Residents of Avebury and the Upper Kennet villages are confused. Very recently work was carried out on The Avenue (whilst it was closed) to create a hard standing lay-by. This has been done, the lay-by is there, but has it been finished? Whilst this new lay-by will be large enough for two cars (three if very small and at a squeeze) the works have already created damage to the stretch on the Avebury side of this new lay-by, where the verge has been removed and drivers are continuing to park there, which cuts up and damages the muddy verge even further.
The understanding – prior to the works – was that the lay-by would be somewhat larger. The belief was that it would be a three car lay-by, and finished to a high standard. So the question is – is this all? Is it really finished?
Immediately along from the new lay-by there is a short stretch (see pic below) where the verge has been raised. Maybe four-five metres at most, then (as noted above) the verge is flattened and that is where most of the cars will probably park, and this stretch extends maybe fifty metres. But this latter area is bounded by double yellow lines – so anyone parking there will be liable to receive a ticket. Frequently drivers claim that if they park on a verge, with the car fully inside the double yellow lines, they will be immune from prosecution. Not so, the yellow lines are an indication of the restriction and cover the area to the boundary of the verge – i.e. the fence. And Wiltshire Council have expressed their commitment to enforce these parking restrictions.
If the answer to the question ‘Is this all? Is it finished?’ is ‘no’ and further work will need to be carried out to add a larger section of lay-by, even to the three-car size, when will this take place? If it’s next week, then there could be a real problem as the A361 will be closed for resurfacing in a stretch between Beckhampton and Avebury Truslow with The Avenue as the designated diversionary route.
And this raises another issue – if the lay-by works are complete and no further work is planned, how will The Avenue be able to cope with the volume of diversionary traffic – HGV’s etc. – as the main A361 through Avebury is a very busy road for all categories of vehicle?
Any question to Wiltshire Council regarding roadworks, road closures or diversions creates an instant response of ‘visit the ‘one.network‘ website’. This site indicates that no more work is scheduled – below are screengrabs of all works planned and roads status for the next two weeks (commencing 27 September). These clearly state details of the roadworks and the use of The Avenue as the diversionary route. But even looking far further into the future, across the next twelve months, nothing is showing as planned works in The Avenue.