The RAC Foundation is disappointed to learn that plans to tunnel the A303 at Stonehenge have been indefinitely shelved by the Government today on grounds of cost. The Government has admitted that the tunnel is the only viable environmental option for the World Heritage site, but have still decided to go back to square one and to consult on smaller scale schemes, which are unlikely to provide the same level of environmental, congestion and mobility improvement as the tunnel option.
The RAC Foundation, which has campaigned tirelessly on the road problems at Stonehenge, recently warned politicians that the nation’s current road network is not fit to deal with future population and car ownership growth. The report ‘Roads and Reality’ specifically identified the A303 as a weak link in the nation’s road network, making today’s news all the more unacceptable. The small-scale alternative schemes suggested by the Government for the A344 and the A303/A358 are likely to have some impact, but much more radical action is needed.
David Holmes, Chairman of the RAC Foundation said, ‘ A price should not be put on our heritage in this way. We are extremely disappointed that the Government has condemned Stonehenge to further environmental damage and the A303 to chronic congestion due to their failure to act. Our report, ‘Roads and Reality’ clearly states that the problem of congestion will not go away. Years of misery lie ahead’.