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A303 Stonehenge Tunnel Petition hand-in to 10 Downing Street

news release

A303 Stonehenge Tunnel Petition hand-in to 10 Downing Street at 14.30 on Wednesday 19 February

Around 50,000 signatures to the Alliance’s petition [2] will be handed into 10 Downing Street on Wednesday. The petition is addressed to the Secretaries of State for Transport, and Culture, Media and Sport, asking for no further damage to be done to the archaeological landscape of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site.

Tens of thousands of ordinary people have signed our petition for themselves and future generations, hoping to prevent the Stonehenge landscape from the devastating impacts of Highways England’s A303 road proposals. Deep cuttings, tunnel portals and massive highway interchanges would impact on highly sensitive parts of this iconic landscape and its setting.

Around one fifth of the signatories are from over 100 countries outside the UK, underlining the international concern expressed by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee. It opposes the road in its current form.[3]

Expert evidence on behalf of the Alliance presented to the formal Examination of the road scheme in 2019 reveals, in addition to its adverse impacts on the heritage, the scheme’s poor value for money and disregard for climate change.[4]

Tom Holland, Alliance President who plans to be present on 19 February, says:

“For 4,500 years Stonehenge has stood amid a landscape that was itself sacred for millennia   prior to the building of its most celebrated monument. The issue that faces us now as a country is whether the site exists solely to provide a tourist experience, or whether it is the   expression of something more significant, both historically and spiritually. That the Government can seriously contemplate injecting enormous quantities of concrete into this unique site, and disfiguring it with multiple lanes of tarmac, seems to me an abomination.”

Sir Tony Robinson, Time Team presenter and campaign supporter, says:

“The impact of building huge new roads into the Stonehenge Neolithic and Bronze Age landscape would be dire. It’s a complete farce to expect to solve congestion and preserve the site by building a huge new Expressway there.” 

Kate Freeman, for Friends of the Earth South West says:

“The impact on this iconic prehistoric landscape – and on climate – of building this road would be catastrophic. Future generations would be appalled at the way we had squandered their heritage and environment. At a time of climate crisis, expressways like this are not something ministers should be considering.”

Notes to editors

  1. The Stonehenge Alliance supporter-organisations are: Ancient Sacred Landscape Network; Campaign to Protect Rural England; Friends of the Earth; Rescue, the British Archaeological Trust; and Transport Action Network.
  2. For petition, please see https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-stonehenge-world-heritage-site (38 Degrees –UK only)  and https://www.change.org/p/save-stonehenge-world-heritage-site-to-the-secretary-of-state-for-transport-secretary-of-state-for-culture-media-sport-uk-government-save-stonehenge-world-heritage-site (Change.Org. –UK and abroad).
  3. UNESCO World Heritage Committee Decision 2019: https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/7543/
  4. The Stonehenge Alliance’s Summary of Case at the 2019 Examination into the road Scheme can be accessed via the National Infrastructure Planning A303 Stonehenge website at https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/wp-content/ipc/uploads/projects/TR010025/TR010025-001707-Stonehenge%20Alliance%20-%20Summary%20of%20Case.pdf.

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