Future of the A303 tunnel scheme uncertain.

The future of the scheme to put a tunnel through the Stonehenge World Heritage Site is on shaky grounds, taking hits from all sides.

The National Audit Office is looking into the financial benefits of the scheme, claiming that the benefits had been overestimated by Highways England based on a hypothetical situation which cannot be taken into account in real terms.

Further to the loss of benefits, it has also been found that the cost of the project will be considerably higher than calculated when taking into account the cost of up keeping the tunnel over the next 50 years.

More on this story can be found here

In addition to this devastating news for the project it has also been hit by the first rounds of the independent hearing into the project, where locals, notable archaeologists and historians such as Tom Holland, have been giving their evidence against the tunnel.

The wealth of fact based information going against the tunnel is countered by only a handful of people speaking in favour of the scheme. The fact that many locals have come forward to voice their objection goes against the theory put forward by the Department for Transport which said that the tunnel scheme was for the local people and advocated by them. What they are finding is that there is strong reason for locals to be against the proposals when they have realised that their local heritage is at risk, especially the archaeology at Blick Mead, which the local people are heavily involved with and proud of.

Many of the evidence which has been given can be found on the inspectorate website, including an amazing speech given by Stonehenge expert Simon Banton which begins at approx 29 minutes in. His speech can be found here.

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