PLANS to divert lorries from a West Oxfordshire town along a road surrounded by ancient monuments have been attacked by a group which looks after the site.

The Rollright Trust, which looks after the Rollright Stones north of Chipping Norton, has described a plan to divert the heavy goods vehicles to a road running through the site as ‘bonkers.’

At a meeting of Oxfordshire County Council on Tuesday, November 5, councillors discussed plans to divert HGVs away from Chipping Norton town centre.

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This, it was agreed, would improve air quality and lead to less traffic congestion in the town.

Witney Gazette:

Chipping Norton town centre. Picture: Google Maps.

But the preferred diversion route would take lorries north of the town along the Rollright Road, which runs through the complex of ancient monuments.

There were also suggestions to widen the road into a large trunk road to cope with the higher volume of traffic.

George Lambrick, chairman of the Rollright Trust which owns and manages the site accused the council of ‘failing to appreciate that the key part of the road at the Rollright Stones is Warwickshire’s responsibility, not Oxfordshire’s.’

He said: “Just as national Government is set to spend £1.7 billion seeking to remove trunk road traffic from within 140m of Stonehenge, why are our local councillors even contemplating doing the exact opposite within less than 10m of the Rollright Stones? This is bonkers.”

Witney Gazette:

The Rollright Stones.

At the meeting on November 6, Chipping Norton town councillor Mike Tysoe addressed OCC as a public speaker.

He made an appeal to the council, asking them to consider the Rollright Road as the best alternative to divert HGVs away from Chipping Norton.

Mr Tysoe said the health of Chipping Norton’s residents had to be weighed up against the heritage left by their ancient ancestors, whom he suggested ‘would understand’ the need to divert the road.

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Mr Lambrick described the town councillor’s remarks as flippant, and emphasised the Rollright Stones were of national importance.

He added that neither the town council nor Oxfordshire County Council had discussed the idea to divert traffic along the Rollright Road with the Trust, or with English Heritage.

Witney Gazette:

Chipping Norton is plauged by large lorries according to local councillors. Picture: Google Maps.

Mr Lambrick said: “The councillors have statutory duties to conserve and enhance the Cotswolds, not trash one of its key landmarks. They should get on with finding sensible ways to tackle Chipping Norton’s traffic problems.

“Peddling this entirely discredited idea yet again is a complete waste of council tax payers’ money.”