About Subscribe Submit news Get in touch
 
Home Opinion In depth Video LIVE news Interviews Company profiles Events diary Jobs
UK government pushes through controversial plan to build underground tunnel beneath Stonehenge | Planet Attractions
     

news

UK government pushes through controversial plan to build underground tunnel beneath Stonehenge

The UK government has approved a controversial plan to build a £1.7bn tunnel beneath Stonehenge that Unesco worries could place the prehistoric monument at risk




Heritage organisations are concerned that the tunnel could cause irreparable damage to Stonehenge   Credit: Canva

The UK government has approved controversial plans to build a £1.7bn (US$2.2bn, €2bn) underground highway beneath Stonehenge, with works expected to begin in 2024.

The project will see the A303, a major road that currently runs alongside Stonehenge, turned into an underground dual-carriageway tunnel, which will remove traffic from sight, while the original route is set to become a public walkway and cycle track.

The news comes following years of backlash from public bodies and heritage organisations, including government agency Planning Inspectorate, which said that the project could cause “permanent, irreversible harm” to the prehistoric monument.

Unesco has even threatened to strip Stonehenge and its sister site Avebury of their World Heritage Site status and place them on its World Heritage in Danger list should the plan go ahead.

As it stands, Unesco is concerned that the tunnel will place Stonehenge’s surrounding archaelogical features at risk as well as weaken its structural integrity. The organisation has proposed making the tunnel longer, which would improve the landscape at a greater public expense, or completely rerouting the road around Stonehenge in order to protect the site.

“Stonehenge is the most architecturally sophisticated prehistoric stone circle in the world, while Avebury is the largest. Together with inter-related monuments, and their associated landscapes, they demonstrate Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial and mortuary practices resulting from around 2000 years of continuous use and monument building,” said a Unesco statement.

“The boundaries of the property capture the attributes that together convey Outstanding Universal Value at Stonehenge and Avebury. These sites are extensive and capture the relationship between the monuments as well as their landscape setting.” UK transport secretary Mark Harper said that while these concerns have been taken into account the tunnel’s “harm on spatial, visual relations and settings is less than substantial and should be weighed against the public benefits.”

Historian Tom Holland, chairman of the anti-tunnel group Stonehenge Alliance, said “At the best of times this would be a grotesque decision, but at a time when the country is faced with so many bills, such a financial shortfall, this desecration of a World Heritage Site is the height of folly—an act of vandalism that shames Britain.”


Heritage

 

Brogent plans Attack on Titan content as company also prepares to open trio of flying theatres in 2024





Attractions.io championing guest experience in 2024 with new product releases





Plans to build second Great Wolf waterpark resort in the UK move step closer after ‘in-principle’ deal agreed




Industry insights



Museum exhibition design trends



Video



WATCH: Steve Drake on accesso’s expanding portfolio


In Depth



Mundo Amazonia: Exploring Bellewaerde Park’s new themed area for 2024



© Kazoo 5 Limited 2024
About Subscribe Get in touch
 
Opinion In depth Interviews
LIVE news Profiles Diary Video
Jobs
UK government pushes through controversial plan to build underground tunnel beneath Stonehenge | Planet Attractions
news

UK government pushes through controversial plan to build underground tunnel beneath Stonehenge

The UK government has approved a controversial plan to build a £1.7bn tunnel beneath Stonehenge that Unesco worries could place the prehistoric monument at risk




Heritage organisations are concerned that the tunnel could cause irreparable damage to Stonehenge   Credit: Canva

The UK government has approved controversial plans to build a £1.7bn (US$2.2bn, €2bn) underground highway beneath Stonehenge, with works expected to begin in 2024.

The project will see the A303, a major road that currently runs alongside Stonehenge, turned into an underground dual-carriageway tunnel, which will remove traffic from sight, while the original route is set to become a public walkway and cycle track.

The news comes following years of backlash from public bodies and heritage organisations, including government agency Planning Inspectorate, which said that the project could cause “permanent, irreversible harm” to the prehistoric monument.

Unesco has even threatened to strip Stonehenge and its sister site Avebury of their World Heritage Site status and place them on its World Heritage in Danger list should the plan go ahead.

As it stands, Unesco is concerned that the tunnel will place Stonehenge’s surrounding archaelogical features at risk as well as weaken its structural integrity. The organisation has proposed making the tunnel longer, which would improve the landscape at a greater public expense, or completely rerouting the road around Stonehenge in order to protect the site.

“Stonehenge is the most architecturally sophisticated prehistoric stone circle in the world, while Avebury is the largest. Together with inter-related monuments, and their associated landscapes, they demonstrate Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial and mortuary practices resulting from around 2000 years of continuous use and monument building,” said a Unesco statement.

“The boundaries of the property capture the attributes that together convey Outstanding Universal Value at Stonehenge and Avebury. These sites are extensive and capture the relationship between the monuments as well as their landscape setting.” UK transport secretary Mark Harper said that while these concerns have been taken into account the tunnel’s “harm on spatial, visual relations and settings is less than substantial and should be weighed against the public benefits.”

Historian Tom Holland, chairman of the anti-tunnel group Stonehenge Alliance, said “At the best of times this would be a grotesque decision, but at a time when the country is faced with so many bills, such a financial shortfall, this desecration of a World Heritage Site is the height of folly—an act of vandalism that shames Britain.”


 



© Kazoo 5 Limited 2024