We are campaigning to stop the Government’s damaging proposal to widen the A303 trunk road where it crosses the iconic Stonehenge World Heritage Site (WHS). The world heritage at Stonehenge transcends any consideration of sorting out a 21st century part-time traffic jam.
WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE A303 STONEHENGE ROAD SCHEME?
For a start, the tunnel is too short and its infrastructure is vast. Where the A303 crosses the WHS is about 5.4 km across, whereas the Government proposes a short 3.3km tunnel past the stone monument only.
⇐Click on the map. If the road scheme were to go ahead it would spectacularly fail the integrity of the WHS.
⇓ Below are 9 sound reasons for scrapping the road scheme ⇓
1. LOSS OF WORLD HERITAGE
The Planning Inspectors recommended against the proposal saying that the scheme would introduce “a greater physical change to the Stonehenge landscape than has occurred in its 6,000 years as a place of widely acknowledged human significance.” If the road scheme went ahead UNESCO said the site could be inscribed on its list of World Heritage in Danger. READ MORE >
The whole Stonehenge landscape makes up a huge ancient complex that holds many secrets yet to be discovered. Far from ‘conserving and enhancing’ the WHS, as has been regularly claimed by the scheme promoters, the infrastructure would leave a far larger blot on the landscape than exists at present. READ MORE >
Stonehenge is more than a monument. It is a landscape packed with “not just hundreds but thousands, in fact millions of archaeological artefacts and other remains.” The damage to the archaeological landscape caused by the road scheme would be permanent and irreversible. Only a limited amount will be recovered and recorded. READ MORE >
National Highways identified 8 areas for improvement along the A303/A358 road corridor to tackle notorious traffic hotspots. To realise the Stonehenge scheme’s strategic benefits all 8 schemes must be completed. Only 3 schemes have been funded. The Stonehenge section will simply move you to the next traffic jam a few minutes faster. READ MORE >
The economic case has been much exaggerated. Even in 2016 the economic case was deemed ‘low’ before the heritage impact was criticised by the planning inspectors and UNESCO. At today’s prices the £2.5bn scheme no longer adds up, if in fact it ever did. READ MORE >
National Highways admit the scheme would increase carbon emissions by 2.5 million tonnes over its lifetime just when we need to rapidly reduce emissions. Carbon values are increasing and would affect the scheme’s precarious business case. These concerns were dismissed by National Highways. READ MORE >
Failure to consider alternatives was a key factor in the quashing of the A303 Stonehenge scheme in 2021. Yet there has been no attempt to produce alternatives though even the Secretary of State found the heritage impact to be “significantly adverse”. A package of alternatives is needed urgently. READ MORE >
The scheme would result in the loss of an inspiring view of the ancient stones. The view of Stonehenge from the A304, free to the passing public whether on foot, horse, cycle or in a motor vehicle, has been a touchstone for countless generations and is – in part – responsible for Stonehenge’s position as one of the most recognised ancient monuments in the world. READ MORE >
We believe the decision in July 2023 by Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, to approve the same scheme that had been quashed in 2021, to be unlawful. All that stands between Stonehenge and the contractors digging a tunnel is the legal challenge by Save Stonehenge WHS. They need to raise a further £11,000 to fight the court case. READ MORE >
DON’T WANT TO SEE A TUNNEL BORING MACHINE AT STONEHENGE?