Stonehenge tunnel decision delayed again

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The decision on whether to build a tunnel under Stonehenge in southwest England has been delayed for a second time, with a ‘recent archaeological find’ being cited as the main reason.

As TTI reported in the July edition of the magazine, a decision was expected today (17 July), as to whether the long-awaited tunnel project on the major A303 road would go ahead.

But now a four-month extension has been added to the process, so that a decision will now not be made until November.

The Department for Transport and Andrew Stephenson MP (left) issued a written statement to the UK Parliament which concludes:

“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 four months) to enable further consultation on and consideration of this matter before determination of the application by the Secretary of State.

“The decision to set a new deadline is without prejudice to the decision on whether to give development consent.”

Supporters of the tunnel say that it will rid the megalithic monument of the blight of traffic, returning some of the peace and serenity the site had been used to for thousands of years, before the advent of the motorcar, while also helping to ease traffic congestion on that stretch of the A303.

However, some campaigners are against it, saying that it the tunnel itself is not long enough to be effective in its aim of preserving site, and that more should be done to reduce or divert traffic completely.

The controversy surrounding the decision on the project, which was first proposed in 1995, is now certain to continue for at least few months more.

 

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs in charge of public agencies around the world as well as chairmen and CEOs of multinational transportation technology corporations. Tom's early career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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