Traffic Delays On Horizon for Solstice
18 June 2014, 12:10 | Updated: 20 June 2014, 11:23
The Highways Agency is warning drivers to expect delays on the A303 around Stonehenge on Friday and Saturday, as around 35,000 people flock to the Wiltshire monument for the summer solstice.
The build-up to the annual celebration, which marks the dawning of the longest day, will begin at 7pm on Friday evening (20th June) and, following sunrise, last until 8am the next day.
Mark Arberry, a Project Manager at the Highways Agency, tells Heart months of planning with Wiltshire Police, Wiltshire Council and English Heritage has gone into preparing for the event:
"We've put in place additional traffic management measures. There will be a 40mph speed limit, signage, additional parking areas, and a bus service laid on from Salisbury.
"The police and the Highways Agency have set up a tactical room in the area to monitor the situation.
"We also ask people to adhere to the parking restrictions. You will be prosecuted if you park in places, where you shouldn't.''
Meanwhile, drivers not going to the solstice who get stuck in queues are being told not to be tempted to take satnav diversions:
"The main message is if you're travelling on the A303, stay on the A303, and just allow a bit of extra time to get through the area."
Wiltshire Police also say that surrounding roads like the A360 and A345 will be busy as well, which is why the force is urging people to use trains and buses.
Superintendent Gavin Williams says: "As solstice occurs at the start of the weekend this year, we anticipate higher numbers of people attending and therefore more vehicles in the area.
"Parking is limited at the site [and] vehicles will be turned away once the available space has been filled. Any vehicles parked illegally will be dealt with appropriately.
"English Heritage have conditions of entry to the event and we ask that those attending adhere to these conditions. Officers with passive drugs dogs will be working at the event and amnesty bins will be available.
"If anyone has any concerns on the night they should speak to a police officer or a steward. Our priority is to ensure that Solstice 2014 is a safe and peaceful event and we hope that everyone attending enjoys the celebrations."
For more information on the Solstice Bus Service, and to see pictures of last year's event, click the links above right.