Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

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Conekicker
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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Conekicker » Sun Aug 01, 2021 19:35

The tunnel has been binned you say? Thank goodness for that. The signing and signalling drawings I've seen for it might politely be described as "brave".
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jackal
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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by jackal » Sun Aug 01, 2021 19:38

Bryn666 wrote:
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.
Hindhead is only 1.8km and does not require full ventilation shafts or tunnels as the 'longer' 4.5km tunnel would. The proposed 3.3km tunnel is actually a really good solution from an environmental perspective as it is as long as you can get without triggering onerous and intrusive ventilation requirements.

Anyway, the arguments about tunnel length are a convenient red herring for those that would object to any scheme whatever. The early 00s scheme was only 2.1km and the government and inspectors alike approved it as the only viable option on environmental grounds, though the govt dropped it when costs rose to £470m. But apparently 3.3km and £1.7bn isn't enough now...

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Phil » Sun Aug 01, 2021 19:43

Conekicker wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 19:35
The tunnel has been binned you say? Thank goodness for that. The signing and signalling drawings I've seen for it might politely be described as "brave".
Except there is no other solution other than a tunnel!

Look, the only reason this latest attempt has floundered is the tunnel isn't long enough, everyone is in agreement that a bored tunnel is the only way to improve the road through the WHS.

So unless you want the A303 to stay a congested single carriageway past the Stones in perpetuity the tunnel scheme will have to be resumed.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Micro The Maniac » Sun Aug 01, 2021 19:51

Phil wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 19:43
So unless you want the A303 to stay a congested single carriageway past the Stones in perpetuity the tunnel scheme will have to be resumed.
Quite frankly, the congested A303 within a stones throw of The Stones is incompatible with the WHS designation... so a legal challenge could result in the existing A303 being closed to traffic between Countess (A345) and Longbarrow (A360)

Meanwhile, the A4361 goes *right through the middle* of the Avebury circle... surely that is *even more* incompatible?

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Phil » Sun Aug 01, 2021 19:59

Micro The Maniac wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 19:51
Phil wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 19:43
So unless you want the A303 to stay a congested single carriageway past the Stones in perpetuity the tunnel scheme will have to be resumed.
Quite frankly, the congested A303 within a stones throw of The Stones is incompatible with the WHS designation... so a legal challenge could result in the existing A303 being closed to traffic between Countess (A345) and Longbarrow (A360)

Meanwhile, the A4361 goes *right through the middle* of the Avebury circle... surely that is *even more* incompatible?
The A360 and A4361 are roads of regional / local rather than national importance. The number of vehicles using them is also significantly less so the overall harms are less too. Both volumes and traffic nature also mean that doing nothing or measures to calm / restrict traffic are viable in a way that isn't when it comes to the A303.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by jackal » Sun Aug 01, 2021 20:15

Phil wrote:
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.
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.
There is absolutely no legal requirement of this sort.

I will go into a bit of detail as it seems many have fundamental misunderstandings of the judgment.

It is a legal requirement that the SoS takes heritage assets and alternatives into account in determining the case. The SoS did not read the Environmental Statement, nor did civil servants prepare summaries concerning the impact on heritage assets and the reasoning concerning alternatives. The defence relied on the SoS reading the Examining Authority's report. However, the judge considered that this was not adequate as it did not touch on all heritage assets, nor did it fully set out the reasoning why alternatives were rejected. Hence the judicial review was allowed on these two grounds (failure to consider heritage assets and failure to consider alternatives).

So basically the SoS and his officials did not do their homework. It has nothing to do with the actual design of the scheme. It doesn't matter whether the tunnel is 3km, 5km or 50km. If the SoS has not considered heritage assets or alternatives sufficiently then the planning requirements have not been satisfied.

These are the rather narrow procedural grounds on which the case was decided. And for that reason it is a pretty simple matter for the DCO to be granted. The SoS just needs to read the Environmental Statement next time.

Anyway, you don't need to believe me, just read the judgment: https://www.judiciary.uk/judgments/save ... transport/
Last edited by jackal on Mon Aug 02, 2021 08:57, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by jackal » Sun Aug 01, 2021 20:23

PS - The summary from the High Court's Press Statement covers the essentials:

(24) The claimant raised a number of grounds which the court rejects. But two separate
grounds succeed. They are dealt with at [167] to [180] and at [242] to [290].
(25) In relation to the first point, it is agreed between the parties that the SST had to take
into account the significance of each designated heritage asset affected by the proposal
and the impact of the proposal on that significance. The Court accepts that that
requirement can be met by a sufficient precis being provided to a decision-maker. But
in this case the Court concludes that the SST was not given legally sufficient material
to enable him to make the assessments which the law required him to do.
(26) In relation to the second point, the Court concludes that the SST was legally obliged to
consider the relative merits of the alternatives to the proposed western cutting, namely,
the cut and cover option and an extended tunnel 4.5 km long extending beyond the
western boundary of the WHS (see paragraphs (11) and (12) above). No such
assessment was made by the Panel or by the SST as it should have been.
(27) Each of these errors vitiates the decision to make the DCO, which must be quashed.
The redetermination of the application is now a matter for the SST.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Phil » Sun Aug 01, 2021 21:01

jackal wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 20:15
Phil wrote:
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.
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.
There is absolutely no legal requirement of this sort.

I will go into a bit of detail as it seems many have fundamental misunderstandings of the judgment.

It is a legal requirement that the SoS takes heritage assets and alternatives into account in determining the case. The SoS did not read the Environmental Statement, nor did civil servants prepare summaries concerning the impact on heritage assets and the reasoning concerning alternatives. The defence relied on the SoS reading the Examining Authority's report. However, the judge considered that this was not adequate as it did not touch on all heritage assets, nor did it fully set out the reasoning why alternatives were rejected. Hence the judicial appeal was allowed on these two grounds (failure to consider heritage assets and failure to consider alternatives).

So basically the SoS and his officials did not do their homework. It has nothing to do with the actual design of the scheme. It doesn't matter whether the tunnel is 3km, 5km or 50km. If the SoS has not considered heritage assets or alternatives sufficiently then the planning requirements have not been satisfied.

These are the rather narrow procedural grounds on which the case was decided. And for that reason it is a pretty simple matter for the DCO to be granted. The SoS just needs to read the Environmental Statement next time.

Anyway, you don't need to believe me, just read the judgment: https://www.judiciary.uk/judgments/save ... transport/
Not so!

Because its pretty obvious (and the Judge implies as much) that if he HAD read the environmental statement he would have been forced to conclude the impact on the WHS was far grater than assumed and consequentially addressed it in some way. Naturally he doesn't say how the SOS should address it but it has to be done before the scheme can be re-submitted for a DCO.

So not quite a case of simply resubmitting a flawed scheme as you imply...

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Peter350 » Mon Aug 02, 2021 08:28

A random idea but could introducing a minimum speed limit of 50mph between the Countess and Longbarrow roundabouts be a workable idea in the short term? It would ensure traffic kept flowing by discouraging slowing down past the stones, and could be enforced with speed cameras.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by solocle » Mon Aug 02, 2021 08:43

Peter350 wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 08:28
A random idea but could introducing a minimum speed limit of 50mph between the Countess and Longbarrow roundabouts be a workable idea in the short term? It would ensure traffic kept flowing by discouraging slowing down past the stones, and could be enforced with speed cameras.
Caravans, tractors, mopeds? I would also say cyclists, but I expect minimum speed limits are as legally meaningless as maximum speed limits. But combining with minimum limited traffic would turn a horrible cycling road into the highway to hades itself.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Peter350 » Mon Aug 02, 2021 08:55

solocle wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 08:43
Peter350 wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 08:28
A random idea but could introducing a minimum speed limit of 50mph between the Countess and Longbarrow roundabouts be a workable idea in the short term? It would ensure traffic kept flowing by discouraging slowing down past the stones, and could be enforced with speed cameras.
Caravans, tractors, mopeds? I would also say cyclists, but I expect minimum speed limits are as legally meaningless as maximum speed limits. But combining with minimum limited traffic would turn a horrible cycling road into the highway to hades itself.
Under my plan, all slow moving vehicles would be diverted via Larkhill. You could then give this stretch of A303 ‘unofficial special road’ treatment which is basically a series of NO signs, similar to what the A14 between Cambridge and Brampton Hut has.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by RichardA35 » Mon Aug 02, 2021 09:07

Peter350 wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 08:55
solocle wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 08:43
Peter350 wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 08:28
A random idea but could introducing a minimum speed limit of 50mph between the Countess and Longbarrow roundabouts be a workable idea in the short term? It would ensure traffic kept flowing by discouraging slowing down past the stones, and could be enforced with speed cameras.
Caravans, tractors, mopeds? I would also say cyclists, but I expect minimum speed limits are as legally meaningless as maximum speed limits. But combining with minimum limited traffic would turn a horrible cycling road into the highway to hades itself.
Under my plan, all slow moving vehicles would be diverted via Larkhill. You could then give this stretch of A303 ‘unofficial special road’ treatment which is basically a series of NO signs, similar to what the A14 between Cambridge and Brampton Hut has.
I'll repeat my view that I have very rarely had trouble with this stretch out of season, so we appear to be confusing a summer holidaymaker induced problem with something that needs fixing.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by KeithW » Mon Aug 02, 2021 09:11

Given that this is an all purpose road that presumably sees agricultural vehicles on it from time to time as well as mopeds, cyclists, caravans etc I cannot see this as an option. Even on motorways there is no official minimum speed limit although driving at 30 or 40 mph is not illegal it may well attract the attention of the police. I seem to recall a traffic cop style program some years ago where driver doing 30 mph at 3 AM was pulled on the M62 because of his speed. Then there is the issue of the 50 mph speed limit on space saver spare tyres.

In any event the problem is not so much the speed as the driver taking their eyes off the road and gawking at the stones.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Jim606 » Mon Aug 02, 2021 09:17

:shock: :shock:
Phil wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 19:43
Conekicker wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 19:35
The tunnel has been binned you say? Thank goodness for that. The signing and signalling drawings I've seen for it might politely be described as "brave".
Except there is no other solution other than a tunnel!
Look, the only reason this latest attempt has floundered is the tunnel isn't long enough, everyone is in agreement that a bored tunnel is the only way to improve the road through the WHS. So unless you want the A303 to stay a congested single carriageway past the Stones in perpetuity the tunnel scheme will have to be resumed.
As I've been saying for a while, one solution would be to transfer the capacity of the Winterbourne Stoke bypass 'green bridge no.2' into the WHS western tunnel portal approach cutting. Under the current plans this green bridge only carries a farm track and could easily just be built to a more standard 'possibly cheaper' design? It would simply be a case of putting the extra 'environmental coverage' where it is most needed. I did write to Grant Shapps about this, but funnily enough he didn't write back. Perhaps, he was too busy reading the environmental statement produced by the Planning Inspectorate? haha!
Last edited by Jim606 on Mon Aug 02, 2021 09:49, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by KeithW » Mon Aug 02, 2021 09:33

Peter350 wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 08:55
Under my plan, all slow moving vehicles would be diverted via Larkhill. You could then give this stretch of A303 ‘unofficial special road’ treatment which is basically a series of NO signs, similar to what the A14 between Cambridge and Brampton Hut has.
I doubt the people who live in Larkhill and those on the army base would appreciate the extra traffic. In any event one of the main objections to conventional dualling was the visual impact on the Stonehenge Landscape with a secondary issue being the disruption of the movements of wild animals. If all you wanted was to stop people looking at the stones then a high hedge or trees would serve the same purpose

Restricting traffic classes using TRO's is certainly possible providing there is a suitable alternative route but I dont see any possibility of The Packway being considered suitable. Nor do I believe there is any minimum speed limit on the A14, there certainly is not on a motorway.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by jackal » Mon Aug 02, 2021 09:35

Phil wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 21:01
jackal wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 20:15
Phil wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 18:50

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.
There is absolutely no legal requirement of this sort.

I will go into a bit of detail as it seems many have fundamental misunderstandings of the judgment.

It is a legal requirement that the SoS takes heritage assets and alternatives into account in determining the case. The SoS did not read the Environmental Statement, nor did civil servants prepare summaries concerning the impact on heritage assets and the reasoning concerning alternatives. The defence relied on the SoS reading the Examining Authority's report. However, the judge considered that this was not adequate as it did not touch on all heritage assets, nor did it fully set out the reasoning why alternatives were rejected. Hence the judicial appeal was allowed on these two grounds (failure to consider heritage assets and failure to consider alternatives).

So basically the SoS and his officials did not do their homework. It has nothing to do with the actual design of the scheme. It doesn't matter whether the tunnel is 3km, 5km or 50km. If the SoS has not considered heritage assets or alternatives sufficiently then the planning requirements have not been satisfied.

These are the rather narrow procedural grounds on which the case was decided. And for that reason it is a pretty simple matter for the DCO to be granted. The SoS just needs to read the Environmental Statement next time.

Anyway, you don't need to believe me, just read the judgment: https://www.judiciary.uk/judgments/save ... transport/
Not so!

Because its pretty obvious (and the Judge implies as much) that if he HAD read the environmental statement he would have been forced to conclude the impact on the WHS was far grater than assumed and consequentially addressed it in some way.
Presumably you have a paragraph reference for this legally extraordinary claim?

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Conekicker » Mon Aug 02, 2021 09:38

Phil wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 19:43
Conekicker wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 19:35
The tunnel has been binned you say? Thank goodness for that. The signing and signalling drawings I've seen for it might politely be described as "brave".
Except there is no other solution other than a tunnel!

Look, the only reason this latest attempt has floundered is the tunnel isn't long enough, everyone is in agreement that a bored tunnel is the only way to improve the road through the WHS.

So unless you want the A303 to stay a congested single carriageway past the Stones in perpetuity the tunnel scheme will have to be resumed.
There may well be no other solution than a tunnel but getting the design of the signing and lining right will be a factor in how safe the thing would be in operation.
Patience is not a virtue - it's a concept invented by the dozy beggars who are unable to think quickly enough.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Peter350 » Mon Aug 02, 2021 09:40

KeithW wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 09:33
Peter350 wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 08:55
Under my plan, all slow moving vehicles would be diverted via Larkhill. You could then give this stretch of A303 ‘unofficial special road’ treatment which is basically a series of NO signs, similar to what the A14 between Cambridge and Brampton Hut has.
I doubt the people who live in Larkhill and those on the army base would appreciate the extra traffic. In any event one of the main objections to conventional dualling was the visual impact on the Stonehenge Landscape with a secondary issue being the disruption of the movements of wild animals. If all you wanted was to stop people looking at the stones then a high hedge or trees would serve the same purpose

Restricting traffic classes using TRO's is certainly possible providing there is a suitable alternative route but I dont see any possibility of The Packway being considered suitable. Nor do I believe there is any minimum speed limit on the A14, there certainly is not on a motorway.
The idea of the minimum speed limit is to prevent drivers from looking at the stones, and I don’t agree with planting a hedge as it will just detriment the beauty of the natural landscape. What you could do instead is take a leaf from smart motorways and have a maximum speed limit of 50mph from just before the Countess roundabout westbound. Logic dictates that a more steady flow of traffic causes less congestion, so by setting the speed limit, you eliminate the constant stopping and starting which causes these so-called ‘traffic snakes’ just before the end of the Amesbury dual section.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by solocle » Mon Aug 02, 2021 09:42

KeithW wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 09:33
Peter350 wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 08:55
Under my plan, all slow moving vehicles would be diverted via Larkhill. You could then give this stretch of A303 ‘unofficial special road’ treatment which is basically a series of NO signs, similar to what the A14 between Cambridge and Brampton Hut has.
I doubt the people who live in Larkhill and those on the army base would appreciate the extra traffic. In any event one of the main objections to conventional dualling was the visual impact on the Stonehenge Landscape with a secondary issue being the disruption of the movements of wild animals. If all you wanted was to stop people looking at the stones then a high hedge or trees would serve the same purpose

Restricting traffic classes using TRO's is certainly possible providing there is a suitable alternative route but I dont see any possibility of The Packway being considered suitable. Nor do I believe there is any minimum speed limit on the A14, there certainly is not on a motorway.
Yeah, i say sod that, You're not adding 3 miles to my cycle journey and taking me out of view of the stones. I suggest an equally sensible counterproposal of closing the A303 to all but slow moving and local traffic, motorway capable traffic must go via M4 M5.

I was once in the situation that the legal route was to use the new A14 on my bike! HE hadn't finished building the A1307 LAR. I instead led the group past the road closed signs and along the incomplete road.

I'd show similar disregard to any fanciful cycling prohibition on that section of road. Well, when I head up that way, I've only cycled the A303 between the A350 and A37.

Although I do plan on doing a stint from the A30 TOTSO to Ilminster at the end of the month... doesn't save any distance, but it does save 200m extra climbing compared to the A30 route to Yeovil. Which, after riding up from Land's End, will be a huge relief.
Last edited by solocle on Mon Aug 02, 2021 09:48, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by SteveA30 » Mon Aug 02, 2021 09:45

A fence with a photo of Stonehenge would solve that problem, unless they slowed down to photograph the photograph!
I agree with RichardA35 that from a traffic point of view, this stretch is the least disruptive. outside of this time of year. Sparkford to Podimore will eliminate far worst congestion when it is done in about 2-3 years time. The short stretch from Wylye to Stockton is an easy fix as well, no buildings at all there.

If only the 1969 Amesbury dualling has been extended online to the A360 rbt, the arguments about tunnels wouldn't matter so much, although still a desirable solution.
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