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We are told that a National Highways comment indicates that it has recalculated the economic benefits of the Stonehenge road project and found that it has INCREASED when judged, inter alia, across the wider A303 region, thus confounding the National Audit Office’s finding that it was poor value for money!.

Really? There’s a profound fallacy in that assertion. The value of an individual road improvement project at Stonehenge (say ten minutes saved on average) can’t be increased by adding others further down the road (whether 3 now or 8 in the far future is irrelevant), the value of ten minutes saved remains constant. That being so, the National Audit Office’s verdict that the cost is too high for the benefit can’t be changed.

What drives such a false, mathematically transparent and patently desperate assertion? It’s the fact that the heritage benefits of “removing the road from the WHS” have been hugely overstated. In fact, the road won’t be removed from the WHS; the participants in the heritage valuation survey were not told the truth about the scheme; and now, given that UNESCO, the Examiners, and the Transport Secretary all say the scheme would significantly adversely affect the WHS, the net “benefit” of the scheme in heritage terms is trashed. If the heritage valuation survey were rerun now and participants told these facts, it could come out with a negative result, substantially reducing the scheme’s economic benefit overall.

Against that reality, rubbishing the National Audit Office’s assessment becomes crucially important to the scheme’s supporters. It can’t be done by false propositions.


See Stonehenge Alliance’s analysis of this matter here.



August 2022

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