A303 Stonehenge

1 of 9 schemes Highways England plans along the A303, A358 and A30 to create a world-class Expressway to link the south west and south east of England.

Region:  South West
Start date:  TBC
Cost:  £1.4 billion
Status:  PLANNED
Type:  Major Scheme
End date:  TBC
Programme:  Complex Infrastructure

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A303 Stonehenge

1 of 9 schemes Highways England plans along the A303, A358 and A30 to create a world-class Expressway to link the south west and south east of England.

Progress report

We held public consultation on our proposed options from 12 January to 5 March 2017. This was to provide you with the opportunity to give your views on our proposals. You can visit the consultation page to read the consultation documents.

What’s next

Now that consultation has closed, we will combine your feedback with further technical analysis and use this to decide our “preferred route”: the option we will recommend to the Secretary of State. We hope to be able to announce the preferred route in summer 2017.

We plan to run a public consultation on the preferred route in late 2017.

If all goes to plan we would like to start on site in 2020.

Timeline

Date Event
1989 Scheme enters Roads for Prosperity programme
1991 – 1993 Initial route identification
1993 Public consultation
1994 – 1995 Further route identification
1995 Planning Conference
1996 Scheme withdrawn from roads programme
1998 Scheme re-introduced to roads programme
1999 Preferred route announced
2002 2.1km bored tunnel announced
2004 Public inquiry
2005 Review of options after substantial increase in estimated costs
2007 Withdrawn from roads programme
2013 A303 feasibility study announced as part of the Autumn Statement
2014 Scheme included in the Roads Investment Strategy
2015-2016 route identification
12 January to 5 March 2017 Have your say: consultation on all route options
TBC Summer 2017 Announce our preferred/recommended option
Late 2017 Consultation on preferred/recommended option
TBC 2018 Submit planning application
TBC 2020 Start on site

Community news

Come and see us

We are holding a series of public information events where you can see detailed maps and plans, view computer visualisations and talk to our project experts:

Location Date Time
The Manor Barn
High St, Winterbourne Stoke, SP3 4SZ
Saturday 14 January 2017 11am to 5pm
Antrobus House
39 Salisbury Rd, Amesbury, SP4 7HH
Wednesday 18 January 2017 2pm to 8pm
Shrewton Village Hall
Recreation Ground, The Hollow, Shrewton, SP3 4JY
Friday 20 January 2017 5pm to 9pm
Avon Valley College
Recreation Rd, Durrington, SP4 8HH
Saturday 21 January 2017 11am to 5pm
Larkhill Primary School
Wilson Road, Larkhill, SP4 8QB
Tuesday 24 January 2017 5pm to 9pm
The Manor Barn
High St, Winterbourne Stoke, SP3 4SZ
Friday 27 January 2017 2pm to 8pm
The Guildhall
The Market Place, Salisbury, SP1 1JH
Saturday 28 January 2017 11am to 5pm
Grove Hall
The Grove Building, Church Street, Mere, BA12 6DS
Saturday 4 February 2017 11am to 5pm
Society of Antiquaries
Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BE
Monday 6 February 2017 2pm to 8pm
Antrobus House
39 Salisbury Rd, Amesbury, SP4 7HH
Wednesday 8 February 2017 2pm to 8pm

As a local you may well have followed earlier versions of this scheme. Some of these will have had different approaches and processes, or been governed by older legislation. We have put together a clear guide to the planning process, outlining exactly what happens and when you get can get involved.

View our guide to the planning process

Why we need this scheme

The A303 is one of the UK’s most important roads. Along with the A30 and the A358, it forms the most direct route between London and the south west. This road is vital for the local and regional economy of the south west.

Despite this importance, 35 miles of it remains single carriageway. Poor transport links create the idea that the south west is a hard place to get to for a holiday or to do business. Bottlenecks through villages, changes in speed limit, hidden accesses and staggered junctions frustrate drivers by making journey times unreliable. The A303 also has a higher accident rate than other similar roads.

In a bid to avoid tailbacks drivers turn to the side roads, which in turn become clogged, noisy and polluted rat runs. The traffic, noise and air pollution this causes affects the vitality of nearby villages, particularly Shrewton, Bulford, Durrington, Amesbury and Winterbourne Stoke, which the A303 slices right through.

Improving a major trunk road is never easy, and the A303 is particularly sensitive. Between Amesbury and Berwick Down, the road passes just 165 metres from Stonehenge, one of our most treasured and historic landmarks.

Some 24,000 vehicles use the Amesbury to Berwick Down stretch of road every day. On a summer weekend the figure leaps to 29,000. The A303 can be seen and heard from the Stonehenge stone circle and affects this important World Heritage Site.

We all want to see a solution that solves these problems and enhances the setting of the Stones. Previous efforts have stumbled over the best way to do this – and over the costs.

Now the government has made money available to find the right solution. The different routes explored in the past give us a large bank of knowledge to start from.

This provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a new South West Expressway, capable of sustaining mile-a-minute travel by 2029 – and restoring Stonehenge to a more tranquil setting and reconnecting it with its surrounding landscape and monuments.

Aims

There are many potential benefits to finding a better route for an upgraded A303 between Amesbury and Berwick Down.

Transport

A dual carriageway with motorway standard junctions and high standards of safety would improve journey times and safety, especially in summer. The new South West Expressway’s up to date technology would help manage traffic and provide information to drivers. Reducing the amount of traffic that needs to divert to the local road network around Larkhill, Bulford, Amesbury, Durrington and Winterbourne Stoke would be safer for local residents, cyclists and pedestrians.

Economic growth

Roads are the backbone of the UK economy. Improving journey times would help make the south west more competitive with the rest of the country. Shorter journey times cut transport costs, giving businesses better access to markets, suppliers and skills. In turn this would help make the region more productive and boosts tourism. It would also give the south west’s growing population better access to more jobs and schools. Better connections will support the development of more homes.

Cultural heritage

The Stonehenge World Heritage Site is cut in two by the A303 at the moment and is spoiled by the sounds and sights of traffic. A better road layout could protect and enhance this important setting. As well as making Stonehenge easier to get to, the project will help people explore the rest of the World Heritage Site by reconnecting the stone circles with nearby ancient monuments.

Environment and community

A better road would enhance area's existing biodiversity and reduce the impact of congestion, noise and emissions on local communities. This area includes Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Special Areas of Conservation, Special Protection Areas, a Nature Reserve and an RSPB reserve, with several protected species. A free-flowing expressway would also reduce noise impact, improve air quality and improve the vitality and safety of local villages.

It is very early days, but as the project progresses, we will look for ways to reduce the project’s effect on the environment and take opportunities to make enhancements to the environment wherever we can.

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Project documents
Newsletter - Autumn 2016 |

Project timeline

Planned roadworks

Roadworks and Events for England

The latest incident information for England's motorway and trunk routes provided by Highways England

Location : The A303 eastbound between the junctions with the A3028 and the A338 . Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:01 on 28 March 2017 to 06:30 on 29 March 2017. Schedule : From 21:00 on 29 March 2017 to 06:00 on 30 March 2017. Schedule : From 21:00 on 30 March 2017 to 06:00 on 1 April 2017. Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed.
Posted: March 28, 2017, 11:56 am
Location : The A303 eastbound between the A3028 and the junction with the A338 . Reason : Road repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:01 on 28 March 2017 to 06:30 on 29 March 2017. Schedule : From 21:00 on 29 March 2017 to 06:00 on 30 March 2017. Schedule : From 21:00 on 30 March 2017 to 06:00 on 1 April 2017. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: March 28, 2017, 11:56 am
Location : The A36 southbound between the A338 and the junction with the A27 . Lane Closures : Lane one is closed. Reason : Litter Clearance. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 15:30 on 28 March 2017. Lanes Closed : There is one of two lanes closed.
Posted: March 28, 2017, 11:30 am
Location : The A36 northbound between the A30 West and the junction with the A303 . Lane Closures : Lane two will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 12:30 on 29 March 2017 to 17:30 on 29 March 2017. Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed.
Posted: March 28, 2017, 10:21 am
Location : The A303 eastbound between the A338 and the junction with the A342 . Reason : Road repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 28 March 2017 to 1 April 2017. Schedule : From 21:00 on 3 April 2017 to 06:00 on 4 April 2017. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: March 25, 2017, 5:08 pm
Location : The A303 eastbound. Reason : Road repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 28 March 2017 to 1 April 2017. Schedule : From 21:00 on 3 April 2017 to 06:00 on 4 April 2017. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: March 25, 2017, 5:08 pm

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