US News Controversial Stonehenge tunnel gets go-ahead

06:35  12 september  2017
06:35  12 september  2017 Source:   Sky News

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Controversial plans for a road tunnel beneath the World Heritage Site of Stonehenge have been finalised by the United Kingdom government. In the meantime, a public consultation to get the views of drivers and residents will run until 5 March. They're nearly certainly going to dig a tunnel right

A controversial plan to build a road tunnel under Stonehenge has been given the green light by ministers. New plans for the World Heritage Site in Wiltshire announced by the Department for Transport include burying the A303 in a 1.8mile dual carriageway tunnel .

The sun rises at Stonehenge on the summer solstice© PA The sun rises at Stonehenge on the summer solstice

Plans to dig a 1.8-mile road tunnel near Stonehenge have been given the go-ahead despite experts saying the project will compromise the "unutterably precious" archaeology of the World Heritage Site.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: "This Government is taking the big decisions for Britain's future and this major investment in the South West will provide a huge boost for the region.

"Quicker journey times, reduced congestion and cleaner air will benefit people locally and unlock growth in the tourism industry."

Government heritage agency Historic England, and the National Trust and English Heritage have welcomed the announcement.

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Controversial tunnel under Stonehenge gets the go - ahead . Controversial plans for a road tunnel beneath the World Heritage Site of Stonehenge have been finalised by the UK government.

Image: The sun rises at Stonehenge on the summer solstice. Plans to dig a 1.8-mile road tunnel near Stonehenge have been given the go - ahead despite experts saying the project will compromise the "unutterably precious" archaeology of the World Heritage Site.

Department for Transport officials say the £1.6bn tunnel will avoid important archaeological sites and will not intrude the view of the setting sun from Stonehenge during the winter solstice.

David Bullock, who is managing the project said: "We're looking at a route that provides a sympathetic path through the archaeology and landscape.

"We're doing lots and lots of investigating."

However Time Team presenter Tony Robinson has previously described the scheme as "old-fashioned" because it "assumes what needs to be protected is that little clump of stones".

He said the stone circle was invaluable, but over the past 20 to 30 years, experts had begun to appreciate that the area around it was a complex network of henges, pathways, barrows and track-ways.

The A303 is often gridlocked near the landmark, causing frustration for holidaymakers heading to and from the South West and disrupting visits to the site.

The tunnel will closely follow the existing A303 route but will be a further 50 metres from the monument.

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