Based on the detailed WebTAG assessment and appraisal of the modified route options following the public consultation (January–March 2017), the recommended Preferred Route for the A303 Stonehenge scheme is Option 1Nd
Option 1Na – As per previous Option 1N but with a local horizontal realignment to the west of the WHS through Oatlands Hill and across the existing A303; with an approximate 2.9km long tunnel and 300m cut and cover tunnel extension at the western portal within the WHS; and with the new road in cutting between the western tunnel portal and the western boundary of the WHS. The new A360 junction would be located close to the crossing of the existing A303 as with Option 1N, with the existing Longbarrow Roundabout replaced by a simple ‘T’ junction.
Option 1Nd – A variation on Option 1N with a similar approximate 2.9km long tunnel and 300m cut and cover tunnel extension at the western portal within the WHS but with the western portal moved north to a location just to the south of the existing A303 and with the new road in cutting between the western tunnel portal and the western boundary of the WHS. The new A360 junction would be located closer to the existing A360 than with Option 1N, replacing the existing Longbarrow Roundabout.
Option 1Sa – As per previous Option 1S with a similar approximate 2.9km long tunnel and a 300m cut and cover tunnel extension at the western portal within the WHS and with the new road in cutting between the western tunnel portal and the western boundary of the WHS and The Park to the west. The new A360 junction would be located close to the existing A360 within The Park as with Option 1S.
Click to enlarge pictures
In relation the historic environment, the preferred alignment is Option 1Nd as this
• Facilitates a preferred exit location from the WHS, avoiding the Winter
Solstice Sunset alignment (Option 1Sa) and the need for a large cutting
through Oatlands Hill (Option 1Na).
• Runs closer to the current A303, minimising wider intrusion and disturbance.
• Provides more opportunities for effective mitigation than Options 1Na and
1Sa, ensuring overall benefits to the WHS through the removal of much of
the existing A303.
17.1.14 For the wider environment and local community, the route alignment of Option 1Nd
is assessed to result in a lesser impact on a number of key environmental
receptors, as follows:
• It presents a lower risk of adverse effects to the River Avon SAC/River Till
SSSI, and the aquatic ecology of the River Till, when compared with Option
1Sa which would cross the River Till at a location which is considered more
likely to support the qualifying species for the River Avon SAC, as well as
other protected and notable species.
• It avoids impacting what is considered to be a more complex valley
landscape to the south of Winterbourne Stoke that would be affected by
Option 1Sa, and affects the visual amenity of fewer residential and leisure
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receptors in the vicinity of Winterbourne Stoke and Berwick St James than
would be affected by Option 1Sa.
• It avoids direct impacts on landscape features such as The Diamond and
the wooded enclosure within The Park, and is located further away from the
RSPB Normanton Down Nature Reserve, reducing the potential for adverse
effects on protected and notable species, including Stone Curlew, when
compared with Options 1Na and 1Sa.
• It is located closer to the current A303 infrastructure than Options 1Na and
1Sa, thereby creating less disturbance from the effects of traffic.