The tunnel has now been shifted 160ft away from the actual site to satisfy protestors
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has given the green light over controversial plans to build a road tunnel stretching 1.8 miles near to Stonehenge.
The idea behind the tunnel is to hopefully mask the sight and sound of the road from the ancient monument site itself but concerns were raised saying the tunnel would pass too close to the site which would disturb the view of the setting sun during the winter solstice.
However, thanks to protests by archaeologists, druids and conservation experts, the Government decided that the route of the tunnel needed to be changed, so has now been shifted a further 160ft away from the site.
The historical site lies to the side of the A303 and is quite often gridlocked, leaving holiday-makers and business commuters frustrated on many occasions.
Highways Englands’ plan is to put a dual carriageway tunnel on the road, which will closely follow the current A303 route but will now be a further 164ft away from the monument site.
According to Mr Grayling, the tunnel will make journey times quicker thanks to reduced congestion, as well as providing cleaner air for the area & locals and may also boost tourism.
Officials for the DfT have said the new route will not interfere with the view of the setting sun at winter solstice and all important archaeological sites will not be tampered with.
Concerns are still being raised about whether a tunnel so close to the stones could damage the area around the site, which is now known to contain pathways, henges, barrows and track-ways and/or cause subsidence under the monument itself.
According to the Stonehenge Alliance who are supported by environmental and heritage organisations, the plans would cause ‘severe and permanent damage’ to the whole archaeological landscape which is a World Heritage Site – totally at odds to international advice given to the UK Government.
However, following the announcement of the go ahead by Mr Grayling, the National Trust, Historic England and English Heritage said in a joint statement the project “would restore peace and tranquility” to the Stonehenge landscape.
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