A303 Stonehenge

We propose to improve the A303 past Stonehenge by providing a dual two-lane carriageway between Amesbury and Berwick Down in Wiltshire. The scheme will help unlock economic growth in the South West by improving journey reliability, increasing safety and improving connectivity with neighbouring regions, while protecting and enhancing the environment.

Region:  South West
Start date:  2021
Cost:  ÂŁ1.6 billion
Status:  PLANNED
Type:  Major Scheme
End date:  TBC
Programme:  A303 / A358 Corridor improvements

Progress report

Our application for a development consent order to build the scheme has been accepted by the Planning Inspectorate. You can view our application and register as an interested party between 8 December 2018 and 11 January 2019 on the the Planning Inspectorate’s website.

This is an important milestone as it signifies another step towards improving this vital route to the south west.

We have also produced an explanatory booklet to help you understand the proposed scheme. It sets out the key elements on the scheme, reflecting its development since consultation, and will act as a guide to important information for those wanting to engage with the Planning Inspectorate’s examination of our proposals.

What’s next

The A303 improvement past Stonehenge is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project and will be considered under the Planning Act 2008. Under the Act, applicants apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO) from the Secretary of State for Transport.

We submitted the DCO application on 19 October 2018 to the Planning Inspectorate who accepted it on 16 November 2018. The Inspectorate will now arrange a detailed examination of the application, in which stakeholders and the public can participate, before making a recommendation to the Secretary of State who will make the final decision on the scheme proceeding.

More details about the examination process can be found on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.

Timeline

Date Event
2013 A303 feasibility study announced as part of the Autumn Statement
2014 Scheme included in the Roads Investment Strategy
2015-2016 Route options assessed
12 January to 5 March 2017 Non-statutory consultation on route options
September 2017 Preferred route announced
8 February to 23 April 2018 Statutory consultation on proposed scheme
17 July to 14 August 2018 Supplementary consultation
19 October 2018 Development consent order application submitted
16 November 2018 Development consent order accepted for examination
Early 2019 Begin public examination
2021 (planned) Start work on site

Community news

We've established a Local Community Forum and appointed an independent chair as leader. The next forum will be held in January 2019.

Why we need this scheme

As part of the most direct route between the South East and the South West, the A303 past Stonehenge plays a big part in the daily lives of tens of thousands of people, and for many it can be a daily struggle.

Average traffic flows along the single carriageway section between Amesbury and Berwick Down are twice what it was designed for, and the road is even busier in the summer tourist period.

The road bisects the Stonehenge part of the Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites World Heritage Site, running just 165 metres away from the most famous stone circle in the world. The road also cuts the village of Winterbourne Stoke in two.

An improved dual-carriageway, via a tunnel past Stonehenge, will help unlock economic growth in the South West by transforming journey reliability, increasing safety and improving connectivity with neighbouring regions, while protecting or enhancing the environment.

To make sure we achieve this, the project has four key objectives:

  • Transport: to create a high quality reliable route between the South East and the South West that meets the future needs of traffic.
  • Economic growth: to enable growth in jobs and housing by providing a free-flowing and reliable connection between the South East and the South West.
  • Cultural heritage: to help conserve and sustain the World Heritage Site and to make it easier to reach and explore.
  • Environment and community: to improve biodiversity and provide a positive legacy for nearby communities.

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Project timeline

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The A34 in Oxfordshire is closed in both ways between the A420 and A44 due to a police incident.
Posted: January 1, 1970, 12:00 am
There are significant levels of freezing rain/snow being forecast in Northern England.
Posted: January 1, 1970, 12:00 am

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