Stonehenge road tunnel given the green light

Alice Durrans, 13.01.2017
Campaigners fear the tunnel would destroy the beauty of Stonehenge
Transport secretary Chris Grayling has approved plans for a 1.8 mile dual-carriageway tunnel to be built alongside the Stonehenge heritage site.

The development is part of a £2bn government scheme to upgrade the remaining sections of the A303, which is known for its bad traffic.

However the plan to build the tunnel, which would see a section of the road widened between Amesbury and Berwick Down, has raised fears that the Stonehenge landscape would be spoilt.

The Stonehenge Alliance, which is involved in the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said the road widening for the tunnel would cause substantial damage to the site.

 “The recent archaeological discoveries around Stonehenge underline the obvious importance of safeguarding the whole of this ancient landscape for future generations," said George McDonic, the chairman of the alliance.

"We have been greatly encouraged by worldwide support for our campaign."

However, English Heritage and the National Trust, who run the site, have approved the plans proposed by the government.

A statement issued by Historic England, English Heritage and the National Trust said: “We are looking at the detail of the consultation document and potential tunnel scheme, and will be providing our responses in due course. We encourage others to take part in the public consultation and have their say.”

Grayling has argued that the tunnel would remove traffic, and therefore enhance the Stonehenge site. 

“It will also boost the economy, linking people with jobs, and businesses with customers – driving forward our agenda to build a country that works for everyone and not just the privileged few," Grayling told the Guardian.

A public consultation on the development will run until March.

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