We would urge everyone near and far to participate in the public consultation about the changes to the A303 at Stonehenge.
The tunnel comes with a flyover at Countess Roundabout that crosses into the Stonehenge World Heritage Site (WHS), a raised section would tower 8 metres alongside the precious site known as Blick Mead, the road continuing to the barrow cemetery east of King Barrow Ridge and into a tunnel portal below the Stonehenge Avenue. Traffic having been speeded up, the noise and pollution on this stretch will affect everyone: from those walking the Avenue to Amesbury Abbey care home residents, and of course wildlife road kills increase with faster traffic.
Rare bats have been found in this area recently, and the effect on the wildlife inhabiting Vespasian’s Camp will be exacerbated. We should also be concerned at the effect on the River Avon and its tributary the Till, which are important for aquatic wildlife as Special Areas of Conservation.
At the other end of the tunnel, the location of the west portal threatens views of the winter solstice alignment from the stones and emerges alongside the RSPB’s special Normanton Down reserve, so the noise and pollution will ultimately ruin it and drive out the stone curlews. The new four lane western road affects Normanton Down barrow cemetery, including the famous Bush Barrow, and is imposed on the highly important group of Neolithic long barrows running from Normanton Gorse to Longbarrow Crossroads and back towards Stonehenge itself.
Whilst removing the whole of the A303 from the Stonehenge World Heritage Site (WHS) would have some advantages, this short tunnel – of around half the width of the WHS but with both portals inside – would be devastating.
Only by making your opinions heard can this tunnel be changed!