The Government has today announced it supports an amended short tunnel (see details here). Historic England, English Heritage and The National Trust, who have faithfully supported a short tunnel from the start, have reacted precisely as expected – with tricky words intended to cover their shame:
“It is now critical to ensure that the benefits of this new route can be realised through careful design and mitigation of archaeological risks”.
Note, no more pretence that the route would do no harm if carefully designed. There must be “mitigation of archaeological risks” which, with the route now decided, actually means mitigation of actual damage.
Our three main heritage bodies can no longer hide behind ifs and buts: they are openly supporting massive new damage to the World Heritage Site in defiance of UNESCO’s wishes.
Meanwhile, Tony Robinson puts the whole scheme in a nutshell (and consequently highlights the awfulness of the HE, EH, NT posturing):
The Scheme is “The most brutal intrusion into the Stone Age landscape ever….. Archaeologists have understood over the last 10 to 15 years that Stonehenge isn’t a monument, Stonehenge is a landscape. Unesco understood that, which is why they made the area into the World Heritage Site. What’s happened is that the Department for Transport is literally driving a thousand coaches and horses through the World Heritage Site ……. It’s an absolute disgrace.”
Bravo. The stone cold truth.