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For those unable to catch one of Highways England’s pop up presentations and ask questions, the promotion of the proposed changes for the A303 at Stonehenge is mostly propaganda and deploys attractive illustrations that are not reflective of the actual development. This can be judged from a highly selective film loop featuring  eastbound aerial footage that slowly covers over 1.8 miles of tunnel greenery, following the route inside the World Heritage Site (WHS). Concentrating on lush fields it offers only a clipped view of the four new umbilical lanes of traffic attached to the west portal, whilst in the east only a scrunched quick squint is offered of the final 1.5 mile leg within the WHS boundary.
What is missing? The majority of traffic driving to the Stonehenge Visitor Centre and the new artillery museum grinding to a halt on the A360 in the west and so tailing back into the tunnel. Also absent, a flyover and slip roads thrusting into the WHS in the east, plus an elevated section towering alongside the precious site of Blick Mead, then a tunnel portal plunging beneath the Avenue. Aerial film footage from the east would also highlight that the tunnel would rob the public of the precious free westbound view of Stonehenge witnessed by thousands every day.

Given this presentation is here today gone tomorrow, lacks substance, and this unfit for purpose tunnel solution is being pushed as a single remedy for the WHS – those old wagons bearing snake oil posters come to mind: a short tunnel …“is good for everything a snake oil ought to be good for” …“good for man and beast”… “apply locally and liberally” …“cures all”!



January 2017

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