Visitor Enhancement Project
Additional facilities were urgently required to manage the surge of annual visitors following the success of the recently completed visitor centre, with visitor numbers far exceeding predictions. The newly built infrastructure required expanding and reworking in order to smooth the processing and flow of the many hundreds of thousands of visitors travelling to see the Stones throughout the year.
In particular, large numbers of visitors arriving by coach required a new ancillary building providing access to group ticketing, audio guides and a generous WC provision to cater for many visitors arriving at once. In addition the coach park was significantly expanded and reordered to manage the high volume of vehicle movements.
The other significant part of the project was to accelerate and streamline the visitor’s access to the Stones located one and a half miles from the visitor’s centre.
The design team determined that a new shuttle vehicle would be required, along with new platforms and re-planned turning loops that together increased capacity and reduced waiting times.
The work here has naturally been closely scrutinised by Historic England due to its internationally significant archaeological setting and at the same time the design has had to satisfy the practical day to day requirements of the site team to ensure they can appropriately manage the demands of this popular destination.
Work was completed to programme which brought the first phase in to operation in time for the busy Easter holiday period. The later phases were completed as planned in the autumn, and the significant operational difficulties experienced during the busiest periods have now been successfully minimised.
Project Value: £2.4m
Completion: October 2017
Contractor: Knights Brown
Quantity Surveyor: Press & Starkey
Structural & Civil Engineering: Alan Baxter
Services Consultant: Martin Thomas Associates
Photography: Matthew Smith