A344 road (England)

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A344 road shield

A344 road
A344 passing close by Stonehenge prior to closure
Route information
Length: 2 mi (3 km)
Major junctions
east end: Stonehenge
  A303 A303 road
A360 A360 road
west end: Airman's Cross
Location
Primary
destinations
:
Stonehenge
Road network

The A344 was an A road in the English county of Wiltshire. It ran from its junction with the A303 road at Stonehenge north west to its junction with the A360 road, 2 miles (3.2 km) away.

A344 was once part of a longer route, stretching from Andover in the East to Warminster in the West. The section from Andover to Amesbury was redesignated as the A303, when the new route to the south west was created to bypass the A30 to the south. The western section, from Shrewton to Warminster has been re-classified as the B390.[1]

The remaining section passed close to Stonehenge. In July 2012 work began on a £27m project which involved the closure and grassing over of A344 between Stonehenge Bottom and the monument, with the pedestrian underpass beneath the road being filled in.[2] This section of road was eventually closed in June 2013.[3] The new Stonehenge visitors' centre at Airman's Corner (or Airman's Cross) opened in December 2013.

Vehicle traffic on the remaining section of the A344 is now restricted to mostly shuttle buses providing transport from the visitors' centre to the monument.The shuttle bus service found it could not cope with demand during the fourth weekend after opening. Long queues developed and many visitors choose to walk to the Stones rather than wait for the buses. [4]

Therefore, the A344 is no longer a road open to public vehicular access. As the closure of the section between Airman's Cross and Byway 12 was by means of a traffic regulation order prohibiting motor vehicles, this section still remains a public highway.

A memorial to Major Alexander William Hewetson, of the 66th Battery Royal Field Artillery, stands besides the old A344 at Fargo Wood, west of Stonehenge. Major Hewetson was killed in a flying accident on July 17th 1913.

Old A344 at Stonehenge, closed in 2013 and 'grassed over' (taken Dec 2013).
memorial to Major Alexander William Hewetson.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Milestone southwest of Chitterne". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "Stonehenge's £27m makeover will end its days as a traffic island". The Guardian. 11 July 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "permanent road closure work begins". Stonehenge. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  4. ^ BBC News report "'Be patient' plea over new Stonehenge visitors' centre". Retrieved 14 January 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°10′58″N 1°50′25″W / 51.1827°N 1.8404°W / 51.1827; -1.8404