Campaign launched to make Rollright Stones safer

The Rollright Stones speeding problem. Right, Mark Morris and left, Robin Smitten. NNL-150929-172256009
The Rollright Stones speeding problem. Right, Mark Morris and left, Robin Smitten. NNL-150929-172256009

The Rollright Trust is launching a bid to put a halt on speeding drivers passing along the historic Rollright Stones.

The number of visitors to the site has grown significantly in the last few years, including groups of about 90 primary school children at a time.

Although Warwickshire County Council has now reinstated pedestrian warning signs, the need for visitors to cross the unclassified road between the A44 and A3400 has become an increasingly serious concern.

Robin Smitten, trust member, said - ‘We believe we have widespread support for what we are proposing and look forward to working with the highways authority, local councils, conservation and community bodies and neighbours to take this forward.

“The Rollright Stones was a bit of a hidden monument for some time but now it is getting more and more popular. It was only busy on certains times but now every good weekend we are seeing people come here. It helps a lot but consequently we get the parking problems.”

The site only has a small car park that can hold between ten to 12 cars, with other vehicles having to use the verges and sides of the unclassified road on which the Rollright Stones are located.

West Oxfordshire District Council deferred an initial application to allow the trust to build a car park for 80 vehicles earlier this month and district councillors will make a site visit today (Thursday).

Members added they are encouraged by the council’s support but raised concerns about the road, which has a national speed limit and used by schooldchildren on site visits.”

Mr Smitten said: “From our point of view it is an accident waiting to happen. We have got lots of schoolchildren who come to visit the site and one monument is actually across the road. It just brings to light how dangerous this road can be, and with cars parked along the verges it makes an already narrow road into a single-track road.

“All of the council agrees something should be done but because the road goes into Warwickshire we are hoping someone for their council can be present too. It is just trying to get everyone together to help solve the problem.”

Speaking on the application Sarah Withey, who lives in Hook Norton, added: “I am writing in support for the new parking area because it is so needed.

“The parking at the moment is on the main road and its dangerous, the speed that people drive through there is terrible.”