Government and campaigners clash as a two mile long road tunnel is planned for construction underneath Stonehenge – one of the UK’s most important prehistoric sites.
The plans have brought campaigners out in their droves from a variety of disciplines; including archaeologists, historians, environmentalists, transport experts, countryside campaigners and local residents. A group called the Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site Campaign has been protecting the site from construction for over 20 years, and has launched a new legal battle against the Government over the tunnel plans.
Campaigners argue that the tunnel will cause irreversible damage to the famous 5000 year old site, even risking it’s UNESCO World Heritage status. UNESCO and 5 building inspectors have voiced their opposition to the proposals.
Highways England says…
Highways England demands that the tunnel will dramatically relieve congestion in the area, with the tunnel linking Amesbury and Berwick Down. Highways England says the current road is simply not fit for purpose. The government expects the tunnel to cost in the region of £1.7bn.
The historian Tom Holland has said that if the tunnel is allowed to proceed, it sets a worrying precedent. “That would not only be humiliating for Britain but disastrous for world heritage sites across the world. If a wealthy country like Britain trashes their world heritage sites, it bodes badly for the rest of the world.”
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For more information on the planned tunnel below Stonehenge, read this article in The Guardian.