A road tunnel is going to be built under Stonehenge, one of the best-known prehistoric monuments in Europe, under a controversial project just finalised by the government. Â
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the plan will transform the busy A303 road â which runs next to the monument â “cutting congestion and improving journey times” as part of a Â£2bn investment.Â
The 1.8-mile tunnel will run as part of a 7-mile dual stretch of the A303. A Unesco report approved the plans in principle last year.Â
Despite being supported by English Heritage and the National Trust, the plans were harshly criticised by historian Tom Holland, who launched a rant on Twitter:Â
In the video, Holland argues that moving the A303 into a tunnel would be a “catastrophe, an act of vandalism that would shame our country and our generation”.
That’s because primordial findings and traces abound not only in the field surrounding Stonehenge, but also in the subsoil. “Stonehenge did not exist in isolation â [with the tunnel] all prospects of future findings will be obliterated,” he said.Â
Campaign group Stonehenge Alliance, which last year launched a petition against the project, said any tunnel shorter than 2.7 miles would do “irreparable damage to the landscape”.
Andy Rhind-Tutt, the Chairman of Amesbury Museum and Heritage Trust, described the tunnel plan as a “self-destructing time bomb”.
Stonehenge site dates back 4,500 years and is the only surviving lintelled stone circle in the world.Â