Stonehenge tunnel: destructive and cynical road-widening to accommodate extra traffic when we need to reduce transport emissions, says Green MEP

Molly has slammed plans to build a tunnel through the Stonehenge World Heritage site, part of a proposed £1.6bn upgrade of the A303 in Wiltshire. She points to potential damage to the sacred landscape and the fact that transport is now the leading contributor to the UKs greenhouse gas emissions.

Molly, who is MEP for the area, said:

“Today’s announcement by Highways England of their plans for a £1.6Bn upgrade to the A303 flies in the face of UNESCO advice and concerns expressed by environmental groups and heritage organisations about damage to the World Heritage Site. The proximity of the current road to the sacred site is far from ideal, but the government is cynically using concerns about traffic noise and pollution close to the Stones to sneak through a road-widening scheme designed to increase road capacity and reduce travel times to and from London.

“The plans come in the same week that government statistics reveal greenhouse gas emissions from transport outstrip those from any other sector in the UK, accounting for more than a quarter of all emissions [2]. The plans to upgrade the A303 shows a government rushing full speed towards road expansion just at a time when we need to put a brake on transport emissions. At the same time local public transport services are being cut and promises to electrify our railways abandoned.

“We need the money that might be squandered on this folly used to upgrade the railway line between Salisbury and Exeter – which is still single track for much of its length – and improve local and regional bus services instead. Unlike the government, Greens understand the need to plan and deliver bold transport solutions that lead to drastic cuts in our carbon emissions and encourage a shift towards public transport rather than endless growth in private transport.”