Highways England launches further consultation on proposed changes to A303 upgrade past Stonehenge
People interested in plans to upgrade the A303 past Stonehenge are urged to have their say as Highways England launches a supplementary consultation today on revised proposals to further protect the World Heritage site.
Taking on feedback from a consultation earlier this year Highways England has adjusted some of the design detail of the planned £1.6bn scheme which will improve journeys on the busy route and create a much-needed bypass for Winterbourne Stoke while preserving the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site.
The changes, which seek to further enhance the famous landscape and reconnect the two halves of the 6,500-acre World Heritage site (WHS), include:
• Removing the previously proposed link between Byways 11 and 12 in the Stonehenge WHS to avoid affecting the setting of the Normanton Down barrow group and tranquillity of the site in this area
• Widening the green bridge proposed near the existing Longbarrow roundabout to improve the physical and visual connection between the northern and southern parts of the WHS
• Moving the proposed modification of Rollestone crossroads to provide a more compact layout
Derek Parody, Highways England Project Director for the A303 Stonehenge scheme, said: “We had a great response to our earlier consultation and have acted on the feedback. We now want to get people’s views on our proposed changes to our original consultation.
“The further feedback we get will allow us to make sure we have got the best scheme before we make our application later this year to build the scheme.
“Meanwhile we continue to work with heritage groups including Historic England, English Heritage, the National Trust, and experts in the field, including the Stonehenge Scientific Committee – a body of leading independent archaeologists – to ensure a new route is built sensitively to the World Heritage site.”
Highways England received more than 5,000 responses to consultation on improving the A303 route past Stonehenge, between Amesbury and Berwick Down, which includes a tunnel at least 1.8 miles long, a free-flowing dual carriageway and a much-needed bypass north of Winterbourne Stoke.
Consultation will run from 17 July to 14 August, with two public information events – at The Manor Barn, High Street, Winterbourne Stoke, SP3 4SZ, on Thursday, 19 July (2pm-8pm) and Antrobus House, 39 Salisbury Road, Amesbury SP4 7HH, on 31 July (2pm-8pm).
During the consultation, Highways England will also clarify its public rights of way proposals accompanying the scheme, which will help people explore and enjoy the World Heritage site and enable them to walk or cycle unobstructed between Amesbury and Winterbourne Stoke.
As part of its £15 billion road strategy – the biggest investment in roads in a generation – the Government is committed to upgrading all remaining single carriageway sections of the A303/A358 between the M3 and M5 to dual carriageway standard.
The A303 at Stonehenge, the A303 between Sparkford and Ilchester, and the A358 between the M5 Taunton and the Southfields Roundabout on the A303 are the first three schemes in that strategy.
The A303 Stonehenge upgrade will deliver major benefits to the World Heritage Site by reuniting the landscape and restoring tranquillity to the setting of one of our most famous cultural icons. At the heart of many of Highways England’s proposed refinements to the scheme is the protection of the WHS and its Outstanding Universal Value.
The scheme will also support a major boost to the South West economy, currently lagging 24% behind the national economy, by providing an effective transport link, and reducing the traffic blight on local communities.
Further details of the proposed changes will be available during the supplementary consultation and in the meantime, anyone wanting further information on the scheme or anyone who wants to respond to the consultation can go to www.highways.gov.uk/