Avebury Parish Council has welcomed plans to create a strategy to manage the influx of Summer Solstice revellers next year.

Hundreds of vehicles and thousands of people packed on to the Ridgeway for this year’s celebrations causing traffic and parking chaos along the A4.

Police blocked access to that section of the Ridgeway, but cars and vans parked along the A4 and in nearby villages and farm tracks.

Marlborough police say they took the difficult decision to prevent further access in order to maintain public safety and prevent potential damage to nearby farmland.

Despite the closure of the Ridgeway entrance, revellers made their way across fields instead.

“Our main concern now is to contribute what little we can to prevent a repetition of the mass incursion of the Ridgeway with over 400 vehicles and perhaps 1,000 people participating in a well-advertised ‘free festival’ ." said the Avebury Parish Council chair Stephen Stacey.

“This was a huge inconvenience to local residents not to mention the safety of passing traffic on the A4.

“We’ve learned that Cllr Richard Clewer has asked officers to prepare a strategy for next year, which is very encouraging, since the annual ad hoc countermeasures are hugely wasteful of scarce resource and seldom as effective as most residents reasonably want."

Villages in East Kennet and West Overton bore the brunt of the traffic at the annual event which has seen the solstice party scene shift in the past couple of years from the stone circle to the Ridgeway.

Locals, in part, blame the traffic cordon preventing any parking for at least a mile around the ancient site, effectively pushing the problem away from Avebury and to the surrounding villages.

Cllr Jane Davies said: “I understand why people wish to visit our world heritage sites to celebrate astronomical events, as did our ancestors. However, the Ridgeway and Avebury 5 paths both have irreplaceable archeaology which is being irreversibly damaged by vehicles and camping activities such as latrine digging and fires.

"There is also the disturbance of the natural environment, the location is part of the Marlborough Space for Nature, where partners are working hard on stabilisation and recovery for wildlife and biodiversity.

"June is the time when ground nesting birds are busy (with some rare ones are in this area) and there is risk of them abandoning their nests when disturbed, the verges of the byways are important wildlife refuges.

"The number of visitors has grown with over three hundred on the Ridgeway this year and many more vehicles parked on the verges of the A4. The police acted due to public safety concerns this year to close the Ridgeway. It is important we work together to balance the wishes of people with the need to protect archaeology and ecology.”