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Latest Stonehenge plan is 'fantasy road building'


ENVIRONMENTALISTS THIS week blasted new cost cutting proposals for the A303 Stonehenge road widening scheme as 'fantasy road building'.

Under new plans the scheme will plough straight across the World Heritage Site with bypasses to the north or south and a cut and cover tunnel.

A public consultation on the options will run until 24 April.

The plans are being considered because roads minister Stephen Ladyman ruled out construction of a bored tunnel in July 2005 after costs escalated to £470M (NCE 28 July 2005).

'All the options presented involve significant damage to the Stonehenge World Heritage Site or to neighbouring heritage and wildlife sites, ' said Transport 2000 director Stephen Joseph.

'But this is fantasy road building anyway because there is no money to do any significant projects of this sort.' The South West Regional Assembly is expected to tell the government this week that it will not fund the scheme (News last week).

Joseph said simpler measures like closing the A344 road to the north of Stonehenge would cut congestion and allow instant environmental improvements.

English Heritage urged the government to widen the consultation to include other schemes considered at public inquiry which have a less damaging impact.

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