Ian West, a former long-standing county and district councillor has started a petition asking the government to consider an alternative plan to the A303 Stonehenge tunnel.
West, who lives in Winterborne Stoke, at the age of 7 witnessed a friend being knocked over by a car and killed on the A303. Since he was old enough he has campaigned for the village to be bypassed.
The petition calls on Grant Shapps and the government to withdraw from the tunnel project because of the environmental damage it would cause to the countryside.
West states that the soil from the planned tunnel construction will be brought to the village of Winterbourne Stoke and spread across farmland. This will elevate the bypass 30 metres higher in the air than it needs to be, having a detrimental effect on the landscape, noise levels and local community in the village which would leave an appalling legacy for the future.
The petition states: “We believe the High Court judge who quashed Grant Shapp’s approval to grant the Development Consent Order for the A303 / Stonehenge tunnel made the correct decision and that an alternative solution exists that can be implemented faster than the tunnel. This would be in the best interests of local residents and the wider public.”
It goes on to say: “We support the dualling of the A303 on its present line in a shallow cutting just deep enough to hide Stonehenge from the view of motorists. This would ensure centuries’ old view of the stones would be protected. The scheme would be completed much quicker than the tunnel, bringing faster relief from rat-running traffic through the besieged villages of Shrewton, Larkhill, Durrington and Bulford and other surrounding villages.
“The second carriageway would be constructed alongside the existing A303, which would reduce the need for road closures. The soil removed from the cutting would be less than from the proposed tunnel. Most of this could be dispersed on-site or accommodated on nearby MOD army ranges.
“The alternative scheme suggested could be constructed with less damage to the Stonehenge World Heritage Site, and Winterbourne Stoke, and would impact the area of least archaeology interest. We recognise this approach could result in the loss of World Heritage status for Stonehenge, but believe this is a price worth paying to achieve the correct outcome for local villages, motorists, the economy and the government.
“Finally, the financial savings would be enormous in comparison to the tunnel scheme, which is costing £1.7 billion.”
At the time of writing, the petition as 143 signatures. To view the petition, click here.