But you know what would sort it… a hedge. A simple hedge. Stick something in the way of the drivers seeing the thing from the road, and you’ve cured the problem.
Why it is insisted that a multi-million (probably billion as costs will overrun) pound highway tunnel project is required, I have no idea. Just plant a bloody hedge!
At the risk of sounding cynical about the current state of UKGOV, you can't really bung your mates a hedge planting contract and expect to get something in return later.
And seeing the controversy is due to the fact that it's the whole landscape that is historic, arguing that you should put a massive a-historic hedge straight across it undermines the main argument against the other proposals.
Do you really think that the planners haven't thought of a hedge and discarded the idea?
10 years later, problem solved. And the tunnel is probably still being argued about in court.
I know this is a bit trite but it wouldn't surprise me given the UK government's record in this area, questionable transport policy is as British as complaining about the weather.
Bonus points for the noise reduction vs a hedge/fence.
What would solve the problem easily (rather than trying to hide it with a hedge), would be to do as they do up in Scotland in the national parks: Provide plenty of parking places anywhere the henge is in view. I drove through Galloway National Park a few weeks ago and every 200 yards the scenery changes to another amazing view and every 200 yards or so, there's somehwre you can safely stop and enjoy it.
People can now safely stop to have a look and take photos, and traffic on the road can drive.
If people are amazed enough at a piece of national heritage that they want to admire it, hiding it from view seems like entirely the wrong response.
Rubbernecking is not the only problem. The existing A303 road splits the Stonehenge landscape in half. The whole ambiance of Stonehenge is kind of ruined by the roar of the trunk road running right next to it.
This might also be due to the fact that the largely dual-carriageway A303 narrows and becomes a single-lane road through the Stonehenge site.
1. The the tunnel wasn't ruled unlawful, the decision making process was. Very big difference.
2. The decision making process was said to be 'unlawful' because the minister failed to properly consider the alternatives, which he/she is required to do under common law. JDs have successfully backed judges into reading ministers minds.
3. Note use of the word 'unlawful' and note bad-faith out-riders without liability who will say 'illegal'. Not the same thing. Unlawful means that the minister didn't fully fulfil he/his requirements under law (common law in this case), not that they contravened a specific law.
4. Grant Shapps is genuinely stupid and could have easily tried to 'consider' alternatives and come up against the limits of his own mind. https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/03/eight-weirdest...
5. Nobody has an actual alternative. The A303 is utterly broken and causes knock-on problems all over that area of the UK. The tunnel is an expensive alternative to improving that road (which already runs within 150m of stonehenge).
6. UNESCO has nearly 100% employee capture at this stage. Saying UNESCO oppose it is saying that bug-burger-promoting elites living in Geneva think it's a bit bad.
7. Historic England, who managed the landmark, back the proposal for a tunnel
8. “Ideally, such a tunnel would begin and end outside the world heritage site. But now that we are facing a climate emergency, it is all the more important that this ruling should be a wake-up call for the government." Just what?
No need for mind reading, if there is no documentation for the process (meeting notes) or its results they probably didn't do it correctly if at all.
> 5. Nobody has an actual alternative.
Weird, the road in question was at points in (recent) history completely abandoned. Then gained a higher status despite reports pointing out how irrelevant it was, until it was finally upgraded because it was easier than fixing the A30. Either the Wikipedia entry is lacking some important information that makes it necessary to build a road through Stonehenge or no one looked at the alternatives present in the past.
Because of JDs, and because of, no offence, comments like this - gov lawyers feel compelled to write down literally everything to prove they 'considered'. But a lack of ass covering doesn't prove that the consideration didn't occur.
huh? even the protestors agree that the road needs an upgrade?
I'm not going to read a whole wikipedia article. It's a highly congested major road. It needs an upgrade and the stonehenge 'site' is massive. https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge/...
I guess you have the entire UK traffic situation memorized. Didn't have to talk with anyone else about it, didn't need a single meeting or phone call to reach that state of omniscience.
> It's a highly congested major road.
Well if that is the issue, just close the road, no more congestion on it and I also didn't have to ask anyone, or do any traffic analysis that might require paperwork for it.
> Well if that is the issue, just close the road, no more congestion on it and I also didn't have to ask anyone, or do any traffic analysis that might require paperwork for it.
This is a meme right? You're memeing what a stupid person might say?
In case you actually don’t get it. What they are clearly doing is using hyperbole to point out that the road upgrade can only be shown to be a good idea if they can also show that they looked at the whole situation, all the options, and still concluded that upgrading that specific road is the only reasonable option.
Their hyperbolic example is that if road congestion is the problem, just close the road. Problem solved. Obviously, that is a myopic look at only that road that technically solves the problem, while clearly making things worse in practice, since vehicles would still have to use other roads. This paralleled the myopic thinking that there is road congestion on one road, so the only solution is to upgrade that one road, while not considering all the other roads and the interplay of traffic patterns and if/how congestion could be solved using other roads or methods.
I don't think you are correct that the A303 was ever abandoned, at least in modern times. It's been the primary route between London and South-West England for many decades.
Yeah. I popped up a map to see if I could think of a better route round the situation, but the options aren't great for "how to get to the southwest of England from London". Go north and take the M4/M5, which is the main route to Wales and already busy? Or go south, M3, and get bogged down somewhere west of Bournemouth? Expanding a motorway through the New Forest isn't going to be popular either.
Note that the tunnel proposal as written was cut and cover, which would involve digging up all the archaeologically-significant land above it, rather than a bored tunnel.
Many of the campaigners aren't actually arguing against the idea of a tunnel. They're arguing that the tunnel should be longer. The current 2-mile design has it's portals being constructed within the world heritage site, which will involve huge cuttings and excavation which will obviously be disruptive to the archaeology.
On the subject of a 'longer tunnel' - there are basically two main problems
1. The stone henge 'site' is massive and gets bigger or smaller depending on who you're talking to. Like, kilometers big and tunnel costs basically scale with each km dug.
2. The main issue with tunnelling is the risk of disturbing archaeological sites. More tunnelling = more disturbance.
I actually don't have a good solution to this very difficult, multi-actor, ill-defined problem set. But it's so dumb for a JR to come in and be like 'haha they didn't consider the alternatives to the ill defined common law definition'.
Like, no one even bloody knows what the common law standard is. Judges make it up on the fly (they have no other option since its common law and JDs have only taken off in the last ten years) and newspapers gulp it down, then regurgitate it back into the screaming chick's open mouth.
What's worse is the state of the railways in the south west.
I remember seeing a documentary once that argued this was no accident. Stonehenge was a site meant to be visited, centrally located and easy to access. The route of the A303, more or less, has likely existed since ancient times, pre-dating Stonehenge.
Really wish we could build some decent rail infrastructure out there...
What is a liberty is English Heritage getting the road that goes beside the monument closed and charging an absolute fortune for tickets. They still run old diesel busses up and down that road. The bus drivers treat it like a racing track and it feels rather perilous to walk up the permissive path (after being made to feel like a criminal at the visitors centre!)
National trust are awful though (although I believe Stone Hedge is actually English Heritage). Anyone interested in seeing a more authentic neolithic site would be better off visiting one of the many free to access long barrow and hill forts.
Stoney Littleton Long Barrow is one of my personal favourites. It's a lovely walk to the site and the site itself is beautiful and completely free. You can even explore the barrow and touch the stones.
Same with a deep tunnel. I don't think 150m down there would be substantive archeology. I don't think anyone is willing to countenance going below the remains is viable.
In short — when contract builders determine depths of tunnels based on earliest known human habitation, it’s often the case that they find humans got there earlier than thought. Then the proposed great solution to the traffic problems instead becomes an archeological dig site for the next decade.
Usually it's the opposite: things well buried tend to last longer.
These also sit in a grander context of a European wide network of structures which we are only starting to grasp an understanding of.
Unfortunately often protests seeking a perfect outcome stand in the way of any progress.
What does this mean? If they have to build the road and/or tunnel farther away from the henge, is that not progress?
Or should they just demolish the damn thing, because that's progress?
The UK spends significant funds to preserve historical sites; this is a historical site. And preserving them is progress.
* Does blocking a short tunnel mean you get a long tunnel instead? Or does it mean the road remains on the surface?
* Does the damage to the site from excavating a tunnel outweigh the improvement of the site by hiding the unsightly roadway?
* Does the climate emergency mean we should stop expanding roads for cars all together? Is a £1.7bn tunnel already too much to spend on cars, to say nothing of an even longer one?
If they've successfully blocked the short tunnel but instead they get to keep the congested surface road for another 30 years, that seems like an own goal to me...
The campaigners have only really delayed an equally unpalatable decision somewhere else.
The protests weren't against using a tunnel - they asked for a more nuanced and considered approach to a tunnel.
But don't worry, with practice you'll get better at it!
(Aside, I also don’t like highways in cities.)
The Japanese when they built their shinkansen demolished countless old temples and ran straight through beautiful nature.
Archaeology will be preserved underneath for future generations to find when they have a better solution for what to do with the vehicular traffic.