COUNCILLOR Hatley and the Chantry Centre manager may be pleased to hear that the A303 past Stonehenge may be upgraded to a dual carriageway (Advertiser, November 14) but this is not such good news for any of the thousands who live within earshot of the A303 as the increased traffic will only worsen its already excessive level of road noise.
Also, at a time when yearon- year cuts of £90 million are being made to government funding for Hampshire County Council (HCC) and when government cuts are forcing a 20 per cent reduction in the number of police in Hampshire, is this the best way for the government to spend around £1 billion?
The HCC cuts in particular are seeing drastic reductions affecting the more vulnerable members of society, such as closure of care homes, cutbacks in subsidised bus routes and libraries, abolishment of community safety officers and scrapping of HCC-funded alarms for elderly people, as well as a large cutback in the roads budget, which will mean an even slower rate of patching up our local roads.
When one also considers cuts to housing benefit and the shortage of affordable homes it is our general community that is going to pay indirectly for holidaymakers to be able to get to the West Country slightly faster at peak times when they already have the M4 and M5 as a suitable alternative with less environmental impact.
The government should delay funding this A303 scheme until the nation is in less dire financial straits, and even then only when there is also a enough money to fund road noise reduction measures on the A303 past Andover, such as reduced speed limits and a low-noise road surface, as well as enough money to fund a tunnel under the whole of the World Heritage Site and not just past Stonehenge itself.
I hope our borough and local councillors will make clear their opposition to this proposal.
John Moon, Duck Street, Abbotts Ann