A major road running past Stonehenge is going to be moved into a 1.8-mile tunnel, the Department for Transport has announced.
Currently a single carriageway and a notorious hotspot for congestion, the A303 in Wiltshire will become a dual carriageway under the proposals – reducing traffic and improving journey times for locals.
Government officials claim the tunnel would also remove the sight and sound of traffic for tourists visiting the World Heritage Site.
A major report published in May 2016 concluded that a tunnel could benefit Stonehenge if it was cleverly designed and well-constructed.
Heritage groups that manage the landmark have welcomed the tunnel – and believe it will make the standing stones more tranquil, benefit the environment, and improve the public’s access to the site.
When the Government’s proposals were first announced in December 2015, English Heritage said: “Tens of thousands of vehicles thunder past Stonehenge on the A303 every day.
“The heavy traffic and constant noise from the road compromises our enjoyment and understanding of the monument and the road cuts the stones off from much of the surrounding ancient landscape and many prehistoric monuments.”
However, some campaigners have expressed concern that the roadbuilding project could irreparably damage the prehistoric monument.
A consultation into the Stonehenge proposals will run until 5 March, and the preferred route will be unveiled later this year.