13 March 2009
The Guardian newspaper printed this letter, below, on 13 March 2009:
John Vallins' Country diary (10 March) paints an evocative picture of the beauty of the Wellhead Valley, a "tranquil place of resort" for local people and "a habitat for rare species of bat, for dormice, otters and barn owls". It is also, of course, the setting for the Westbury white horse. Mark Wallinger's wonderful proposal for a white horse at Ebbsfleet has been rightly praised. But we can also celebrate our existing white horses. How extraordinary, then, that Wiltshire council is intent on destroying its setting by building a bypass. The proposed road will add to traffic, pollution and carbon, and destroy much of the tranquillity Vallins celebrates. It can only be justified in terms of traffic management if more new roads follow - and even then, not for long, as new roads encourage new traffic. Damaging local road schemes are planned across the country, but this philistine scheme is surely one of the worst. Let's hope it is rejected by the public inquiry.
Shaun Spiers,Campaign to Protect Rural England