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AECOM is an American firm which has lots of contracts from Highways England. They have an “Innovation and Continuous Improvement Lead for Strategic Highways Europe” would you believe and she’s written some bizarre stuff about the too-short Stonehenge tunnel which will please Highways England no doubt – but give Posterity a good laugh.  Here are some excerpts:


The proposed tunnel’s potential for becoming an iconic scheme (!) owes much to well-established cultural notions of the British countryside. Romanticism of rural idylls (!) permeate popular consciousness of such sites as Stonehenge and as an infrastructure industry, we must work hard to accommodate them to achieve success in both the physical and the cultural landscape that could ultimately define the scheme as iconic. (!)

In recent years, particularly since the London 2012 Olympics, managing end-user expectation has been packaged up under ‘legacy’. The concept reminds infrastructure developers that the outputs of their design, construction, operation or maintenance must be outcome focused. (!)

Our responsibility is to the legacy of infrastructure interventions. (!) It’s to the expectations for linear improvements, multi-use developments, cable-less network connectivity and beyond – of those infrastructure projects we cannot yet even conceive. (!)

They’re projects that enable not enforce change,(!) that can incite, (!) encourage, (!) nudge (!) or transform the way people engage with the landscapes around them in way that is expected. Get that balance right and our future generations will have many iconic projects to reflect upon.(!)


No mention of conservation or destruction then. The project will incite and nudge the way people will engage with the landscape. It seems that with the road lobby publicly displaying such an uninformed attitude and the conservation bodies publicly supporting what they all privately know is wrong, we are on the brink of vandalising our premier World Heritage Site through a combination of ignorance and hypocrisy.



January 2018

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