Life on the rat run: bank holiday blues


08 Jun 2021

We’ve heard from local people just how difficult travelling around the towns and villages near to the A303 past Stonehenge has been this bank holiday weekend. 

Life on the rat run: bank holiday blues

A local carer struggling to make crucial home visits to vulnerable and elderly patients, thanks to being stuck in traffic at a standstill through narrow local roads. 

Vehicles mounting pavements and overtaking dangerously. Residents having to hold their hands up to cross the road, or queueing 40 minutes to get onto the A303. 

A mum popping to the shops in Salisbury with her children stocking up on snacks and drinks for the car “just in case we’re there all night”. 

And these personal experiences are backed up by statistics. Let’s have a look at some facts and figures.  

Even on a non-holiday day, Shrewton experiences a lot of through-traffic as people often rat run through when the A303 near Stonehenge is blocked. Last Friday, in one hour, and only in one direction, the local traffic group registered 527 vehicles* – more than double the usual volume of traffic. 

If you look at the numbers of vehicles using the A303, then you can see why. Taking the figures from the same bank holiday Friday in 2019, about 20% more traffic was recorded approaching Countess roundabout heading west, but only 5% extra actually past Stonehenge itself. This reflects the reality of living in a small village near the A303 past Stonehenge. To some, the traffic is an inconvenience at holiday time. But for many local residents, it’s a constant consideration. And holiday days are harder than most – their small roads can be overwhelmed, making everyday life difficult.  

We already have some of these personal stories here on our website, so you can find out the impact the traffic has on businesses, on families, and on village life – all straight from the people who live there. 

If you’d like to share your own #StonehengeStory, we’d love to hear from you. It’s your experiences – the everyday inconveniences, the challenges and the risks in your daily lives – that we hope the A303 Stonehenge project can improve. 

* Data from Shrewton Community Speed Watch, 15.30 – 16.30 Friday 28 May, located at Meadway, counting traffic in one direction, going out of the village.