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Tunnel to be built under Stonehenge

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english si:

--- Quote from: Plutonic Panda on July 30, 2021, 04:07:17 PM ---Thatís sad to see UK follow in the US footsteps of blocking much needed projects.
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Average time saved was assessed by the people promoting the scheme to be less than a minute. The congestion problem is handful of days a year (and has been significantly improved in recent years by small improvements) - closing side turns, restrictions on stopping). This leads people to think its always bad - because they only travel it on the bad days (and have memories of what it was like pre-improvements) and think its always like that.

There's lots of schemes that are more needed: eg the similar-standard A31 running parallel 25 miles to the south has worse congestion problems - and not just those handful of days a year (where it also sees traffic slow to a crawl and take about 8 times longer than it would in free-flowing conditions), but rush hour too.

--- Quote ---Hopefully a resolution comes and this project is built.
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Hopefully not without serious modifications. While the ruling wasn't to pass judgement on the scheme, merely the lawfulness of the process approving it, the Order approving it was quashed, rather than put on hold without as there was no way it would have been approved had the process not been violated.

--- Quote from: Evan_Th on July 30, 2021, 04:11:08 PM ---why can't they just expand it in place or build a wider road through the fields to the south of the current road?  Why does it need to be in a tunnel?
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How to put this in American terms? The whole area is ancient native burial grounds, settlements and monuments. And not just run-of-the-mill stuff but the densest, most extensive and best preserved, collection of prehistoric monuments in Britain, considered to be a "landscape without parallel" by UNESCO and one of the wonders of the world by Medieval Chroniclers. It's the strongest candidate for the flagship historic site in the UK - the most famous, the most globally important, etc.

You can't go through the archaeology - which anything on the surface will do - so you either go about 3.5 miles to the south*, or you go under it all in a bored tunnel.

The scheme, as proposed, has been found to have unlawfully ignored that it's a wider landscape and not just the stones and their immediate surrounding. It didn't go under it all, instead demolishing a large settlement with its western tunnel portal and the associated cutting would be through a large cemetery. They also didn't investigate alternatives enough to satisfy legal requirements. They were the two grounds upheld about the unlawfulness of the approval decision.

*Arguably a more useful scheme roads-wise would be doing this by having a similarly-priced big bypass of the Amesbury-Stonehenge area that also functions as a northern bypass of Salisbury. It's not a low impact route that won't be controversial, but the current route certainly isn't! it ought to be looked at in detail alongside a more expensive longer tunnel that does actually go under it all.

BrynM65:
The main selling point for the half-baked scheme was it saved Highways England a load of money, at the expense of annoying everyone else.

As Si above says, the nearest equivalent would be suggesting sticking an interstate through the middle of the Alamo or having a tunnel portal directly next to Mount Rushmore. Some road projects need to be done properly or simply not at all - the USA of course learned this the hard way with numerous urban freeways that are now needing expensive remediation work.

jakeroot:

--- Quote from: english si on July 31, 2021, 06:48:41 AM ---*Arguably a more useful scheme roads-wise would be doing this by having a similarly-priced big bypass of the Amesbury-Stonehenge area that also functions as a northern bypass of Salisbury. It's not a low impact route that won't be controversial, but the current route certainly isn't! it ought to be looked at in detail alongside a more expensive longer tunnel that does actually go under it all.

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Speaking of: whose idea was it to build the Amesbury Bypass north of Amesbury, pointing directly at Stonehenge? I get that planners of the 1960s weren't as keen on environmental considerations. Still, even they must have known that, as a legitimate bypass of the M5-M4 route between Southeast England and London, it would become a relatively popular road and need dualling even beyond key town bypasses. Stonehenge certainly isn't something that should be anywhere near a dual carriageway.

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