Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

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Micro The Maniac
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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Micro The Maniac » Sun Aug 01, 2021 09:23

SteveA30 wrote:
Sat Jul 31, 2021 10:20
The residents of Winterborne Stoke really need to pressurise the Gov and HE to separate their bypass from Stonehenge.
I'm not sure that is possible, as the alignment at the eastern end (the western end of Stonehenge) is now up in the air.

I think it is realistic to assume that the western portal of the tunnel will be outside the WHS boundary (ie west of the current A360 alignment)

As for the Countess... the same issue applies - the A345 forms the boundary of the WHS, so (perhaps) the tunnel portal needs to be under that roundabout?

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Micro The Maniac » Sun Aug 01, 2021 09:40

RJDG14 wrote:
Sat Jul 31, 2021 13:08
One of the alternative options was to build a southern bypass of Salisbury, which seems rather pointless since Salisbury already effectively has a bypass running through its centre which is perfectly adequate, however you could take the A303 along the line of the present A338 past Porton Down, effectively creating a southern bypass of Amesbury which dodges both the Stonehenge archaeological site and MOD Boscombe Down.
A southern bypass of Salisbury, while perhaps desirable, is (surely) out of context with the A303 - and your suggestion of taking the A303 along the line of the present A338 past Porton Down (presumably to link up with the A36 at Stapleford?) is utterly a non-starter... the A338 and A36 are both is S2 and I upgrading to D2 is out of the question

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Burns » Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:06

Pendlemac wrote:
Sat Jul 31, 2021 18:10
RJDG14 wrote:
Sat Jul 31, 2021 13:08
I can't really imagine a tunnel being an option for the Air Balloon section of the A417 as it's effectively going from a high section to a low section with a descent of about 160 metres.
Similar to the Amlatunnelen in Norway then? That drops 150m over 3km to reach a ferry terminal. The twist is that, to get the space for queueing vehicles, the right-hand lane of the tunnel ends up at the left hand end of the terminal when viewed from above the tunnel.
Amlatunnelen is a wonderful piece of engineering with both the underground crossover and the tunnel being five lanes wide at the portal to accommodate the ferry queue. I've been through a lot of gradient tunnels over there, notably Rullestadtunnelen on the E134 is three lanes wide to allow overtaking up the hill. Many of the sub-sea tunnels I've been through alternate their overtaking lanes on the ascent and descent and often change width by reverting to regular S2 when below the sea.

My favourite gradient tunnel though is Ofredalstunnelen, the steepest road tunnel in the World, which came to be when the engineers realised half way through boring that they'd never reach the portal at the gradient they were building the tunnel at so half way through, it suddenly shoots upwards at 16%. My hire cars don't enjoy driving it as much as I do.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Chris5156 » Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:14

Glenn A wrote:
Sat Jul 31, 2021 19:25
The A303 unfortunately is the only practical route from Devon and Somerset to London as the M5/M4 option is a large detour and the A30 would be too difficult to improve and is non primary.
That’s not true. The M4/M5 route is much longer, but also offers a much higher average speed, so in free flowing conditions it’s about the same as the A303 route in terms of travel time. The A303 will only gain an advantage in both distance and travel time if it’s upgraded to offer 70mph running, elimination of bottlenecks, and overtaking opportunities throughout.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Phil » Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:14

Micro The Maniac wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 09:23
SteveA30 wrote:
Sat Jul 31, 2021 10:20
The residents of Winterborne Stoke really need to pressurise the Gov and HE to separate their bypass from Stonehenge.
I'm not sure that is possible, as the alignment at the eastern end (the western end of Stonehenge) is now up in the air.

I think it is realistic to assume that the western portal of the tunnel will be outside the WHS boundary (ie west of the current A360 alignment)

As for the Countess... the same issue applies - the A345 forms the boundary of the WHS, so (perhaps) the tunnel portal needs to be under that roundabout?
Be aware that the issue is NOT whether or not surface construction can take place within the WHS!

Reading the Judges report its clear that the eastern tunnel portal, although sited within the WHS, is not regarded as controversial by any of the interested parties and EVERYONE agrees the harm caused is agreed to be within acceptable limits. Hence it is not a reason to reject the scheme as unlawful.

This is not the case with the western portal + cutting and it is the failure of the DfT / SOS to take any notice of the significant descenting opinion over harm to the landscape which is what has caused their actions to be unlawful.

A longer tunnel and moved western portal would make all the difference...

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Phil » Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:20

Chris5156 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:14

That’s not true. The M4/M5 route is much longer, but also offers a much higher average speed, so in free flowing conditions it’s about the same as the A303 route in terms of travel time. The A303 will only gain an advantage in both distance and travel time if it’s upgraded to offer 70mph running, elimination of bottlenecks, and overtaking opportunities throughout.
However traffic using the M4 / M5 corridor takes away capacity of those routes to handle traffic from Bristol and South Wales. It also causes more pollution (more miles driven at higher average speeds, more tyre debris, etc) and consumes more resources (fossil fuels, electrical energy) to accomplish it.

We don't make train travellers deviate through Bristol to get to Exeter so why is it considered acceptable to do the same to motorists?

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Chris5156 » Sun Aug 01, 2021 12:28

Phil wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:20
Chris5156 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:14

That’s not true. The M4/M5 route is much longer, but also offers a much higher average speed, so in free flowing conditions it’s about the same as the A303 route in terms of travel time. The A303 will only gain an advantage in both distance and travel time if it’s upgraded to offer 70mph running, elimination of bottlenecks, and overtaking opportunities throughout.
However traffic using the M4 / M5 corridor takes away capacity of those routes to handle traffic from Bristol and South Wales. It also causes more pollution (more miles driven at higher average speeds, more tyre debris, etc) and consumes more resources (fossil fuels, electrical energy) to accomplish it.

We don't make train travellers deviate through Bristol to get to Exeter so why is it considered acceptable to do the same to motorists?
I’m not saying it is acceptable, and I fully support the plans to upgrade the A303. I was simply making the point that the A303 is not the only viable route from London to the South West, which was what Glenn suggested.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by KeithW » Sun Aug 01, 2021 13:47

Chris5156 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 12:28
I’m not saying it is acceptable, and I fully support the plans to upgrade the A303. I was simply making the point that the A303 is not the only viable route from London to the South West, which was what Glenn suggested.
Indeed and when I lived in north London (Edgware) it was usually not only quicker to get to Somerset by M4/M5 than using the A303 and it was the same distance (150 miles).

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Herned » Sun Aug 01, 2021 14:46

KeithW wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 13:47

Indeed and when I lived in north London (Edgware) it was usually not only quicker to get to Somerset by M4/M5 than using the A303 and it was the same distance (150 miles).
Yes it depends very much where on London you are headed/coming from. Living in Somerset now, I always use the A303 unless I absolutely have to be in London at a specific time, when I would use the motorways. I can't stand the M4 though, it's so tedious and dull between the A46 and Reading, although I doubt this is included in the BCR for improving the A303

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Glenn A » Sun Aug 01, 2021 15:18

Phil wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:20
Chris5156 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:14

That’s not true. The M4/M5 route is much longer, but also offers a much higher average speed, so in free flowing conditions it’s about the same as the A303 route in terms of travel time. The A303 will only gain an advantage in both distance and travel time if it’s upgraded to offer 70mph running, elimination of bottlenecks, and overtaking opportunities throughout.
However traffic using the M4 / M5 corridor takes away capacity of those routes to handle traffic from Bristol and South Wales. It also causes more pollution (more miles driven at higher average speeds, more tyre debris, etc) and consumes more resources (fossil fuels, electrical energy) to accomplish it.

We don't make train travellers deviate through Bristol to get to Exeter so why is it considered acceptable to do the same to motorists?
It is quite a diversion if you live in Exeter and not really practical, The alternative is to use the A30, but this slow.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by JammyDodge » Sun Aug 01, 2021 16:15

Micro The Maniac wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 09:23
SteveA30 wrote:
Sat Jul 31, 2021 10:20
The residents of Winterborne Stoke really need to pressurise the Gov and HE to separate their bypass from Stonehenge.
I'm not sure that is possible, as the alignment at the eastern end (the western end of Stonehenge) is now up in the air.

I think it is realistic to assume that the western portal of the tunnel will be outside the WHS boundary (ie west of the current A360 alignment)

As for the Countess... the same issue applies - the A345 forms the boundary of the WHS, so (perhaps) the tunnel portal needs to be under that roundabout?
HE could certainly build a Winterbourne Stoke Bypass separately. All they would need to do is not push into the WHS for now. This could be achieved by temporarily plugging in a short stretch of the existing A303 into the northern roundabout, as well as having it free-flow into the dual section over the green-bridge heading towards the southern roundabout
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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Bryn666 » Sun Aug 01, 2021 17:23

As I've said elsewhere, yes, the A303 needs sorting but the proposals are bare minimum and driven entirely by highway engineers not seeing anything beyond their precious DMRB and what's cheapest.

This is no way to design a road network. This is Twyford Down on steroids, and if Stonehenge goes ahead in the proposed form wave bye bye to any road scheme ever being built again as you will galvanise every anti-roads protest movement on the planet to turn up.
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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Phil » Sun Aug 01, 2021 17:32

Bryn666 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 17:23
As I've said elsewhere, yes, the A303 needs sorting but the proposals are bare minimum and driven entirely by highway engineers not seeing anything beyond their precious DMRB and what's cheapest.

This is no way to design a road network. This is Twyford Down on steroids, and if Stonehenge goes ahead in the proposed form wave bye bye to any road scheme ever being built again as you will galvanise every anti-roads protest movement on the planet to turn up.
The DfT know that - but equally they are under the cosh of HM Treasury who don't seem to understand that exceptional cases require exceptional measures. Hence the fingers crossed 'we can get this through by ignoring objections and hoping we don't get found out' approch.

The most likely situation is the can gets kicked down the road again - with Covid being blamed for the DfT being unable to make the tunnel longer.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Bryn666 » Sun Aug 01, 2021 17:36

Everything wrong in the UK can be laid at the door of the Treasury. They need abolishing and replacing with something that reflects what British people actually want, rather than what they think we want.
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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Phil » Sun Aug 01, 2021 17:45

Bryn666 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 17:36
Everything wrong in the UK can be laid at the door of the Treasury. They need abolishing and replacing with something that reflects what British people actually want, rather than what they think we want.
To be fair some of the blame lies with the Great British public. If we weren't so selfish / money obsessed and didn't keep electing people to office who promise them low taxes / small government but still pedal lies about excellent services / infrastructure being achievable then the Treasury would have more leeway to be ambitious in funding things.

In fact you could say they are only reflecting what the British taxpayer is prepared to pay for, rather than what we want.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Jim606 » Sun Aug 01, 2021 18:04

Bryn666 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 17:23
As I've said elsewhere, yes, the A303 needs sorting but the proposals are bare minimum and driven entirely by highway engineers not seeing anything beyond their precious DMRB and what's cheapest. This is no way to design a road network. This is Twyford Down on steroids, and if Stonehenge goes ahead in the proposed form wave bye bye to any road scheme ever being built again as you will galvanise every anti-roads protest movement on the planet to turn up.
Agreed. The Planning Inspectorate refused the scheme on environmental grounds, yet Grant Shapps still authorised the project against their and UNESCO's advice. The Stonehenge Alliance therefore had good grounds to object. What happens next is anyone's guess? HE & the DfT could resubmit with amendments, kick it into the long grass or simply try to press ahead?

This ruling certainly make the point that the current scheme simply isn't good enough. More coverage is needed at the western end, either by canopy, tunneling or extra green bridges. I would disagree that the eastern end is fine. I would plan for another green bridge and lower the level of the new road outside the eastern portal.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Micro The Maniac » Sun Aug 01, 2021 18:16

JammyDodge wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 16:15
HE could certainly build a Winterbourne Stoke Bypass separately. All they would need to do is not push into the WHS for now. This could be achieved by temporarily plugging in a short stretch of the existing A303 into the northern roundabout, as well as having it free-flow into the dual section over the green-bridge heading towards the southern roundabout
But that constrains any redesign of the Stonehenge tunnel to end on the existing alignment...

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by jackal » Sun Aug 01, 2021 18:25

Bryn666 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 17:23
As I've said elsewhere, yes, the A303 needs sorting but the proposals are bare minimum and driven entirely by highway engineers not seeing anything beyond their precious DMRB and what's cheapest.

This is no way to design a road network. This is Twyford Down on steroids, and if Stonehenge goes ahead in the proposed form wave bye bye to any road scheme ever being built again as you will galvanise every anti-roads protest movement on the planet to turn up.
You seem to think there's some obvious solution that doesn't involve ventilation shafts in the WHS or cutting a swathe through the surrounding countryside. What is it?

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Phil » Sun Aug 01, 2021 18:50

Jim606 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 18:04
. I would disagree that the eastern end is fine. I would plan for another green bridge and lower the level of the new road outside the eastern portal.
However you can't ignore what the judge said which was basically that the eastern end had been approved as it were by ALL parties as the least worst option and thus the minister / DfT had applied the correct procedure the LAW demands.

This did NOT happen with the Western portal / tunnel - and to be honest it doesn't matter what they were! The minister could have been proposing a giant swimming pool, a ski slope, an elephant enclosure, a giant sign saying Boris was here, etc.

The LEGAL point is that whatever the government wanted to build needed to agreement of all stakeholders that the damage to the WHS would be as low as possible. Quite evidently if two major stakeholders are still issuing reports citing significant harm and their opposition to the scheme but the minister and the DfT are basically completely ignoring them then the LEGAL requirements haven't been met.

Whether this is a cock up or deliberate (as in they know the Treasuary won't give them any more cash so they took a stupid gamble that nobody would challenge it), the ultimate cause for the successful challenge is legal procedure rather than the scheme from an engineering perspective.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Bryn666 » Sun Aug 01, 2021 19:08

jackal wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 18:25
Bryn666 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 17:23
As I've said elsewhere, yes, the A303 needs sorting but the proposals are bare minimum and driven entirely by highway engineers not seeing anything beyond their precious DMRB and what's cheapest.

This is no way to design a road network. This is Twyford Down on steroids, and if Stonehenge goes ahead in the proposed form wave bye bye to any road scheme ever being built again as you will galvanise every anti-roads protest movement on the planet to turn up.
You seem to think there's some obvious solution that doesn't involve ventilation shafts in the WHS or cutting a swathe through the surrounding countryside. What is it?
The problem originates from many years ago by ending two separate dual carriageways pointing at an area that even in 1950 was globally significant.

That "cars above all else" mindset has bitten the government in the backside. Again.

Hindhead Tunnel has ventilation equipment but you'd be hard pressed to notice it as you go past. Engineering has moved beyond the Kingsway Ventilation Grill in Liverpool.
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