Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Since I am the author (with Caroline Malone) of Stonehenge published by Oxford University Press, I keep an eye on what's happening with the site. The newest, during the 2nd week of the public inquiry, is that the proposal to run a land train as part of the plans for a new L67.5m Stonehenge visitors center would be too "intrusive."

The aim is to use the train to transport tourists from the visitors centre to within walking distance of the ancient stones. But the chairman of the Stonehenge Alliance, George McDonic, said the trains would conflict with both
national and international policies that seek to protect the landscape around the World Heritage site.
Mr McDonic said the development should not begin until the planning authority had been given full details of the land train shelters to be built at the drop-off areas. He also said he did not have an alternative transport solution, instead suggesting the matter should go back to public consultation.
Archaeologist Dr Kate Fielden gave evidence about the effect the land train would have on the location. She said: "Operating in the north-eastern part of the site, it will be both visibly and audibly intrusive, particularly at King Barrow Ridge. The exceptional views will become further damaged by modern intrusions, such as the A303, which already impinges." She added that financial considerations seemed to be more important to English Heritage than what was best for the World Heritage site and that the current site was better for dispersal into the surrounding landscape.

Source: Salisbury Journal (15 December 2006)


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