An alternative scheme to the proposed Tunnel recommended by the Government has been put forward by the local unitary councillor for the villages west of Stonehenge.
Cllr Ian West has again suggested the alternative route proposed at the previous public enquiry. It is a surface dual carriageway from the end of Amesbury bypass to Long Barrow Roundabout along the line of, or just south of the existing A303 road.
“Local people have lived with the A303 problem long enough. The dual carriageway could be built into a landscaped cutting thereby putting the road out of sight of Stonehenge. The road would continue in a cutting under Byway 12 such that the Byway would cross above the A303 along the same line as at present. If built sensitively, high sided vehicles would not be seen and traffic not heard by visitors to the stones,” Cllr West said.
He suggested that, where the A303 meets the present Longbarrow roundabout, an intersection at the A360 would be in an under pass below the dualled A303. From here the dualled A303 would run north of the existing A303 to follow the line that seemed to be accepted at the last Public Inquiry, to complete a Northern bypass of Winterbourne Stoke and then re-join the existing dual carriage way at Berwick Down.
“Over the past 23 years or so that I have represented this area on the council, this scheme has been suggested by many residents to me and I believe it has a great deal of local support and merit. The benefits of this scheme would be:it would be by far the cheapest option – highly desirable bearing in mind the state of the country’s finances. It would be a fraction of the cost of a tunnel; it would be completed in the shortest time in relation to all other options thereby relieving the traffic congestion sooner; it would retain the open landscape desired by English Heritage with no road insight from Stonehenge;maintenance of the road would be a fraction of the cost of maintaining a tunnel; in the event of an accident, traffic could still flow, unlike the hazardous situation of accidents in tunnels.
“Building the road would involve the least amount of countryside being built over and potentially ruined. It would be built with the least amount of pollution into the atmosphere. Within such a scheme, vehicles could leave the A303 west, park in a designated car park out of sight of Stonehenge, for people to have a chance to glimpse Stonehenge at no charge from a viewing position about 800 metres west of Stonehenge thereby honouring Sir Cecil Chubb’s wish in that he gave the stones to the nation for the nation,” Cllr West added.