More information needed before decision on A303 Stonehenge project

More information is needed by the Department of Transport before the final decision is made on the A303 Stonehenge project in Wiltshire.

There are plans in place for a two-mile tunnel and flyover near the iconic landmark, with a final decision now being delayed until July.

Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport, has written to Highways England, Historic England and Natural England asking for clarification on some of the points made in the planning application. These include:

  • An update on the ‘Outline Environment Management Plan’ for the area affected by the work
  • Details on whether the ‘fencing’ for the road, provided by trees and other vegetation, will protect archaeological remains
  • More consultation with Wiltshire Council on the ‘general appearance’ of the Countess roundabout flyover
  • An update on the ‘Detailed Archaeological Mitigation Strategy’ for the site
  • Comments from Historic England confirming whether the project will ‘minimise harm to the Stones’
  • More care needed for stone curlew breeding points along the route

If it gets the go ahead, Highways England’s plans for the project include:

  • A flyover for the Countess roundabout
  • A 2 mile (3.3 kilometre) tunnel at Stonehenge, widening the road to a dual carriageway and shielding the road from view at the stone circle
  • Green bridges over the A303 to give better public access to the land around the World Heritage Site
  • Longbarrow roundabout moved slightly, with traffic lights put in place
  • A bypass for Winterbourne Stoke, putting the road on a viaduct over the Till Valley.

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