Stonehenge tunnel plans published

Stonehenge tunnel plans published

£1.6 billion A303 upgrade looks to improve the notorious traffic black spot and connect the M3 and M5 motorways

Transport secretary Chris Grayling has published plans for the long-discussed Stonehenge tunnel. 

The route links the M3 and M5 motorways and involves a 1.8-mile tunnel past the world-famous structure. 

As part of the £1.6 billion plan, a Winterbourne Stoke bypass is also coming, alleviating pressure on the village from its current traffic problems. 

The tunnel has long been reported in plans for the area and, following public consultation, one of its entrances was moved; the previous proposed entrance conflicted with the alignment of the solstice. 

The consultation process involved local communities, heritage groups, archaeologists, historians and engineers, giving more thought to the sensitive location than many other road construction projects. 

The tunnel runs 50 metres further from the stone structure than the A303 currently does and rejoins the two halves of the Unesco World Heritage Site – a 10-square-mile area that the A303 currently intersects horizontally. 

Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan described the A303 as a “vital route between the South-West and the rest of the country”. He said: “Highways England is committed to delivering a high-quality, modern road on this route.

“We have listened to feedback from consultation and believe this preferred route will help improve traffic flow, reduce rat-running on the surrounding roads, bringing improvements to local communities and benefits to the South-West economy.”

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