Do you recall that cry from the back seat- and when you had not covered the first half mile- of a 100 mile journey. Yes, its going to be a long trip. We still had to get to the motorway and then the famous A303 dual carriageway. In fact the road was only created on 1 April 1933 as an alternative to the A30 London to Exeter road
The late famous Terry Wogan talked about the traffic cone farm on the M6 and certainly we could see that that would be yet another cause for a delay. However there were no cones just a delay.-everybody doing the westbound trip.
First landmark Popham “airport”- the latter a little grand as its just a sloping grass field alongside the road. I’m told its an interesting place to land a plane- head for the petrol station and then a sharp right turn. However it has its place in world aviation thanks to James Ketchell who navigated around the world in an open cockpit gyrocopter
Next comes Thruxton race track
A friend told me how he went on a track day there and was able to make an S class Mercedes apparently dance from side to side as he kept a steady 70mph between cones that were carefully spaced. He also described reaching 127mph on a straight portion of the track before testing the ABS brakes to the limit and slowing to 30mph to navigate a chicane.
Are we there yet? is the call once again. So to continue onward, one returns to that the old favourite of how many lorries can you see? How cars that are green?- too clever just yet to ask for just the electric powered models although all the pointers are towards just that.
Then up and down the hills you go and Stonehenge appears.
It is a Unesco World Heritage site and apparently draws 1.5million visitors per year. So the fact that the road narrows from a dual carriageway to single carriage is entirely illogical
Just before the stones the road is a single lane in each direction. The arguments about a road tunnel at Stonehenge have been around for many years.
Here is a link to a BBC article which discusses the plan for a tunnel. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-46465416
I remember however when the bank holiday sport was to queue on the Winchester Bypass or for the Hindhead traffic lights. The A33 Winchester bypass was completed in 1940 however it was only in 1994 that the M3 finally replaced it. So road building is not a fast process.
As you wait for your turn its a good chance to observe the behaviour of your fellow drivers. Some politely wait in the left lane. Others ignore the merge left signs until the last minute and then force-ably try and come and join the left lane. Others see a gap on the right and try and move forward in that lane. Sometimes the leapfrog a few cars before having to come back to join the left lane they left.
For my part as one crawls past I use the delays as chance to peer at the 4000 year old stones.
And then we get to Stonehenge. The history and theories about it are fascinating.
The monument is famous for it being aligned for the summer solstice sunrise and sunset. However if you are not a member of the druids its probably worth avoiding on those dates as the crowds and delays are significant.
Its worth visiting the site if your can. One does wonder what our ancestors would have made of some of the issues of today.
Did they have an overarching administrative structure? and did they resent that or did they follow the rules?
What did they make of the Romans when they arrived.
See my next post which is designed to translate this topic into the current issues of the day- Brexit and Europe