Ancient Wessex News and Information
Ancient Wessex News and Information

Unesco urges UK government to amend Stonehenge road tunnel plan

The Stonehenge World Heritage Site is at risk of being placed on the danger list if changes are not made to the proposed tunnel scheme on the A303, reports the BBC.

National Highways’ plans were approved by the government in July.

The government says the scheme is needed to tackle a “long-standing traffic bottleneck”.

Unesco wants the government to act before the World Heritage Committee meets again in February 2024.

Earlier in September, leading members of The Stonehenge Alliance and Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site took a petition to the Unesco headquarters in Paris. It gained 225,000 signatures from 147 countries urging the UK Government to halt plans for the “damaging” road scheme.

National Highways’ plans were approved in 2020, before being quashed following a successful campaign at the High Court in 2021.

David Bullock, National Highways’ Project Manager for the A303 Stonehenge scheme, said: “It is very much a scheme objective to conserve and enhance the World Heritage Site and this is being achieved through close collaborative working with heritage groups, the independent A303 Scientific Committee, and our archaeology contractors, who have an extensive track record of work in connection with the Stonehenge landscape.

“We have taken a lot of care to get to this point, and we will continue to work with the Heritage Monitoring Advisory Group and experts within the Scientific Committee to ensure the scheme is delivered with heritage and the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site at the heart of every decision made.

“We remain confident this scheme is the best solution for tackling a long-standing traffic bottleneck, improving journeys, bringing much-needed relief to local communities, boosting the economy in the south-west, while returning the Stonehenge landscape to something like its original setting.”

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Image: Highways England

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