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50,000 sign anti Stonehenge tunnel petition

Photo: The National Trust

A petition against plans for the proposed A303 Stonehenge tunnel will be handed in to Downing Street this afternoon.

Around 50,000 people have signed the Stonehenge Alliance's petition, which is worried the plans will damage the historic site.

A Government decision on the tunnel and wider A303 upgrade plans had been expected in December 2019, but was delayed due to the election.

A fifth of the petition's signatories are from over 100 countries outside the UK, which the alliance suggests 'underlines the international concern expressed by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee'.

Tom Holland, Alliance President, said: "Tens of thousands of ordinary people have signed our petition for themselves and future generations, hoping to prevent the Stonehenge landscape from the devastating impacts of Highways England’s A303 road proposals. 

"Deep cuttings, tunnel portals and massive highway interchanges would impact on highly sensitive parts of this iconic landscape and its setting.

"For 4,500 years Stonehenge has stood amid a landscape that was itself sacred for millennia  prior to the building of its most celebrated monument. 

"The issue that faces us now as a country is whether the site exists solely to provide a tourist experience, or whether it is the  expression of something more significant, both historically and spiritually. 

"That the Government can seriously contemplate injecting enormous quantities of concrete into this unique site, and disfiguring it with multiple lanes of tarmac, seems to me an abomination."

Kate Freeman, for Friends of the Earth South West added: "The impact on this iconic prehistoric landscape - and on climate  - of building this road would be catastrophic. 

"Future generations would be appalled at the way we had squandered their heritage and environment. At a time of climate crisis, expressways like this are not something ministers should be considering."

  • A link to the petition can be found here
  • A link to a report by the Stonehenge Alliance can be found here
  • For the latest Highways England information about the Stonehenge tunnel proposals click here

Click play to hear reporter Tom Owen speaking to Tom Holland, Stonehenge Alliance President

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