The Stonehenge World Heritage Site is under threat from a major £1.6bn road building scheme. This is part of a UK Government plan to spend at least £2 billion on widening the A303 to the South West. The dual carriageway would cross the the iconic Stonehenge World Heritage Site (WHS) in a short tunnel within a landscape that is considered “the most archaeologically significant land surface in Europe without parallel”. The WHS is 5.4km (3.4 miles) wide (see map below) but the proposal is for a 2.9km (1.8 mile) tunnel.
The massive tunnel portals and deep cuttings would cause irreparable damage to the WHS in breach of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention and ignores UNESCO’s firm advice.
We set up a petition in 2014 when the Chancellor’s budget for the scheme by Stonehenge was announced as part of a £15bn road investment fund. Since setting up the petition, we have learned more about the recently discovered Mesolithic site at Blick Mead. This has led us to consider that if Government insists on a tunnel under the WHS, it must be long enough to avoid the WHS and its setting altogether. This would be in line with planning policy and World Heritage Convention safeguards. We cannot change the wording of the petition but road widening without further damage to the WHS is clearly expressed in the petition and its justification.
For more background and details about the various bodies involved with the Stonehenge World Heritage Site and their positions link to: Stonehenge WHS & UNESCO, Department for Transport Feasibility Study, Highways England SW, English Heritage, Historic England, ICOMOS and ICOMOS UK, National Trust and other professional organisations.
Our response to the Highways England A303 Stonehenge consultation can be read here.
Our wider position on widening the A303 at Stonehenge
In common with others, the Alliance and its member organisations wish to see the tranquillity and appearance of the Stonehenge landscape improved. Continue reading…
Myth #1: “If you do not accept the short tunnel we might get something worse”
This note sets out issues associated with possible solutions for the A303 at Stonehenge that have been suggested by various organisations. Continue reading..
Myth #2: Increasing road capacity will relieve congestion”
We are mindful of widely accepted studies that relief of congestion or stimulation of the economy are insufficient justification in themselves for increasing road capacity. Continue reading…
Correspondence with Authorities
Copies of correspondence with ministers, officials and other authorities are stored here.
Parliamentary questions and answers
The following Parliamentary Questions about road building at Stonehenge were asked by Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb. Continue reading…
The Stonehenge Saga
The Stonehenge World Heritage Site has been threatened by road building and other major developments for over 20 years. Continue reading…
About The Stonehenge Alliance
The Stonehenge Alliance is a group of non-governmental organisations and individuals that seeks enhancements to the Stonehenge World Heritage Site (WHS) and opposes development that Continue reading…