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One short tunnel supporter, who shall be nameless, says

“I fail to see how the pleasure taken since medieval times by walkers, riders, cab passengers, cyclists and early road travellers in crossing the Stonehenge landscape has anything to do with drivers’ views from the A303″.

Well Mr Pitts, you’re one on your own. Millions who travel on that road, including children who might be future archaeologists, are thrilled by their first sight of “the Turner View” of the stones, and as Dan Hicks has said:

“Some 1.3m people will pass through the Stonehenge gift shop this year, but perhaps ten times that number will witness the monument from a passing vehicle”. It’s the most democratic of monuments.”

The poverty of the short tunnel case is easily exposed by asking why bury a road? For the Highways Agency the answer is simple and strangely honest: it’s the cheapest way to build a road, which is Highways England’s sole purpose. But for so-called pro-heritage bodies and individuals the answer is far more shameful: it is to improve the landscape.

Improve? To what? And to when? And in accordance with whose vision? What right does English Heritage have to lobby to destroy a version of Stonehenge that is already overlaid with thousands of years of marks in favour of a single one with a single mark that never existed? Who said they should create a Capability Brown landscape? Who authorised the National Trust not to fight like tigers for this much loved vista and instead dream about its own self-important “vision” of a new place in which the stones are hidden from most people?

Capability Brown: The Stonehenge short tunnel: my final project!

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