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Stonehenge Tunnel Project – Underground Cabling installed, While Other Enabling Works Paused

Stonehenge Tunnel Scheme

Despite that the utilities work for National Highways’ Stonehenge tunnel is undergoing, due to an appeal against the recent High Court ruling in favour of the scheme other preliminary works have been halted.

While advancement of the works is up to National Highways, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), they have commenced installing high voltage and fiber optic cabling to facilitate power supply for the construction of the £1.7bn A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down upgrade past Stonehenge.

Considering that an ongoing legal challenge is continuing, Planned archaeological fieldwork and other preliminary works have been paused for the time, whereas the contractors for these works are Wessex Archaeology and Octavius.

In July 2023, the transport secretary has awarded a development consent order (DCO) for this scheme, which involves the construction of a new 12.8km two-lane dual carriageway with a 3.2km tunnel beneath the Unesco World Heritage Site.

In February, a High Court judge dismissed Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site’s (SSWHS’) legal challenge against the plans. The campaign group has appealed against the ruling.

As a National Highways spokesperson sated, considering that the power cabling installation work sits outside the DCO process, it is unaffected by the legal challenge.

According to National Highways A303 Stonehenge project director David Bullock: “The utilities work is underway to ensure program timescales for the already delayed scheme.”

SSWHS and Stonehenge Alliance chair John Adams has condemned the start of the work. He said it was premature and risks wasting even more public money in case the legal challenge is successful.

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