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The Ridgeway

Ancient Trackway


Ridgeway under threat from high-speed rail link

Laura Barton, writing in the Guardian yesterday, reports on the route of the high-speed rail link that -

"At stake, too, is the preservation of the Ridgeway, Britain's oldest road — a pathway followed since prehistoric times by herdsmen, travellers and soldiers, running from Wiltshire, along the chalk ridge of the Berkshire Downs and on to the River Thames at the Goring Gap. It passes the stone circle at Avebury and the White Horse at Uffington, as well as Grim's Ditch, Wayland's Smithy and Barbury castle. It runs, too, right down Wendover high street, past the clock tower, built in 1842 and now repurposed as the visitor centre, then out towards Wendover woods. There is an ancient feel to this land, something rich and deep and solemn."

More here –
Littlestone Posted by Littlestone
21st December 2010ce

Comments (5)

Sorry to be argumentative Littlestone, but do you really think the ridgeway is under particular threat by this? The map seems to show that there's already a railway there
Ok so maybe people don't want a new train line through the english countryside, especially lovely tory-governed english countryside. The article invokes all these super places on the ridgeway that are nowhere near the line of the railway. I used to commute by rail though I admit I don't at the moment, but on balance isn't it good that money's being put into public transport to get people off the roads?
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
21st December 2010ce
Yes, as you say Rhiannon there is already a line in existance; the time saved on the journey between Birmingham and London seems to be only half an hour.

I don't think the Ridgeway is under threat as if the railway went ahead there would almost certainly be tunnels under it - which by its nature is on higher ground. However, it may be tempting to give in to a certain amount of schadenfreude as the line will cut through Conservative heartlands. The Conservatives will pass into history but the countryside will pass to the future and should be protected for prosterity. If there is already a line, I question the need to cut through another one - especially if the time saved per journey is only 30 minutes (though yes, a lesser evil than a new motorway or new airport runways which seems to be the justification).
Why doesn't everyone just Slow Down ... this frantic need for high speed baffles me.
tjj Posted by tjj
21st December 2010ce
Glad though I am to see investment in railways, the choice of project seems baffling. I can't help feel the money would be better spent actually extending the network a little. There are still huge swathes of the country that are entirely inaccessible via train thanks to Beeching. Posted by Mustard
22nd December 2010ce
Just in case this drifts too far off topic you might be interested in the comments here - Littlestone Posted by Littlestone
22nd December 2010ce
Part of me wants to return to a Britain with a few hundred thousand people, wandering around with a flint fishing barb, bow and arrow for bigger game, and a stone axe for chopping trees.

Other parts need to get around fast
Posted by greybeard
28th December 2010ce
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