Manufacturers' group backs dualling of A303 in Wiltshire

Image caption Campaigners are concerned over the environmental impact of dualling the A303 near Stonehenge

A manufacturers' association has backed calls to widen a congested stretch of the A303 in Wiltshire.

The EEF says major delays on the road in the south of the county, are costing businesses time and money.

The A303 is one of the most direct routes from London to Cornwall, but the single carriageway section around Stonehenge, suffers from bottlenecks.

Campaigners opposed to the idea say dualling the road would devastate Stonehenge and the local countryside.

EEF south west regional director Phil Brownsord said nothing should be done to "disturb" Stonehenge but said a solution was needed in the near future.

"It's just looking at the right decision, what's going to do the job in the appropriate way for that area and get that investment there quickly," he said.

Alternative solution

The Stonehenge Alliance is concerned a road-widening scheme will prove damaging to the World Heritage site.

It is calling for an alternative solution, such as a 40 mile (64 km) speed limit to keep traffic flowing, or restricting freight lorries to travel at night.

The Alliance's Kate Fielden said: "This is something that needs to be sorted out, and should have happened years ago."

The A303 is 92 miles (148km) long and runs through five counties.

A multi-agency task group consisting of Highways Agency representatives and county council officials from Wiltshire, Somerset, Cornwall, Devon and Dorset is currently looking into ways to upgrade the road.

The EEF, formerly the Engineering Employers' Federation, works with manufacturing, engineering and technology-based businesses in the UK.

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