Client: Highways Agency with Mott MacDonald
Location: Stonehenge, Wiltshire
Stonehenge is a World Heritage site and yet its setting suffers from being passed on both sides by busy roads. The scheme, promoted principally for environmental reasons, was to remove the A303 from view from the world famous Stone Circle. It also provided a bypass for the village of Winterbourne Stoke. This posed complex and sensitive landscape and heritage issues associated with the Stonehenge landscape, together with possible implications on the River Avon /River Till SSSI/cSAC and Parsonage Down SSSI/SPA.
It was proposed to create a 2.2km tunnel within the World Heritage Site and the restoration of land on the present route of the A303. The existing A344, which runs adjacent to the Stones, was also closed and the landscape restored.
Our work included environmental scheme design, photomontages, inputs to the Environmental Impact Assessment including the production of a scoping report, detailed ecological surveys, and landscape, land use and planning surveys.
As advisors to the Highways Agency, through Mott MacDonald, we were part of the wider design team and provided expert witness at the Public Inquiry. Whilst it has been accepted that improvements are required, the escalating costs of the scheme meant that for the time being, it will not be progressed.