Decision on A303 Stonehenge plans delayed AGAIN

Decision on A303 Stonehenge plans delayed AGAIN

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 2:05pm 16th July 2020. (Updated at 4:59pm 16th July 2020)

3 minute read

The final say on the project was due to be made by the Transport Secretary tomorrow (17th July), but it's been pushed back by 4 months.

The announcement's been made to move the deadline for an outcome on the planning application to a new date of 13th November 2020.

The reason for the delay has revealed by the Department for Transport, in a written statement:

"Following notification of a recent archaeological find within the World Heritage Site, the deadline for the decision is to be further extended to 13 November 2020 (an extension of 4 months) to enable further consultation on and consideration of this matter before determination of the application by the Secretary of State."

Highways England A303 Stonehenge Tunnel February 2018 5 (Highways England)
An artists impression of what the entry to the tunnel could look like from the road

The decision on the project has already been delayed once, as the Transport Secretary had asked for more information about the plans.

More than 1,400 documents and over 2,000 representations have been submitted as part of the planning application.

Derek Parody, Highways England Project Director for the A303 Stonehenge scheme, said:

“We have received the announcement to defer the DCO decision on the A303 Amesbury to Berwick upgrade and we will be working with the Department for Transport in the coming months to assess the timescales for the project.

We are confident that the proposed scheme presents the best solution for tackling the longstanding bottleneck on this section of the A303 returning the Stonehenge landscape to something like its original setting and helping to boost the south-west economy.”

WHAT'S PLANNED? 

The project would include a 2 mile long tunnel for the A303 past Stonehenge, making the road within it a dual carriageway.

There'd also be changes made to the Countess and Longbarrow roundabouts, and a bypass for Winterbourne Stoke, taking the road over a viaduct across the Till Valley.

A303 Stonehenge westbound traffic
The aim of the plans is to take the A303 out of view from the ancient stone circle, and prevent 'rubber-necking'

That deadline being pushed back, and the consideration for local archaeology, has been welcomed by the Stonehenge Alliance

This also comes as the campaign's had some more high profile backing - from Spinal Tap actor and voice of The Simpsons, Harry Shearer.

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