March 2015: “If you do not accept the short tunnel we might get something worse” claimed National Trust and English Heritage. Read our statement here
8 February 2018: English Heritage published a ‘mythbusting’ item as part of a joint press release with their partners, National Trust and Historic England. We respond to each myth in our blog Busting the mythbusters.
NOTE: Since publishing the English Heritage page above with their mythbusters item we noticed that the item has been removed from that page. The copy has been pasted here.
6 March 2018: Highways England claims scheme will remove the bottleneck and reduce rat running. See answer to Myth 1. When one tunnel is closed increased traffic through a single tunnel will cause worse congestion than at present. No traffic management through the villages is planned. Diverted traffic will not be prevented from rat running.
Numerous examples in Highways England consultation material suggest that the scheme will ‘enhance Stonehenge’s Outstanding Universal Value’ or the ‘World Heritage Site’ as if the stone monument is the sum total of Stonehenge WHS. The Stonehenge Alliance has submitted evidence to the Select Committee on Fake News. Examples were given in our response to the consultation which are summarised here.
Stonehenge is not immune to fake news.
6 August 2020: The Stonehenge and the West Country Regeneration Myth from Heritage Action in Heritage Journal
According to English Heritage, Historic England, The National Trust, and Highways England, spending £2 billion pounds and wrecking our most iconic prehistoric landscape will regenerate the West Country. We beg to differ.
Average time to drive from Highways England’s Head Office in Guildford to St Ives now: 4 hours 36 minutes.
Average time to drive from Highways England’s Head Office in Guildford to St Ives post-tunnel: 4 hours 28 minutes.
Myth 11 – Highways England’s Fudges
23/12/2020Heritage Journal set out to counter “the facts behind some of the most common myths and misconceptions about the A303 Stonehenge scheme” claimed by Highways England in their fact checker. Five fudges qualify for the Heritage Journal Highways England double Talk Fact-checker fudge:
Fudge #1 – The tunnel is going under the Stonehenge “This is just not true”, says Highways England, conveniently overlooking that Stonehenge is in fact a 5.6 km wide UNESCO World Heritage Site and the proposed A303 tunnel within it is only 3km long.
‘Under Stonehenge’ conveniently omits reference to UNESCO’s ‘World Heritage Site’
Fudge #2 – “You’ll not be seeing bulldozers at Stonehenge”, says Highways England Only then to state: “the only equipment (above ground) in the World Heritage Site will be at the tunnel entrances and cuttings” – so we will be seeing bulldozers at Stonehenge!
Fudge #3 – Stonehenge will be damaged during construction “Again – not true”, says Highways England, conveniently overlooking a wide deep 1km long cutting to be excavated through a Beaker cemetery and remains of an Early Bronze Age settlement within the Stonehenge World Heritage Site.
Fudge #4 – We’ll lose the free view of Stonehenge “If you’re a driver, this is true,” says Highways England. Big of them. Passengers as well as drivers of upwards of 24,000 vehicles a day will lose the experience of encountering the free view of Stonehenge from the A303 forever.
Fudge #5 – The traffic is caused by people slowing down to look at the stones (just put a fence up instead) “A fence wouldn’t solve this and would damage those things that make the World Heritage Site special – creating a barrier, something we are trying to remove by placing the A303 in a 2-mile tunnel”, says Highways England.
Of all the fudged claims made by Highways England this is surely a contender for a prize – so a fence “would damage those things that make the World Heritage Site special – creating a barrier” but a tunnel and attached cuttings totalling 4.5km in a 5.6km wide World Heritage Site isn’t creating a barrier and damaging what makes this place special?
Myth 12 – The Stonehenge tunnel will allow nature to thrive
It already does. A female Great Bustard explores Stonehenge monument enclosure.
Myth 13 – The Stonehenge Tunnel will enable you to better enjoy the Stones
The Stones will remain roped off and visitors confined to the footpaths.
Myth 14 – The Stonehenge Tunnel scheme will remove the roundabout
Yes, only to replace it with a massive grade separated junction a little further south.
Myth 15 – Tens of thousands of vehicles will no longer thunder past every day
Tens of thousands of vehicles thundering past will be deprived of the most famous prehistoric monument in the world.