Video | How Stonehenge will look once the A303 tunnel is built

National Highways has released a visualisation showing how the area around Stonehenge will look once the A303 is buried in a tunnel.

Last week, the government gave formal consent to the construction of a new tunnel under the historic site. The £1.7bn project will create a two-lane dual carriageway for the A303 in Wiltshire, including a two-mile tunnel 200m away from Stonehenge and up to 40m deep.

Campaigners opposed the plans, claiming that the works would be to the detriment of the UNESCO World Heritage site. A High Court ruling in 2021 found that former transport secretary Grant Shapps’ decision to allow the tunnel to go ahead was unlawful.

However, following a legal challenge and a High Court ruling against the decision-making process, the tunnel plans are underway once again.

An illustration of a tunnel
An illustration of where the tunnel will be built under the World Heritage Site, further away from the Stonehenge monument (Image: National Highways)

National Highways said the A303 Stonehenge upgrade will include:

  • eight miles of free-flowing dual carriageway between Amesbury and Berwick Down;
  • a tunnel at least two miles long underneath the World Heritage Site, closely following the existing A303 route, but a further 50 metres away from the Stonehenge monument, avoiding important archaeological sites, and avoiding intrusion on the view of the setting sun from the stones during the winter solstice;
  • a new bypass to the north of the village of Winterbourne Stoke;
  • junctions with the A345 and A360 either side of the World Heritage Site

There is now a six-week period in which parties can lodge an intention to legally challenge the decision to allow the tunnel to proceed.

National Highways last year awarded the £1.25bn tunnel and main construction works contract to the MORE joint venture. The JV comprises FCC Construcción, WeBuild and BeMo Tunnelling.

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  1. I think that this is an unbelievably huge amount for providing something unnecessary and that very view people care about.
    These funds can be spent much more meaningful.

  2. Great news, the A303 should have been dual carriageway from M3 to Exeter years ago. Black down hills next 🤞

  3. Great idea, it’s about time. This will hopefully clear congestion often suffered in the area. And return the monument to its former natural beauty.

  4. Brilliant 😁😁 people forget the A303 is such an important road for those who use that road for business, trade and tourists down to west country. It’s the life line that brings that part of the world money.

  5. Very necessary should have been done 40 years ago. Now the Druids will not have to suffer the constant pollution this bottle neck causes. 😀

  6. Dig the road deeper so coaches cannot see the stones when travelling along road.this will then make it possible to look across level fields when viewing from the stones
    So no need to tunnel which will take years to complete and cost the taxpayers more money

  7. Total waste of money just turn existing road to dual carriageway an put up a sight and sound barrier fence to stop people rubber necking an keep moving.

  8. There is already a motorway route in place from London to Exeter; M4 – M5.
    At the time of writing (16.35 17th July 2023) it’s already 5min faster than the A303 route. Problem solved & it didn’t cost several billion £s

  9. At last should have been done years ago. I live very close to the hindhead tunnel and that has transformed the area much nicer now the punchbowl is not split in two lots of people were against it but they have all gone quiet now.
    Stonehenge will be much nicer to visit without the A303 running by it hope I live to see it open I am 71 now so might make it.

  10. The stones are plagued by traffic noise. The A303 there is plagued by people slowing for a view of the stones. I use this section of A303 several times a month for business trips and regularly get delayed here. A tunnel is an ideal solution.

  11. They should never have allowed the building of Stonehenge that close to the A303 in the first place.

  12. Excellent news! 👍
    The project will restore the heritage area to it’s former state, providing visitors with a true-to-life experience of how it may have been years ago.
    More importantly it will reduce emissions, improving air quality as a result of the free flowing and hidden traffic.
    It’s a winner all round!!

  13. A tunnel is the right answer to the traffic problem at Stonehenge but not such a short one that starts and stops within the archaeologically sensitive areas…. It should extend from the Countess roundabout (elevation ~70m amsl) where it can be underground before ‘Vespasian’s camp’, and stay underground until Winterbourne Stoke (elevation ~70m amsl). About 8 km of tunnel.

    Sure, more expensive than the proposal but the difference in cost is rounding error on the spend at HS2, and a longer tunnel would probably make a lot more people more readily accept it.

  14. I think the above suggestion to lower the road so the stones can’t be seen and make it a dual carriageway would be better for the tax payer and would stop ‘rubber necking’ and increase flow of traffic. A tunnel isn’t needed, what’s needed is
    better flowing traffic –
    Dual carriageway and dropped road would achieve this.

  15. This should not be a tunnel because it limits the volume of traffic and improving this route will make it a victim of its own success – just watch the traffic volume grow. It should be 500 metres further away in a cutting and three lanes plus hardshoulder both ways. The extra cost would be 20%. Build for the future.

  16. I love the view from the road as you approach Stonehenge as it is, having driven and been driven past it since the very early 60’s. I will miss that pleasure. It is one of the reasons I prefer the A30/A303 route than M4/M5 option.
    Also, it was built much like churches were. To be seen from a great distance away.
    Albeit for then a different meaning to individuals than nowadays, but nevertheless, I think that many passing and seeing the stones start to wonder how and why they are there.
    A tunnel takes that away.
    A project like this is great but congestion will inevitably be pushed to another area. Possibly where there is housing nearby and therefore potentially polluting others relatively clean air.
    Overall – I am in two minds for the project, but not convinced that a tunnel is the correct solution.

  17. What a great project especially for the local people who use the existing road it will save them time and money not to mention the local businessness. And importantly cut harmful emissions from the slow moving traffic.

  18. This incredibly well thought out project should now be initiated with expediency.
    The majority of people, both locals and motorists have been held to ransom by a highly vocal minority…. not representative of the population. The Hind Head project has been a real success, both environmentally and commercially…. the minority scaremongers are silent and frustrated….
    Come on ….. build the tunnel

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