|Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has given the go-ahead for a twin-bored tunnel at least 1.8 miles long through the Stonehenge World Heritage Site, past the Stones, with improved junctions at the A360 and A345. It also includes a northern route for a Winterbourne Stoke bypass.
He promised more public consultation early next year before the plan is submitted for development consent, but no starting date is included in the announcement.
The Campaign for the Preservation of the Southern Till Valley (CPSTV) is relieved that a decision has finally been made. Leader Carolyn McDougall said: “We believe what is now on the table represents the most logical option.
It will address the most serious concerns raised by those living and working in the surrounding area, while ensuring visitors continue to enjoy Stonehenge.
“The A303 desperately needs massive improvement – not just to relieve appalling traffic congestion that currently blights the area but also to open up a long-term road solution that will serve the needs of the South West economy. A tunnel represents the only viable solution, and addresses most of the different and various concerns held by landowners, residents, businesses, archaeologists and naturalists.”
First reactions to the Stonehenge Tunnel announcements included surprise that the Winterbourne bypass is going north of the village.
Deborah Waddell, CBI South West Director, said: “Congestion on the A303 has blighted local firms and held back growth for the South West for far too long. We have long called for action, so this announcement will be warmly welcomed by businesses across the region and beyond.
“Business wants to see a renewed focus on growth and productivity for the whole of the UK, and better linking of our towns, cities and regions with each other, will play a key role.
“The economic and environmental case for this route has long been made, and after extensive and thorough consultation, we have a plan that balances the need for improved connectivity and resilience with protecting this site of key international importance.”
Your chance to look at preferred route for A303 Stonehenge scheme
More consultation on the details of the route are planned in 2018, but in the meantime, the public can view information, including copies of the preferred route booklet, and meet members of the Highways England project team at this month’s drop-in sessions.
The Manor Barn, High Street, Winterbourne Stoke SP3 4SZ • Saturday 16 September 11am-5pm • Friday, 29 September 2pm-8pm
Antrobus House, 39 Salisbury Road, Amesbury SP4 7HH • Friday, 22 September 2pm-8pm • Saturday, 23 September 11am-5pm
Details of the preferred route are also available on the scheme webpage at