Monday, 30 September 2013

Good Spending

From the BBC

A new visitor centre at Stonehenge will open in time for the winter solstice, English Heritage has said.

The £27m project also includes grassing over the A334 alongside the ancient monument and closing another section of the busy road.

The visitor centre and museum will be located about a mile-and-a-half (2km) from the stones.

Visitors will be shuttled to Stonehenge by a little train, pulled by a Land Rover.

A few numbers: Stonehenge gets 1m visitors per year. Half of those are foreign tourists. So, over a couple of decades that's maybe £3/visitor to improve one of the biggest foreign draws. If they go home and tell their friends how great Stonehenge is and a few more of them come to the UK instead of elsewhere, it'll pay for itself. Heck, it might even pay for itself because people have a drink at the improved cafe rather than the rubbish that's there now.

Just thought I'd write this up because it's worth mentioning the rare-as-rocking-horse-shit occassion when I think that some extra government spending is worthwhile.

3 comments:

Mark Wadsworth said...

Ah, that's just what Stonehenge needed!

I don't go anywhere without a visitor centre, what's the point in going somewhere if you can't buy an overpriced tea and a fridge magnet and go to the loo?

Bonus points for siting it not too close to the stones themselves, although I think 2 kn is pushing it a bit too far. Behind the nearest hill would have done, and if there isn't one, then make one.

Kj said...

Cool. It makes it slightly more interesting than someting that is part rest-stop part ancient monument.

Bayard said...

"The £27m project also includes grassing over the A334 alongside the ancient monument and closing another section of the busy road."

Amazing! after, what, only 50 years they have realised that it's not a great hardship for motorists to go half a mile further down the A303 and turn right then left.
It would be a shame if the road was totally obliterated, though, seeing that it's been there about 2000 years.