltshire representative said:

"I am trying to form a charity/community not for profit group of parishes and other interested parties to set up something similar to the Cotswold Warden scheme," she said.
This could see some of the byways closed to traffic at certain times of the year to protect them from heavy traffic use.
Stephen Stacey, chairman of Avebury Parish Council said:
"These by ways are for everyone's use, but the actions of a few selfish people have made them inaccessible.
"We would like interested parties like ramblers, horse and bike riders and other local authorities to work together, and perhaps work with Wiltshire Council to see if we can come up with a solution between us."
Some of the byways are so badly damaged that tree roots are exposed, and the ruts are more than two feet deep in places.
Solutions, he said, could include a volunteer force using council equipment and materials to make repairs as he says cut backs at Wiltshire Council are to blame for the disrepair.
tjj Posted by tjj
7th March 2020ce
Edited 7th March 2020ce

Comments (2)

"Cut backs at Wiltshire Council are to blame for the disrepair"! No mate, people driving along them in wet winter weather in their 4x4s are to blame for the disrepair. Byways aren't a free muddy version of Alton Towers - you don't have to go along them other than for fun, you're enjoying spinning up the mud and getting your vehicle out of the holes when it gets stuck. If they weren't muddy and full of potholes, where would be the point of taking your 4x4 along them? In comparison, ramblers, horse and bike riders are contributing very little to the poor state of those tracks. Just close the tracks to 4x4s for a few months a year, don't pussyfoot about. My council tax is stretched thinly enough as it is, and if there's road repairs to be done, I'd rather it was on the main roads that 1000s of people drive along to get to work and school and wherever. Call me a killjoy, Indignant of Wiltshire. Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
8th March 2020ce
I agree with all of that, except for the bit about horse riders. Metal-shod hooves can cause a huge amout of damage to a fragile surface, because the downward pressure from each step is much greater than from a tyre (where the pressure is spread more evenly). There's no doubt that 4x4s cause the most damage, but you shouldn't underestimate how much damage horses can cause when the conditions are wet and muddy. thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
8th March 2020ce
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