A303 Stonehenge project gets backing of logistics industry

A303 Stonehenge project gets backing of logistics industry

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 4:09pm 17th June 2020.

3 minute read

The Freight Transport Association has come out in favour of the proposed road 'upgrades' through the World Heritage Site.

The group which represents logistics businesses across the country has revealed their views, exactly a month before the deadline for a final decision on the plans.

The Department for Transport has set a target date of July 17th to announce whether the scheme will go ahead. 

Now, the FTA is calling on the Government to give it the go ahead - in a statement from Chris Yarsley, Policy Manager for Road Infrastructure

"FTA is urging the government to decide in favour of the A303 improvement scheme; this initiative is vital to solving the reliability, congestion and safety issues along this corridor. The UK needs efficient and effective road transport networks to function properly, but the issues with the A303 have long blighted economic and social growth in the region. 

"The plans, which include dualling of the remaining single carriageway sections and the creation of a tunnel by Stonehenge, would significantly improve infrastructure in the South West while supporting tourism and the respecting the region's heritage by removing the busy road from view of the monument. With the A303 such a crucial corridor for both the tourism and logistics industries, it must be fit for purpose and able to support both sustainably and effectively. FTA has been campaigning for several years to see this scheme come to fruition; now, we urge the government to make the right decision for the future of the South West." 

Earlier this year, Wiltshire Council came out in favour of the plans, that have been drawn up by Highways England. 

The project has also faced fierce opposition from groups including the Stonehenge Alliance.

Traffic jam A303 Stonehenge - traffic queue - tailback - facing west 2 (Mike Draper)
Highways England say the plans for 'upgrades' on the A303 will mean traffic jams like this will be a thing of the past

WHAT'S ACTUALLY PLANNED?

The A303 tunnel project would see work carried out along the road between the Countess Roundabout at Amesbury and the Berwick Down area.

The plans include (in order if travelling westbound): 

  • A flyover for the Countess roundabout
  • A 2 mile (3.3 kilometre) tunnel at Stonehenge, widening the road to a dual carriageway and shielding the road from view at the stone circle
  • Green bridges over the A303 to give better public access to the land around the World Heritage Site
  • Longbarrow roundabout moved slightly, with traffic lights put in place
  • A bypass for Winterbourne Stoke, putting the road on a viaduct over the Till Valley
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