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Roads to Nowhere

Campaigners pledge no compromise on Stonehenge road tunnel plans

21 October 2014
Any road development on the A303 through the Stonehenge World Heritage Site must be confined to tunnels that protect the whole site, says Campaign for Better Transport. 

Sian Berry, Roads and Sustainable Transport Campaigner said: 

"The case for significant road widening on the A303 is shaky at best, especially since improved links to the west of England by rail and coach are being sidelined within the Government's studies. 

"If any A303 road-building plan is revived, we will stand with the Stonehenge Alliance and other campaigners in saying there must be no compromise and no damage to the unique and precious heritage of Stonehenge and the wider World Heritage Site. 

"This means that any new roads must be placed in a bored tunnel extending for at least 4.5 km across the site. Shorter tunnels must be resisted, whatever the cost. Any compromise would be disastrous as it would mean the construction of large sections of dual carriageway amongst a wealth of archaeological remains, and across an irreplaceable landscape."

ENDS

For more information contact Chloë Darlington on 020 7566 6483 or 07984 773 468 or chloe.darlington@bettertransport.org.uk.

Notes

  1. Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).
  2. Campaign for Better Transport is part of the Stonehenge Alliance alongside alongside the Ancient Sacred Landscape Network, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Friends of the Earth, and RESCUE: The British Archaeological Trust. The group has recently written to the Secretary of State for Transport urging him to intervene and ensure only the longer tunnel options are considered: http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/blog/roads/131014_stonhence_alliance_letter
  3. A number of organisations including English Heritage and the National Trust have also responded formally to reports that the Government is about to announce proposal for a tunnel at Stonehenge http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/West-s-hopes-rise-A3030-upgrade/story-23266555-detail/story.html
  4. Proposals for Stonehenge are being drawn up as a result of the Department for Transport's 'Action for Roads' command paper, published in July 2013, which confirmed a new feasibility study to look at routes in the West of England https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/212590/action-for-roads.pdf
  5. Plans to widen the stretch of the A303 past Stonehenge to a dual carriageway have been forward several times in the past, with the most recent proposals shelved in 2007 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-500078/Ministers-shelve-plans-controversial-1-3-mile-tunnel-divert-traffic-Stonehenge.html
  6. Recent research has identified new sites in the wider Stonehenge area, the majority of them still to be analysed for their true significance: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/news/latest/2014/09/new-map-reveals-hidden-archaeology-of-stonehenge-10-09-14.aspx