Clive Bentley, acoustic scientist from consultancy Sharps Redmore, presented evidence today (12/6/19) at a hearing into the planned £1.6 billion A303 Stonehenge Expressway project.

His study found that rerouting traffic through a new 2-mile tunnel below the World Heritage site would have negligible impact on improving tranquillity and visitor experience at the site, contradicting key claims made by project sponsor, Highways England.

Bentley explained, Highways England claims that removing and rerouting the A303 under the site would significantly improve tranquillity and people’s experience of the Stone Circle. However, we found that it would have a negligible impact on reducing overall noise levels. Tranquillity at the Henge is greatly affected by the noise, behaviour and sheer number of visitors each day, rather than traffic adjacent to the site.”

And of course, hiding the stones from the road will increase visitor numbers. English Heritage’s ambitions to increase gate receipts will DECREASE tranquillity not enhance it. Ironic and sad, isn’t it?