Green Party Objects to Proposed Road
Road plan would make Stonehenge site "a monument to the car"
From the Green Party's website
The proposed road cutting would dominate the World Heritage Site, say Salisbury Greens. If the A303 proposals were approved, the new road cutting would become the most prominent monument within the Stonehenge World Heritage Site: the 21st century monument to the car, a kind of inverted Cursus, rivalling the original Cursus in size."
That's the warning Salisbury Green Party will present to the public inquiry that begins on Tuesday (17th February).
Local spokesperson Hamish Soutar will tell the inquiry that the damage caused by the new road would far outweigh any benefits from closing the existing roads. He will call for a return to the consensus reached at the 1995 Red Lion Planning Conference. "The Conference agreed with the aim of removing the roads entirely, at least from the area known as the Stonehenge Bowl. There is no surface route for a new road that would meet either with that objective, or with the government's international obligations to protect the World Heritage Site. English Heritage and the present government are betraying the public by backing the proposed road scheme."
Local Greens say no new road should be built, leaving the current A303 where it is but implementing road safety measures such as closing the junction with the A344 (something first recommended nearly 70 years ago). But if the government is determined to press ahead with its road-building plans, they say the only solution is a long tunnel under the entire World Heritage Site, as originally proposed by the National Trust and English Heritage and backed by the 1995 Conference.
Hamish Soutar says: "We don't really want the tunnel, but we are putting it forward because it is important that the Inquiry should consider it. We will argue that any tunnel design has to include every available safety feature, whatever the cost. We will also argue that there are benefits to be had from putting the whole project on hold for twenty years or so. Technology is changing, transport policy changes, and Stonehenge itself is old enough to wait."
Finally, he adds: "The most important World Heritage Site that we need to protect is the world itself. Our uncertain future will not be helped by continuing to spend hundreds of millions of pounds on vast new roads. Our duty to conserve Stonehenge for future generations is pointless unless we ensure that they have a world fit to live in.
Posted by Rhiannon
11th February 2004ce
Edited 10th February 2006ce