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Archaeology Matters

Stonehenge plans announced

The Government has announced plans to upgrade a seven-mile single carriageway stretch of the A303 near Stonehenge in Wiltshire into a dual carriageway.

The single carriageway section of the A303 currently runs alongside the stones and the Government’s proposed option is “to construct a 1.8 mile dual carriageway tunnel to improve journey times, remove the sight and sound of traffic and enhance the world heritage site”.

The Stonehenge consultation has been launched today to offer an opportunity to view the proposals and meet the project team.

The consultation runs between 12 January and 5 March. Following the consultation, the preferred route will be announced later in 2017 and will be subject to the completion of statutory procedures for development consent.

The Council for British Archaeology has been following the development of plans for the A303 with interest over many years and members agreed a position statement, including a revised set of Cardinal Principles for the management of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site at the CBA’s 2016 AGM last November in anticipation of today’s announcement.

CBA Director, Dr Mike Heyworth MBE, said:

“We will assess the Government’s latest proposals for the A303 around Stonehenge against the Cardinal Principles in our position statement, as agreed by our members last year. These proposals are the latest in a long-running saga, but need to be considered carefully as any damage to the internationally significant prehistoric landscape around Stonehenge is irreversible. CBA trustees will consider the proposals in detail before reaching a conclusion.”

Full details of the “Stonehenge saga” and the CBA’s principles are available in our campaign pages.

Map from the consultation document showing the proposed route of the tunnel.
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