WATCH: How will A303 Stonehenge tunnel really look?

Highways England A303 Stonehenge Tunnel February 2018 3 (Highways England)

Published by The Spire FM News Team at 12:02am 8th February 2018. (Updated at 9:32am 8th February 2018)

Highways England has shown us more detailed plans for the scheme - including a Countess roundabout flyover.

We've been getting our first glimpses of what plans to build a 3 kilometre tunnel for the A303 at Stonehenge really could look like.

A visualisation video has been put together by Highways England as part of a £1.6 billion upgrade of the A303 trunk road between Amesbury and Berwick Down.

As well as the tunnel itself, there are also plans for a flyover at the Countess roundabout at Amesbury and 'green bridges' at four points.

They would be grassed over bridges creating new public rights of way for us to use to get around the World Heritage Site more easily.

Highways England A303 Stonehenge Tunnel Plans February 2018

All of these plans have been released as a new consultation begins today (Thursday February 8th) into what we think about the ideas and to give feedback on them, ahead of a planning application being submitted later this year.

A number of consultation events are being planned over the next few weeks, taking place across South Wiltshire.

The scheme's being suggested as a way of removing cars from the landscape at Stonehenge, and reducing traffic congestion in that area, which is a real hotspot in the summer particularly.

WATCH:

Here's what the tunnel would be like for drivers and how the landscape could look with the road out of sight:

Derek Parody from Highways England has told Spire FM why they've created that video:

"The main reason for having the visualisation is that people begin to actually feel it's real and actually understand the detail behind what is normally a two-dimensional plan. What this does is it brings to life the reality of the project, so actually getting (the public) to see what the scheme will feel and look like is really important."

WINTERBOURNE STOKE:

It had already been announced that the A303 plans would involve the road being moved away from the village and taken north.

A new viaduct is being planned to cross the River Till, which needs to be protected as it's a Site of Specific Scientific Interest.

Here's how that could look:

via GIPHY

COUNTESS ROUNDABOUT:

One of the biggest aspects of the scheme would include a flyover for the Countess roundabout in Amesbury that would take A303 traffic over the top of the existing junction.

The current roundabout and roads leading up to it would remain the same, and become the slip roads to use the roundabout towards Amesbury or Durrington.

Here's how the flyover could look if you're at the roundabout from the north, towards Amesbury town centre:

via GIPHY

CONCERNS:

There have been some parts of the plan that are cause for concern among some groups.

The whole scheme has come in for criticism from groups that wanted the tunnel to be longer to avoid disrupting land around the World Heritage Site that could be considered vital archaeological ground.

English Heritage, which looks after Stonehenge itself, along with Historic England and the National Trust, have given their reaction.

They've said they welcome the plans in the main but have some worries about things like the width and location of the 'green bridges' to create new public rights of way and they'd like reassurance on the use of a new byway that's due to be created as part of the scheme.

LISTEN:

Stonehenge General Manager Kate Davies has been speaking to Spire FM about the project:

The plans are now under public consultation until April 6th - with some public exhibitions planned to give us a chance to have our say.

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