The new Permissive Path at Stonehenge is finally open after a three-year delay waiting for the grass to grow strong enough to bear the weight of a few cyclists and pedestrians.
A group of pedestrians and cyclists from surrounding villages joined together to mark the re-opening of the route, accompanied by former Wiltshire councillor Ian West. He campaigned strongly against English Heritage for the path to be re-opened as specified in a planning agreement.
The right of way passes within a few feet of the Heal Stone and gives free access to the public. The path allows the public to use the old A344 road and the new path from Airman’s Corner roundabout to the A303 free of charge and without any passes.
“It allows you to take some beautiful photographs without having to have a local residents’ pass and then booking your appointment time along with other tourists,” said a jubilant Mr West. “The path opens up the old connection between Shrewton and West Amesbury, if you are brave enough to cross the A303, although the authorities deem it to be a safe crossing,” he added.
Horses are not permitted on the new path, which is part of the old road now grassed over, but they can go from the roundabout to By-Way 12, which passes close to the stones, to Larkhill in one direction and Druids Lodge in the other, free of charge and without passes. This opens up the access to the by-way and allows travel in both directions on horseback.