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The Project Control Framework

This framework sets out how we, together with the Department for Transport, manage and deliver major road improvement projects.

A303 Stonehenge Improvement

A303 Stonehenge Improvement

Status
Withdrawn
Located in
Area 2Map of the Agency's Operational Areas
Scheme type
Programme of Major SchemesRoad Schemes Managed by the Highways Agency
Updates
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Update

Following a Public Inquiry in 2004 into our proposals for improving the A303 past Stonehenge, the Inspector recommended a new dual carriageway should be built, along with a 2.1km long bored tunnel to remove the effects of the road and traffic from Britain's most famous prehistoric site.

However, significantly increased tunnelling costs caused the Minister for State for Transport to announce a review of the scheme.  

A cross-government Steering Group was formed in October 2005 to take forward a review of options to improve the setting around Stonehenge and ease congestion on the A303. The Steering Group had representatives from the Department for Transport, Department of Culture, Media and Sport, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Highways Agency, Government Office for the South West, English Heritage and Natural England.

The Terms of Reference for the review were as follows:

  1. Update the costs and benefits of the Published Scheme put to Public Inquiry
  2. Update the costs and benefits of the alternative options put forward at the Public Inquiry, and possible variants, on a like-for-like basis with the updated costs and benefits of the published scheme;
  3. Identify a shortlist of alternative options judged worthy of further detailed consideration in pursuing the Government's objectives for the scheme;
  4. Consult widely on the key findings form tasks (a) to (c) above;
  5. Review consultation responses and complete a full assessment of the performance of the published scheme and the shortlisted options against the Government's objectives, looking in particular at each option's overall value for money, compatibility with the Stonehenge Management Plan and plans for a new visitor centre, environmental impacts, relief of congestion on the A303, affordability and deliverability;
  6. Prepare a report to Ministers on the results of the consultation exercise and the performance of each shortlisted option in relation to the factors listed at (e) above.

The review also considered whether there were any implications for the strategy of improving other sections of the A303/A358 corridor to the west of Stonehenge.

The Review was carried out in two stages. During Stage 1 the Steering Group undertook the work under items (a) to (c) above and prepared a summary report of its findings, including options recommended for more detailed consideration.  The findings were taken forward for consultation with key stakeholders and others who wished to have their views taken into account in the Review.  In Stage 2 the Steering Group carried out a more detailed assessment of the performance of shortlisted options and carefully considered the results of the public consultation exercise.  It then prepared a report to Ministers setting out the results of this analysis.

The report by the Steering Group was considered by Ministers, leading to an announcement on 6 December 2007 to the effect that the scheme was being cancelled.