Highways England have released the following Statement :
Earlier this week the Secretary of State for Transport announced the preferred route for the A303 Stonehenge scheme. After 30 years of attempts to improve this section of road, this is a major step towards our goal of starting construction in 2021.
The preferred route consists of:
- A twin-bore tunnel at least 1.8 miles (2.9 kilometres) long.
- A bypass to the north of Winterbourne Stoke.
- New junctions with the A345 and A360 either side of the World Heritage Site (WHS) accommodating free-flowing traffic movements. We received more than 9,000 responses from our public consultation earlier this year, with around 2,500 people attending the public exhibitions we held. The consultation gave thousands of people a chance to raise important issues and tell us how they think this unique scheme should develop. There is no doubt that the comments we received helped us improve the scheme. We would like to thank everyone who got involved.
Although the route has been partly modified since consultation, the key features of the scheme remain the same, as indicated above. The change has been to move the western tunnel portal and the route closer to the line of the existing A303 in the western part of the WHS. This provides the best route through the WHS, including avoiding any intrusion on the view of the setting sun from Stonehenge during the winter solstice, probably the most important sightline in the WHS.
The design details for the scheme will now be developed to the stage when they can be presented for further public consultation early next year. Before then we still have a lot of work to do. We have to carry out more surveys and studies to help us refine and design our preferred route in detail.
Throughout the process we will keep talking and listening to everyone with an interest in the scheme. We would like to set up a forum with the communities directly affected by and adjacent to the scheme. This will discuss and agree proposals to secure the best legacy we can deliver for those communities. We are currently thinking about who would be involved with the forum and how it might best work in contributing to the development of the scheme. We will be providing proposals on this soon, seeking the views of the Area Board.
In the meantime, you can find more information about the preferred route on the scheme website (www.highways.gov.uk/a303stonehenge). We are also holding a series of public drop-in events where you can view the preferred route and talk to our project experts:
|The Manor Barn High St, Winterbourne Stoke, SP3 4SZ||Saturday 16 September 2017||11am to 5pm|
|Antrobus House 39 Salisbury Rd, Amesbury, SP4 7HH||Friday 22 September 2017||2pm to 8pm|
|Antrobus House 39 Salisbury Rd, Amesbury, SP4 7HH||Saturday 23 September 2017||11am to 5pm|
|The Manor Barn High St, Winterbourne Stoke, SP3 4SZ||Friday 29 September 2017||2pm to 8pm|