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While our conservation bodies are pretending that massive new damage is a net gain and that UNESCO’s opposition can be ignored, it’s possible that lack of government finance will thwart them again:

1.) As early as July 2017 the Infrastructure and Projects Authority gave the project a red rating (meaning without urgent action it may be undeliverable). Then, after changes the rating was altered to reflect “increased confidence” the project would happen – but not to green, just to “amber/red”!

2.) Last April Highways England said the project was already straining against the £1.6 bn affordability limit set by government! It seems certain that the project is about to go massively over budget.

3.) Whatever form Brexit takes, or doesn’t, the UK is going to be a lot poorer than when the scheme was first proposed!

So it’s perfectly possible the thing could be cancelled. At which point it will be fascinating to see whether Historic England, English Heritage and the National Trust have the almighty neck to claim they’re pleased!

Hurrah! Thanks to us the World Heritage Site has been saved from massive damage!

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