Economy

Stonehenge road upgrade route revealed

Stonehenge road upgrade route revealed”

Time Team presenter Tony Robinson has attacked the Government's decision to give the go-ahead for a 1.8-mile road tunnel near Stonehenge.

The Stonehenge tunnel will remove the traffic blight on local communities and reconnect two halves of the 2,630 hectare World Heritage site which is now split by the road, say government officials.

The A303 is often gridlocked near the landmark, causing frustration for holidaymakers heading to and from the South West and disrupting visits to the site.

It will support economic growth and tourism in an area where congestion and slow journeys have long had a negative impact on the region's economy.

Further information can be found on the Highways England website.

Grayling said: "This major investment in the south-west will provide a huge boost for the region and unlock growth in the tourism industry".

The government has announced that the long-awaited plan to upgrade the A 303 past Stonehenge will use a tunnel past the historic monument.

In a statement the alliance said: 'The proposed tunnel would leave some 2.5km of four-lane expressway, substantially in cuttings, well within the WHS with very serious implications for the Mesolithic site of Blick Mead, as well as a number of sites of the Neolithic and Bronze Ages for which the WHS designation was given'.

Highways England said that before the consultation there was no clear preferred bypass option for Winterbourne Stoke but the responses "have helped us decide that the northern route is the preferred option".

But campaigners called for a major re-think, warning the road scheme could threaten Stonehenge's place on the list of World Heritage Sites.

He said: "Archaeologists have understood over the last 10 to 15 years that Stonehenge isn't a monument, Stonehenge is a landscape".

"What's happened is that the Department for Transport is literally driving a thousand coaches and horses through the World Heritage Site".

It added: 'Upgrading the A303 between Amesbury and Berwick Down into high quality dual carriageway will be good for the people and businesses of the South West and for the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site.

Kate Fielden, of the alliance, said: "We are shocked at Highways England's indifference to Unesco's advice".



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