YOUR leader, ‘Seeing Stonehenge’ (February 22) advocates widening the A303 instead of building a tunnel past the monument, in order that motorists may continue to view the stones as they travel. This argument misses the point of the long campaign for a tunnel, which has, shamefully, now gone on for at least 50 years without resolution.
The principal objective of the National Trust (which owns the land) and English Heritage (which owns the monument itself) throughout my time at the Trust was to restore the whole downland setting of Stonehenge to its original natural condition. To set this aside in favour of continued—and even increased— intrusion of roads and traffic at this renowned World Heritage Site must be to choose the wrong priority. Sir Angus Stirling, former Director-general, National Trust
FAR from causing ‘more upheaval’, Government plans for a tunnel past Stonehenge offer major benefits, including alleviating the congestion that frustrates so many travellers on this route. It would remove the majority of the existing, damaging surface A303 and its traffic from the World Heritage Site and enable wildlife to flourish. It would finally reunite the north and south sides of this ancient landscape and allow people to explore and understand it better.
Widening the A303 is not a ‘cheerful option’. Such a move would cause serious harm and even risk the World Heritage Site status of Stonehenge. The current proposals need improvement and sensitive detailing, particularly around the western portal. It is important that they do not damage or detract from the existing landscape, but, if it is in the right place and designed well, the tunnel scheme is an historic opportunity to do the right thing by Stonehenge and its ancient landscape. Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive, Historic England