In its 2014 Road Investment Strategy the Department said it aimed to upgrade the entire A303 and A358 road corridor to dual carriageway standard over the next 14 years, through eight individual projects. It committed £2 billion to starting three of these projects, including the A303 between Amesbury and Berwick Down, by March 2020. The A303 and A358 road corridor has more than 35 miles of single carriageway, with high levels of traffic and slow and unreliable journeys. Congestion is highest on the section of road by Stonehenge. The Amesbury to Berwick Down (or ‘Stonehenge tunnel’) project involves building a tunnel of 3.3km (just over 2 miles) beneath the World Heritage Site at Stonehenge. The Department and Highways England expect the project to reduce congestion, improve the setting of the World Heritage Site and support economic growth in the South West of England. The Amesbury to Berwick Down project is still at an early stage of development, and Highways England has yet to begin procuring contractors. However, the Department and Highways England have undertaken extensive preliminary work on site and consultation with stakeholders, leading to an expected cost range of £1.5 billion to £2.4 billion (including VAT). The Department and Highways England expect the upgraded road section to be open to traffic by December 2026.
Published: 3 July 2019