You are currently browsing the daily archive for 17/07/2020.

We think the headlines, “Stonehenge tunnel decision delayed by archaeological find” aren’t quite right, even though the Government’s announcement seems to say so, viz: “to enable further consultation on and consideration of this matter”. The fact is, as the Government knows full well, the newly discovered monument is not in the path of the new road so can’t be directly damaged by it or require further “consultation and consideration”. Normally they’d say just that and crack on, but they haven’t.

However, it seems probable that what the new discovery has done is to bring home to Ministers that this is an incredibly rich prehistoric landscape and carrying out major work anywhere on it is bound to bring to light further unknown archaeology which would have to be destroyed along with the reputation and political futures of whoever was in charge.

That, together with the fact the country’s finances are in a parlous state, the scheme’s value-for-money has declined, there are huge technical issues regarding the chalk and water and Blickmead would be further damaged, all suggest the Government may now be looking for a way out. Fingers crossed they’ve found one. Digging here was always irresponsible but now they (and their yes-bodies) can pretend new circumstances have arisen and Mr. Shapps won’t take over from John Gormley as that man who caused the damage!

 

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