Wiltshire

Stonehenge longer tunnel call gains support

Stonehenge Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Congestion on the road nearest to the stones has been described as "highly detrimental"

A campaign for a longer road tunnel past Stonehenge is being supported by a 17,500-signature petition.

A £2bn proposal, which includes a 1.8-mile (2.9 km) tunnel, was announced by the government in December, aimed at easing congestion on the nearby A303.

However, the Stonehenge Alliance said anything shorter than a 2.7-mile (4.3 km) tunnel would cause "irreparable damage to the landscape".

Campaigner Kate Fielden said the proposed facility was "far too short".

She said the World Heritage site covered "a huge archaeological landscape" and there was an "obligation" for the government to protect it.

English Heritage and the National Trust have also given their support to the option of "the longest tunnel possible".

The Department for Transport (DfT) said a public consultation into its plans could take place in 2017.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones described it as "an ambitious scheme" and said: "We need to do much more work consulting with local groups and local councils to get this right."

The Stonehenge Alliance said it planned to present the petition to Transport Secretary Patrick Loughlin and Culture Minister Ed Vaizey.

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