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Wiltshire Tories ask government to back destructive A303 Stonehenge scheme

March 10, 2020 10:14 PM
By WC (edited)
Originally published by Trevor Carbin Liberal Democrat

WC's Conservative administration is ignoring the Council's acknowledgement of a climate emergency in their obsession with pointless and harmful road-building.

They describe the £2billion plan as 'vital'. They say it would 'boost the South West economy, address congestion on this busy road, and end the rat run situation for local residents'. In reality figures for the economy are unproven and distorted and dependent on yet more road schemes, congestion will expand to fill the space available to it, and the council could find other ways of avoiding rat-running if they chose. (Rat-running is what other people do: you and I just take the most convenient route.)

Cllr Bridget Wayman, Cabinet Member for building more big fast roads, said: "We are calling on the government to issue a clear statement of intent to support this £1.9bn scheme and deliver a huge vote of confidence that will boost the whole south west.

"Councils throughout the region are united in supporting this vital scheme that has myriad benefits for both the ancient monument and the south west's economy.

"The scheme will improve the everyday lives of the local community, whose villages are used as rat runs, and it will also remove the single lane, bottleneck road, and create more reliable journeys for the thousands of vehicles that use the A303 as a gateway to the south west each day.

"Removing the noisy road from much of the World Heritage Site will help to restore the Stonehenge landscape and allow people to enjoy and understand the ancient stones and explore the surrounding countryside.

"The Stonehenge improvement scheme offers a golden opportunity for the government to invest in the south west's transport network, unlocking the region's potential and making a bold statement that the region is open for investment."

An 'independent economic assessment' commissioned by the local authorities claims to demonstrate that improving the whole A303/A30/A358 corridor would:

  • Create 21,400 jobs and deliver a £39bn boost to the economy.
  • Save 1,807 fatal or serious casualties.
  • Reduce carbon emissions by 9%.