Extended closure period for vehicles along The Ridgeway near Avebury

2nd May 2018

A byway section of The Ridgeway near Avebury is closed to cars and motorbikes until 21st May due to wet weather making the surface vulnerable to damage. Usually at this time of year, the public would be allowed to drive on The Ridgeway between Overton Hill and Hackpen Hill. The first day of May is when this stretch usually re-opens after being closed over the winter (1st October to 30th April) under a seasonal Traffic Regulation Order.

However, in the last week of April this year, there was mud and standing water still on the Trail. Along this stretch, the Trail is already difficult for walkers, cyclists and horse riders to use due to extensive wheel ruts, so the closure to vehicles protects against further damage. Protection of this stretch is also important for the earthworks and below-ground archaeology associated with the Trail where it passes through a World Heritage Site.

With the Trail in poor condition, Wiltshire Council have made it illegal for the public to drive cars or motorbikes along the stretch from Green Street to Hackpen Hill for the next three weeks. This initial closure may be extended by another 21 days if the council considers it necessary.

Notices and maps have been put up on The Ridgeway to inform the public about the closure and about an alternative route. Connecting byways have also been closed to vehicles so that drivers do not reach a dead-end at The Ridgeway. Emergency vehicles and landowners are allowed ‘essential’ access. Further details can be sought from Wiltshire Council: http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/news/articles/byway-closed-to-aid-ridgeway-recovery

Bridget Wayman, Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member for highways, said: “We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and would like to thank the public for their understanding and co-operation.”

Walkers, horse riders, cyclists and carriage drivers are not affected by this closure order and so can continue to use the Trail.

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