Tunneling the A303 at Stonehenge is the sensible option – John Glen

29 04 2014

Salisbury’s MP says he’ll keep pushing for traffic problems on the A303 next to Stonehenge to be sorted out once and for all.

John Glen’s told Spire FM that there’s only one logical solution:

“There will be enormous battles between environmentalists, locals who want a Article imagesolution to the issue and the National trust who are the land owner around Stonehenge, and a Tunnel will be the safest option to please everyone.”

The Government’s now started a new feasibility study to look into the possible options and are due to make an announcement in the Autumn.

Mr Glen has a message for the Government as they look into what happens next:

“If I was a transport minister, and I wanted to improve transportation links to the South West; which have been particularly important given what we’ve seen happen over this last winter, then I would need to be pretty sure that any measures I put in place, would avoid there being a bottleneck at Stonehenge.”

Meanwhile, ideas to tunnel part of the A303 past Stonehenge have been described as ‘jumping the gun’ by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

Kate Fielden from the Wiltshire branch of the CPRE is also secretary of the Stonehenge Alliance – she says there are mixed views on the issue at the moment:

“At the present time, the Stonehenge Alliance feels that there is insufficient evidence to show that it would be justified. I do know though, and the CPRE recognises, that there are problems at Stonehenge, especially at weekends and at holiday times. That’s becoming intolerable really for local people.”

Kate also says the local habitat is key and therefore a tunnel could work:

“It’s difficult when you live close by something to stand back and realise that this whole site is something that is considered internationally to be of the highest significance. I think we have to take the bull by the horns and do a proper job if that is the job that has to be done. It would be completely unthinkable to dual that road on the surface.”

Link sourc: http://www.spirefm.co.uk/news/local-news/1268711/tunneling-the-a303-at-stonehenge-is-the-sensible-option—john-glen/

Stonehenge News Blog

Stonehenge tunnel plans could be revived

25 04 2014

Tunnel beneath Stonehenge could be reconsidered as part of plans to ease traffic congestion

Plans for a 1.3 mile road tunnel beneath the site and bypass have been proposed before but were dropped in 2007 due to the estimated £470 million cost

Plans for a 1.3 mile road tunnel beneath the site and bypass have been proposed before but were dropped in 2007 due to the estimated £470 million cost Photo: ALAMY

Plans to build a road tunnel under Stonehenge could be revived as the Government looks to ease bottlenecks on some of Britain’s most congested stretches of road.

A study to be completed this summer will consider whether a dual carriageway or underground tunnel could solve the traffic problem caused by drivers slowing down to admire one of Britain’s most famous world heritage sites.

Plans for a 1.3 mile road tunnel beneath the site and bypass have been proposed before but were dropped in 2007 due to the estimated £470 million cost.

Yesterday, the Government outlined detailed plans for a “feasibility study” which will examine all possibilities for easing congestion along the route.

It pledged to deliver its final proposals in this year’s Autumn Statement along with the findings of five similar road-widening proposals on the A27 corridor, the A47 between Peterborough and Great Yarmouth, Trans-Pennine routes and two areas of the A1 around Newcastle.

Countryside campaigners attacked the plans which they claimed would scar beauty spots by laying extra tarmac along stretches of land which have remained untouched since Roman times.

Plans to widen the A27 include parts of the South Downs, Britain’s newest national park, while parts of the Norfolk Broads national park and the Northumberland coast could be affected under plans for the A47 and A1, they said.

The A303/A30/A358 corridor, which forms the main route from London to the south west, was highlighted by ministers last summer as one of six areas where solutions were urgently needed for the country’s most “notorious and long standing” congestion hot spots.

The A303 in particular is frequently gridlocked during summer weekends at a number of points where the dual carriageway narrows to a single lane, bringing holiday traffic to a standstill.

The feasibility study will “look to initially build on work done to date on potential proposals” rather than drawing up new solutions, beginning several plans for new stretches of dual carriageway including a 12km passage from Amesbury to Berwick Down (Stonehenge).

But the study will also “draw upon” work from a range of other projects including historic plans to tunnel beneath the prehistoric monument, with sources insisting all options are on the table.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England said several of the spots under examination, including Stonehenge, are only congested at certain times of year and do not merit major development.

Ralph Smyth, senior transport campaigner for the CPRE, said: “The traffic [at Stonehenge] hasn’t increased in the last 10 years and it does not justify the huge cost of a tunnel.”

A long tunnel would at least be preferable to a dual carriageway at the surface, which could cause the historic site to lose its world heritage status, he added.

Last month John Glen, Conservative MP for Salisbury, said a tunnel was the “only realistic” solution to protect Stonehenge while solving traffic problems which he said had turned the stretch into the “devil’s highway”.

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said the six studies would “develop solutions to some of the most notorious and  long-standing hot spots on the national road network.”

An English Heritage spokesman said: “We want to make certain the necessary improvements to the A303 are delivered in a way that will ensure the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site.”

By , Transport Correspondent: Full article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/road-and-rail-transport/10783496/Stonehenge-tunnel-plans-could-be-revived.html

The Stonehenge News Blog

Stonehenge News: Stones may be moved to new visitor centre

1 04 2014

A leaked report has revealed that English Heritage intend to move the Stones from the current location closer to the new visitor centre. Visitors currently have to travel some 2km by land train to the Stone Circle and it makes perfect commercial sense to make the monument more accessible to visitors. All plans are subject to approved planning permission

The Heritage Lottery could help fund moving the Stones

The Heritage Lottery could help fund moving the Stones

A recent customer survey also revealed that 95% of 2014 visitors ‘agree’ or strongly agree’ that it would be a better experience if the Stones were closer to the souvenir shop, toilets, cafe and museum. This would also reduce carbon footprint and save valuable sightseeing time.

Local archaeologists support the idea and would give archaeological evidence as to how the Stones were moved in the first place. They would use ancient skills and technologies and could utilise the volunteers from the Neolithic house project. Concerns have now been raised about the ancient monuments act of 1913, but experts are confident a solution could be found.

Davinvi Construction, the current contractor who are completing the landscape restoration work said it would make sense to move the Stones this summer whilst they have heavy plant machinery and skilled labour on site, although it may be tricky moving some of the larger rocks, they added.

Circular stadium seats could surround the monument during the busy Solstice events and even a 3D simulation of the sunset and sunrise could amaze audiences from around the world. Suggestions of a glass roof covering the entire monument could overcome the poor weather conditions often experienced on the Solstice and guarantee a perfect sunrise every time.

Larkhill Commanding Officer Will Ruinit was delighted to hear the latest proposal and can now fast track the MOD plans to erect watch towers and a new missile base on the Solstice ‘sun gap’ alignment without further protests.

At time of going to press local Druid, King Arthur was unavailable for comment but a spokesman quoted “He will definitely not be happy.”

Have your say
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