Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

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solocle
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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by solocle » Mon Nov 01, 2021 13:27

Richardf wrote:
Mon Nov 01, 2021 09:07
Best compromise as far as viewing the stones would be to remove the A303 but keep a right of way along its route in the form of a bridleway so that people can walk, cycle or ride a horse past the stones and be able to view them from there, as people did before the motor car came along.

This does not run counter to the goal of restoring the landscape at all as I see it. The A303 follows a very old route across the Plain so returning it to its pre A303 state could be part of that and respect another aspect of the history of the area.

So the sooner the A303 can be removed and this can happen the better. If that has to be the tunnel then so be it.

I personally would rather walk or cycle past the stones with no traffic than get a brief glimpse from a car, which I have done only a very few times.
AIUI that is the plan. As long as they don't dig up the tarmac I'm happy with that. If they do dig it up... well, they may find road bikes going through the tunnel, prohibited or not!
47883504-724F-4139-84EF-EE8E11BD98F5.jpeg
Well, grassed over, like the poor old A344.
FBBF4BB7-E0D1-4834-8B55-447AC9CE8C84.jpeg
I'd ridden down from London, headed for home in Dorset. One of the factors that decided between the A303 and A30 was to pass the stones at sunrise, although the primary consideration was services. Of course, that route was only really feasible at night...
3B482C5F-DE3B-4D33-AB03-85190AEE6D88.jpeg

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solocle
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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by solocle » Mon Nov 01, 2021 13:30

Micro The Maniac wrote:
Mon Nov 01, 2021 10:14
Bryn666 wrote:
Thu Aug 12, 2021 00:13
So, let's review the absolute gold this thread is producing, because it's worthy of an award.

Problem: People cause traffic jams by slowing down and looking at Stonehenge, we must sort out the A303
No. This is not the problem at all.

Symptom: Traffic is slow past the stones
Cause: It's single carriageway past the stones
Problem: Merging two busy high speed lanes into one, which crawls until it opens up into two lanes again.
Solution: Dual the remaining single-carriageway
This is just mistaken, though.

Sure, it can be that it crawls until it opens up into two lanes. But I just had a look at the traffic layer.
Capture.JPG
it often, as it is right now, crawls until the stones, then clears up.

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A303Chris
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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by A303Chris » Mon Nov 01, 2021 15:10

Went through Wednesday afternoon, no queuing on the entire A303 apart from past the stones. Not even at the lane drop at the end of Amesbury bypass and as soon as the stones were out of view flowing again to the Longbarrow roundabout.

Nothing to do with traffic volume, just people slowing down to look at them as was the case with the driver in front who virtually came to a stop so the passenger could lean over to take a photo.

I'm sure a 30 foot fence obstructing the view would improve the flow outside peak holiday days.
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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Herned » Mon Nov 01, 2021 17:23

A303Chris wrote:
Mon Nov 01, 2021 15:10
I'm sure a 30 foot fence obstructing the view would improve the flow outside peak holiday days.
My experience of having used the road at points very frequently over 30 odd years is that the queues are generally because of the end of the dual carriageway, and I don't remember people slowing specifically for the stones...

However, I do wonder if closing the A344 and the need to go to the visitor centre etc, means that people who happen to be driving past who might have stopped for 10 minutes in the past are now just slowing down and taking a photo and increasing congestion on the road?

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by multiraider2 » Mon Nov 01, 2021 19:27

Herned wrote:
Mon Nov 01, 2021 17:23
A303Chris wrote:
Mon Nov 01, 2021 15:10
I'm sure a 30 foot fence obstructing the view would improve the flow outside peak holiday days.
My experience of having used the road at points very frequently over 30 odd years is that the queues are generally because of the end of the dual carriageway, and I don't remember people slowing specifically for the stones...

However, I do wonder if closing the A344 and the need to go to the visitor centre etc, means that people who happen to be driving past who might have stopped for 10 minutes in the past are now just slowing down and taking a photo and increasing congestion on the road?
Yes, I feel this is a factor. Of course on a very busy holiday route, the narrowing to one lane would cause a delay anyway, but the slowing to take pictures I'm sure exacerbates matters. It's a similar story on the opposite carriageway from an accident. The rubberneckers can't but help take a look.

I've been to Stonehenge once in my life. On the way to Cornwall, July 1989. Pulled onto the A344, parked at the car park, got out the car, stood outside the fence, me and my girlfriend took a picture of each other in front of the stones, got back in the car. 10 minutes as you say. People like me then are now getting a snap from a slowed car.
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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Truvelo » Mon Nov 01, 2021 20:16

The most effective way to reduce the queues would be to place a screen so the stones can't be viewed from the road.
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hoagy_ytfc
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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by hoagy_ytfc » Tue Nov 02, 2021 02:10

Herned wrote:
Mon Nov 01, 2021 17:23
My experience of having used the road at points very frequently over 30 odd years is that the queues are generally because of the end of the dual carriageway, and I don't remember people slowing specifically for the stones...

This idea might carry some weight if the queues were only westbound.

I currently travel that route several dozen times per year in each direction, and 2-5 years ago was doing near 100 times / year.

There were always big queues eastbound too, where the "end of dual-carriageway" doesn't come into it.

The westbound queue extends well past the end of the DC - it extends a bit past the stones. And it's not the Longbarrow roundabout that's the problem, as it's nearly always moving well by then.

The eastbound queue extends just past the stones. And it's not the Longbarrow roundabout that's the problem, as the queue nearly always extends both sides of it.

The obvious conclusion is that observing the stones is the bottleneck. Not the end of the dual-carriageway.

(Or the Longbarrow roundabout, which you didn't claim it was - I added that for extra info!)

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by KeithW » Tue Nov 02, 2021 08:12

The statistics show the accident rate going past Stonehenge is double the average for a similar S2 road elsewhere and the level of proportion of KSI incidents is higher.
https://highwaysengland.citizenspace.co ... lume-1.pdf

There are indeed disproportionate delays on this section and a lot of traffic is now diverting on to minor roads such as the Packway through Larkhill. Single snapshots of traffic on one day in autumn are not a good basis for planning. The bottom line is that the traffic on the S2 section past the stones is high enough to saturate the road. Worse even a minor shunt can produce high levels of congestion and that in turn often results in other accidents at the end of the queue. This is not a new phenomenon , the same problems are found on the S2 sections of the A1 in Northumberland and it carries far lower levels if traffic than the A303.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Herned » Tue Nov 02, 2021 09:10

hoagy_ytfc wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 02:10
The obvious conclusion is that observing the stones is the bottleneck. Not the end of the dual-carriageway.
Without wanting to get into whose anecdote is more important, I used to travel to Andover daily at one point and before that at least weekly to London from Somerset, and I can safely say it never ever used to queue going east at all, and west would always be speeding up by the time you got to the A344 junction. However, I haven't been using it anything like as regularly over the last 2-3 years so I will defer to more recent experience.

This supports my previous theory that closing the A344 and car park has created/hugely exacerbated the problem of people slowing down to look at the stones. Possibly mobile phone cameras and social media are a factor as well, but it definitely never used to be an obvious issue.

As Keith W has just said though, the road is very busy and easily justifies dualling, regardless of what it goes past. The end of dual carriageways is very often a bottleneck by the very nature, going along the A303 it is very common to queue at the end of every section, and the rest of those don't have a world heritage site to gawp at

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by KeithW » Tue Nov 02, 2021 09:18

Herned wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 09:10
hoagy_ytfc wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 02:10
The obvious conclusion is that observing the stones is the bottleneck. Not the end of the dual-carriageway.
Without wanting to get into whose anecdote is more important, I used to travel to Andover daily at one point and before that at least weekly to London from Somerset, and I can safely say it never ever used to queue going east at all, and west would always be speeding up by the time you got to the A344 junction. However, I haven't been using it anything like as regularly over the last 2-3 years so I will defer to more recent experience.

This supports my previous theory that closing the A344 and car park has created/hugely exacerbated the problem of people slowing down to look at the stones. Possibly mobile phone cameras and social media are a factor as well, but it definitely never used to be an obvious issue.

As Keith W has just said though, the road is very busy and easily justifies dualling, regardless of what it goes past. The end of dual carriageways is very often a bottleneck by the very nature, going along the A303 it is very common to queue at the end of every section, and the rest of those don't have a world heritage site to gawp at
I drove the A303 many times before the new visitor centre opened and there were plenty of times I ran into queues both ways. It was never predictable but it did seem to me that traffic moved better when visibility was low. I have been past there in summer in pouring rain with no delays at all just a steady stream of traffic at 45-50 mph. That said almost all my trips where between May and September which yours would not be.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by jackal » Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:30

jackal wrote:
Mon Nov 01, 2021 09:08
RichardEvans67 wrote:
Mon Nov 01, 2021 08:25
by Micro The Maniac » Thu Oct 28, 2021 22:11

But surely, it has been announced and re-announced so many times, they couldn't get away with announcing it again?
I don't really agree. It's not as if this time they decided to stop it. It has basically just been legal issues that held them up. So why not just announce that after some time to consider the legal issues, they are now trying again.
Because it could itself make legal issues if the government "announced" a scheme that they were presently redetermining under the DCO process. It would be like a judge issuing a press release that x is guilty while the case was ongoing.
It seems that when I wrote that a DfT spokesperson had already said:

'The A303 at Stonehenge has not been cancelled. The secretary of state will now redetermine the application, and as a live planning case, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time'.

Also confirmation that the £3bn 'cut' is actually being carried over into the next road period due to delays to Stonehenge and the LTC.

https://www.highwaysmagazine.co.uk/Govt ... -cuts/9373

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Scratchwood » Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:49

By making access to the stones restricted and expensive, if anything it's encouraged people to rubber neck from their cars as the free alternative to the official visitor centre alternative. Especially as most people just want a 10 minute look at the stones and quick selfie, and don't fancy paying the ludicrous £19.50 for an adult or £50.70 for a family for that

The stones at Avebury are scattered about and unrestricted. Therefore people will park up and wander around the area.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by RichardEvans67 » Tue Nov 02, 2021 14:25

by jackal » Mon Nov 01, 2021 09:08
Because it could itself make legal issues if the government "announced" a scheme that they were presently redetermining under the DCO process. It would be like a judge issuing a press release that x is guilty while the case was ongoing.
So, could this be the only reason why it was not in the Budget speech?
If it's finally resolved in a way that allows it to continue, wouldn't it then get announced in a future budget speech.

What I was actually thinking, was what they might do if after the DCO process the current scheme still ends up thrown out. Couldn't they then announce that they will be trying a 'new scheme', addressing the reasons why it got thrown out.

Hopefully they will get something through at some stage.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by ROAD ROVER » Tue Nov 02, 2021 16:08

It's perfectly obvious to me that people do like to look at the stones which is perfectly understandable & that the traffic does not speed up fully until it has passed them. It's apparent to me every time l drive past them (when l don't bypass them via Larkhill of course).

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by jackal » Tue Nov 02, 2021 17:17

RichardEvans67 wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 14:25
What I was actually thinking, was what they might do if after the DCO process the current scheme still ends up thrown out. Couldn't they then announce that they will be trying a 'new scheme', addressing the reasons why it got thrown out.
It can only get 'thrown out' in the sense that Stonehenge already has been (as well as A38 Derby Junctions) - i.e., kicked back to the Secretary of State to redetermine. A court can only decide the case before it, i.e., whether the order granting development consent was legal, and in the event that it wasn't the appropriate remedy is to quash the DCO, not to somehow undo the entire development process, which would be a political rather than legal decision. Repeated "quashings" might make it politically difficult to keep sending the project back for redetermination but they would never create a legal barrier to doing so.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by RichardEvans67 » Wed Nov 03, 2021 10:33

by jackal » Tue Nov 02, 2021 17:17
It can only get 'thrown out' in the sense that Stonehenge already has been (as well as A38 Derby Junctions) - i.e., kicked back to the Secretary of State to redetermine. A court can only decide the case before it, i.e., whether the order granting development consent was legal, and in the event that it wasn't the appropriate remedy is to quash the DCO, not to somehow undo the entire development process, which would be a political rather than legal decision. Repeated "quashings" might make it politically difficult to keep sending the project back for redetermination but they would never create a legal barrier to doing so.
I'm not sure you are getting my point.

I understand that the secretary of state is redeterming it, and that DCO would probably end up being granted again. What I'm trying to get at is that the legal process hasn't succeeded so far for the current scheme. Sure it hopefully will succeed in the end, but it could theoretically become impossible to get the current scheme passed. If that happened, however unlikely, they would have to look at other modified schemes to address the reasons why it didn't pass.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by multiraider2 » Sat Nov 06, 2021 18:42

I wrote:
Mon Nov 01, 2021 19:27
Herned wrote:
Mon Nov 01, 2021 17:23
A303Chris wrote:
Mon Nov 01, 2021 15:10
I'm sure a 30 foot fence obstructing the view would improve the flow outside peak holiday days.
My experience of having used the road at points very frequently over 30 odd years is that the queues are generally because of the end of the dual carriageway, and I don't remember people slowing specifically for the stones...

However, I do wonder if closing the A344 and the need to go to the visitor centre etc, means that people who happen to be driving past who might have stopped for 10 minutes in the past are now just slowing down and taking a photo and increasing congestion on the road?
Yes, I feel this is a factor. Of course on a very busy holiday route, the narrowing to one lane would cause a delay anyway, but the slowing to take pictures I'm sure exacerbates matters. It's a similar story on the opposite carriageway from an accident. The rubberneckers can't but help take a look.

I've been to Stonehenge once in my life. On the way to Cornwall, July 1989. Pulled onto the A344, parked at the car park, got out the car, stood outside the fence, me and my girlfriend took a picture of each other in front of the stones, got back in the car. 10 minutes as you say. People like me then are now getting a snap from a slowed car.
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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by hoagy_ytfc » Mon Nov 08, 2021 23:38

Herned wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 09:10

Without wanting to get into whose anecdote is more important...
Well, while we're getting anecdotal...

Yesterday's trip back from the West was as busy as ever on the route in general, yet NO queue at Stonehenge.

Same time as usual too, about 6pm.

i.e. now totally dark.

Dark == no gawping at stones == no queue.

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by Jim606 » Wed Dec 01, 2021 17:41

There's been a bit of movement re; the tunnel. As far as I am aware, National Highways have now been given notice to resubmit a proposal/plan by 11th Jan. 2022 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-w ... e-59487484

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Re: Stonehenge - The bored tunnel option

Post by A320Driver » Wed Dec 01, 2021 23:20

I’d like to think (hope?) that NH have been given a bit of a ‘nod’ from DfT. Otherwise what would be the point of re-submitting the plans?
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