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Highways England record investment in South West England will achieve big milestones
Photo Credit To Highways England

Highways England record investment in South West England will achieve big milestones

Highways England record investment in South West England will achieve big milestones

Plans for the tunnel set to be built as part of the £1.6 billion upgrade of the A303 near Stonehenge will go on public display today.

Highways England’s plans for the improved A303 between Amesbury and Berwick Down will be on show at a series of public events starting on Friday.

The consultation, which runs until 6 April, will outline for the first time initial designs for the scheme and how it will restore the tranquil environment and setting of the Stonehenge monument and surrounding landscape by removing the sight and sound of the road.

Map of A303 Stonehenge Area
Map of A303 Stonehenge Area

Since the last consultation in September, Highways England has continued to work with heritage groups such as the National Trust, Historic England and English Heritage, as well as experts in the field, including the Stonehenge Scientific Committee – a body of leading independent archaeologists – to ensure a new route is built sensitively to the World Heritage Site.

The route has been carefully chosen to avoid monuments and barrow groups as well as avoiding any intrusion on views of the winter solstice from Stonehenge and reconnect the World Heritage Site, which is currently split by the A303.

Highways England is now seeking feedback from the public to help shape the scheme further before they submit an application for a Development Consent Order.

Map of A303 Tunnel Plans
Map of A303 Tunnel Plans

This upgrade is one of five multi-million pound road schemes aimed at boosting the economy, tourism and heritage in the South West which will reach key milestones in the first six months of 2018.

Other key milestones include consultations on the:

  • A358 Taunton to Southfields dualling scheme.
  • A303 Sparkford to Ilchester.
  • A30 Chiverton to Carland Cross.
  • A417 Missing Link scheme.
Stonehenge Historic Monument
Stonehenge Historic Monument

Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan said: “These upgrades in the South West will improve millions of journeys. Each of these milestones in the region is evidence of Highways England delivering major infrastructure upgrades for the whole country.”

The upgrades are funded by the Government’s £15 billion investment in motorways and main A roads, and being delivered by Highways England.

April will mark three years since Highways England embarked on delivering the Government’s Road Investment Strategy, the biggest investment in the country’s major roads since the 1970s.

Fully grassed over canopy
Fully grassed over canopy

Across the country almost 40 schemes are reaching key milestones in the first half of this year and will join the 18 major projects that have already opened to traffic since April 2015. In addition, a further 16 are currently in construction, the latest of which to start initial works was a major upgrade to the M49 near Bristol.

Statutory consultation for the A303 Stonehenge scheme will offer the public and all interested parties the chance to see the progressed plans, including visualisations of how the new route might look, including the Winterbourne Stoke bypass and initial designs for the junctions along the route.

Illustration of the two tunnel bores
Illustration of the two tunnel bores

Following public consultation in early 2017 and further engagement with local communities, heritage groups, archaeologists, historians and engineers, the preferred route was chosen so that the route now closely follows the existing A303 through the World Heritage Site.

Eastern tunnel entrance
Eastern tunnel entrance

A total of 14 public consultation events, offering people the chance to see and discuss the proposals with members of the project team, will be held at the following:

  • Friday, 9 February – Antrobus House, 39 Salisbury Road, Amesbury SP4 7HH, 2pm-8pm
  • Saturday, 10 February – Antrobus House, 39 Salisbury Road, Amesbury SP4 7HH, 11am-5pm
  • Thursday, 22 February – Kennet Valley Village Hall (Avebury), Overton Road, Lockeridge, Marlborough, Wiltshire SN8 4EL, 2pm-8pm
  • Friday, 23 February – Warminster Civic Centre, Sambourne Road, Warminster, BA12 8LB, 2pm-8pm
  • Saturday, 24 February – Shrewton Village Hall, Recreation Ground, The Hollow, Shrewton, SP3 4JY, 11am-5pm
  • Tuesday, 27 February – The Laverton Hall, Bratton Road, Westbury, BA13 3EN, 2pm-8pm
  • Thursday, 1 March – Mere Lecture Hall, Salisbury Street, Mere, Wiltshire BA12 6HA, 2pm-8pm
  • Saturday, 3 March – The Guildhall, Salisbury, The Market Place, Salisbury, SP1 1JH, 11am-5pm
  • Thursday, 8 March – Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BE, 12 noon-8pm
  • Friday, 9 March – The Manor Barn, High Street, Winterbourne Stoke, SP3 4SZ, 2pm-8pm
  • Saturday, 10 March – The Manor Barn, High Street, Winterbourne Stoke, SP3 4SZ, 11am-5pm
  • Tuesday, 13 March – Avon Valley College, Durrington, SP4 8HH, 2pm-8pm
  • Wednesday, 14 March – Larkhill Primary School, Wilson Road, Larkhill, SP4 8QB, 4pm-8.30pm
  • Friday, March 23, Antrobus House, 39 Salisbury Road, Amesbury SP4 7HH, 2-8pm
Drivers view of canopy with ventilation outlets entering
Drivers view of canopy with ventilation outlets entering

And consultation details will also be available to view, from 8 February to 6 April, at the following information points:

  • Amesbury Library, Smithfield Street, Amesbury, Salisbury, SP4 7AL
  • Tidworth Leisure Centre, Nadder Road, Tidworth,SP9 7QW
  • Salisbury Library, Market Place, Salisbury, SP1 1BL
  • Wiltshire Council, County Hall, Bythesea Rd, Trowbridge, BA14 8JN
  • Wilton Library, South Street, Wilton, SP2 0JS
  • Devizes Community Hub and Library, Sheep St, Devizes, SN10 1DL
  • Marlborough Library, 91 High Street, Marlborough, SN8 1HD
  • Warminster Library, 3 Horseshoe Walk, Warminster, BA12 9BT
  • Westbury Library, Westbury House, Edward Street, BA13 3BD
  • The Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, Cocklebury Road, Chippenham, SN15 3QN
Drivers view of fully grassed over canopy exiting
Drivers view of fully grassed over canopy exiting

For those people unable to make the public information events or for those wanting prior information, the consultation web page can be found here.

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Post source : Highways England

About The Author

Anthony has worked in the construction industry for many years and looks forward to bringing you news and stories on the highways industry from all over the world.

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