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Roads to Nowhere

Stonehenge decision averts disaster

6 December 2007
Campaign for Better Transport [1] today welcomed the Government’s decision to scrap the proposed £540 million A303 4-lane highway and short bored tunnel through the Stonehenge World Heritage Site [2].

"We’ve been saying for years that the plan to build a tunnel and road through the Stonehenge World Heritage Site would be an environmental and financial disaster. We’re glad the Government has seen sense to drop this brutal scheme. We’re pleased that the Government is considering investing in small-scale improvements, as we had recommended, and hope that this means safety improvements," said Denise Carlo, campaigner. "We’re also very pleased that the Government is looking at closing the A344/A303 junction."

Campaign for Better Transport – together with other members of the Stonehenge Alliance [3] – has been campaigning for a smaller-scale, lower-cost transport option involving closure of the A303/A344 junction [4], relocation of the Longbarrow Crossroads further west, small safety measures along the A303 and area-wide green travel plans for serving local residents and visitors.

Notes for editors

[1] Campaign for Better Transport is the new name of Transport 2000, which has been securing better transport policy and programmes since 1973.

[2] Announcement on Department for Transport website.

[3] The 10 signatories to a joint statement supporting a small-scale solution approach are ASLaN - Ancient Sacred Landscape Network, Campaign for Better Transport, The Campaign to Protect Rural England, The Council for British Archaeology, Friends of the Earth, International Council for Monuments & Sites, The National Trust, RESCUE - The British Archaeological Trust, UK Prehistoric Society and Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society.

Closure of the A344/A303 junction to motorised traffic would accord with the World Heritage Committee’s 1986 goal of closing the A344. It would enable the greening of the A344 from the A303 junction to the visitor centre car park, whilst retaining the present visitor centre with access from the west and removing the pedestrian underpass.

[4] See the Heritage Action website for a photo of what the A344/A303 junction looks like at the present time and a photomontage of how it could look following closure.