AN extra £5.5million to help transform the Stonehenge landscape was announced this morning. Should be enough to install a new coffee machine.
On a visit to the monument, Roads Minister Mike Penning said the government has agreed to give £3.5million to close the A344 junction with the A303 and improve the Long Barrow roundabout to cope with extra traffic.
The work will include resurfacing a mile-long stretch of the A303 with a ‘low noise’ road surface so visitors to the stones should not be able to hear the passing traffic.
Tourism and Heritage Minister John Penrose said English Heritage will be allowed to take £2million from its reserves to put towards the £27.5million it needs to move the visitor centre to Airman’s Corner and install a road train system to take visitors to the stones.
Chief executive Simon Thurley said the organisation is now just £3million short of its target and hopes to raise this from private sources such as trusts and charitable funds.
A public inquiry will be needed to authorise the permanent road closure.
But Dr Thurley said: “I am confident that we will be able to start work next year.”
If all goes well, English Heritage says the entire project could be completed by spring 2014.
Is it enough ?
Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website