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To: The Secretaries of State for Transport, and Culture, Media and Sport to the UK Government

Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site

No further damage should be done to the archaeological landscape of Stonehenge.
Future generations would be appalled at those who decided that road widening should be at the expense of England’s most iconic World Heritage Site.
If A303 widening at Stonehenge is felt to be essential it should be done by means of a deep bored tunnel at least 4.5km long. Anything shorter would cause irreparable damage to this landscape, in breach of the World Heritage Convention.

Why is this important?

The Government proposes to widen the A303 trunk road to the south west. This road crosses the iconic Stonehenge World Heritage Site (WHS), which has been called “the most archaeologically significant land surface in Europe”. The whole site, extending to beyond the horizons around the famous stones themselves, is c. 5.4 km across. All of it makes up a “huge ancient complex” that holds many secrets yet to be discovered.

The proposal is to put the road into a tunnel where it passes the stones, but the tunnel would be at most only 2.9 km long. This would result in at least 1.6 km of above-ground 21st-century road engineering within the WHS, consisting of new dual carriageway descending in massive trenches to the tunnel portals and possibly a new underpass with slip roads on the western WHS boundary.
Archaeology in the construction zones would be destroyed and the A303 would become the largest ever human intervention in an area fashioned and revered by over a hundred generations of our ancestors.

The whole Stonehenge landscape has an outstanding universal value that is of immense significance for all people for all time, and this transcends any consideration of sorting out a 21st century part-time traffic jam.

International visitors who want to support the campaign, please visit the campaign website here: where you will find the running total.
The photograph of Stonehenge in its landscape setting is courtesy of Jon Westra

How it will be delivered

We plan to deliver the petition to the Secretary of State for Transport before a FINAL decision is made about the A303 Stonehenge Expressway.



2023-10-23 13:12:39 +0100

KEEP IN TOUCH With the prospect of a Court case, this is a fast moving campaign. Subscribe to our emails

2023-10-23 13:11:18 +0100

FIND OUT MORE Please visit our website for the latest news and to answer the most frequently asked question: What's wrong with the A303 Stonehenge road scheme?

2022-07-07 12:12:12 +0100

NOTE ON PETITION TEXT Since setting up the petition in 2014 we have told Government that any road tunnel would need to be long enough to protect the ENTIRE World Heritage Site and its setting. We have also told Government that we believe less damaging options should be explored, including non-road engineering solutions. Read more:

2021-06-02 13:29:05 +0100

WEBINAR: "SAVING STONEHENGE WHS" Thursday 3 June at 7pm.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SAVING BRITAIN’S MOST ICONIC WORLD HERITAGE SITE FROM IRREPARABLE DAMAGE WITH DISTINGUISHED OPPONENTS OF THE ROAD SCHEME When signing on go to 'Webinar admissions' > click zero > select 1 in the drop down to enable to register for tickets. Ignore the second row. It's a mistake which we cannot delete.

The event will be recorded. Please subscribe here if you would like to receive a link

2021-01-02 22:06:02 +0000

THANK YOU to all donors! The legal challengers, Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site Group, are overwhelmed by the generosity of over 2,000 donors who have met their stretch target of £50,000 within a month! Thank you all so much for your wonderful support which means the challenge had funding to go forward to the next stage. BBC online news reported this fantastic achievement on 31 December 2020

2020-11-24 23:35:48 +0000

Supporters may be interested to read our latest blog explaining why the Examiners of the Stonehenge road scheme recommended refusal. The scale of the highway engineering to be inserted at the Western end of the World Heritage Site is vividly described by them. It is a long read but to understand where this campaign has to go next it is essential. Graphics, maps, captions and hyperlinks have been added. If you can't read it now we suggest you book mark it to read the blog later.

2020-11-24 23:34:28 +0000

The decision last week by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to drive a chasm through Stonehenge World Heritage Site will send shock waves around the world, not least because the independent Examining Authority recommended it be refused permission. The decision goes against the advice of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, it will undermine the UK’s legal commitment to address Climate Change and is contrary to the advice of many experienced archaeologists. Our statement is here

2020-11-08 19:57:41 +0000

URGENT! In 4 days' time Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, will decide the fate of Stonehenge World Heritage Site. Let's show him how much people care about their world heritage whilst there's time. Here is a message for you to post on social media or forward to friends:

2020-07-30 16:57:41 +0100

100,000 signatures reached

2020-07-28 23:08:11 +0100


The Transport Secretary’s decision was expected on 17th July. It has been further delayed until 13 November as he wishes to consult on the implications of a major new archaeological find in the World Heritage Site: an incomplete ring of massive pits centred on Durrington Walls henge. Watch Prof Vince Gaffney, who led the discoveries, argue that the road tunnel would be such an act of monstrous vandalism that it would be hard to justify to generations to come.

2020-07-24 01:25:47 +0100

50,000 signatures reached

2020-07-10 19:55:49 +0100

The target of our petition, the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, may seal the fate of Stonehenge WHS next week, probably on Friday 17th July. So now would be an excellent time to write to him and your MP. Read more here

2020-06-19 20:17:30 +0100

A decision by the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, on whether to approve the Stonehenge Tunnel and A303 widening was due by 2 April. Further information was sought and we have been told to expect a decision any day before 17th July. Please keep signing the petition and sign up for news here:

2020-02-08 18:53:48 +0000

Highways England’s A303 Stonehenge tunnel scheme is at a critical stage. A decision on whether to approve it is due by 2 April, but funding for the scheme could be announced in the Budget on 11 March. We would like to swamp the Chancellor of the Exchequer with letters from around the country and abroad to show the strength of feeling against it.
Here are the key points to make:

2020-02-03 20:40:49 +0000

The future of the Stonehenge Tunnel scheme planned to gouge its way through the World Heritage Site hangs in the balance. The Examining Authority recommendations are with the Secretary of State for Transport for a decision on or around 2nd April. The decision is complicated by financial strictures, the Prime Minister having asked each Government department to sacrifice some “sacred cows” in time for the Chancellor’s budget announcement in March. Chancellor Sajid Javid believes the Stonehenge Tunnel scheme represents poor value for money whereas the Secretary of State Grant Shapps is enamoured of ‘extraordinary infrastructure’ and appears to be in favour of the scheme. The Stonehenge Alliance has sent an open letter to Grant Shapps asking him to axe the A303 Stonehenge Expressway Scheme.

2019-10-07 18:21:50 +0100

The examination of Highways England's scheme application has closed. It has been a gruelling marathon but we've been able to submit a compelling case to cancel the audacious Stonehenge tunnel. So have many others. The Examiners can hardly be in any doubt about the scheme's wickedness.

Over the next 3 months the Examining Authority will write up their findings and make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Transport who will have a further 3 months in which to make a decision – around March 2020 at the latest. If the wrong decision is made, we may consider issuing a legal challenge.

We've all done our best to shout out "this is wrong".

Read our blog:

2018-08-31 09:02:36 +0100

UNESCO’s WORLD HERITAGE CENTRE respond to numerous representations and issue a press notice that acknowledges people's messages of concern from the UK and around the world about the A303 Stonehenge scheme. The UK Government has advised it will ‘take into account’ Committee Decisions. So far, we have seen not a jot of evidence, not even a hint, that it has followed the advice of the 2018 World Heritage Committee or 2018 Advisory Mission to explore less damaging options for the A303. Please carry on supporting our campaign! Link to press notice:

2018-07-03 21:05:37 +0100

Last minute amendments to the Draft Decision for UNESCO's World Heritage Committee about the Stonehenge A303 scheme by Spain weakened the decision that had been based on UNESCO's third Advisory Mission’s positive findings. A statement swiftly put together by the Stonehenge Alliance was read out to the World Heritage Committee by our NGO counterparts. Fortunately the ensuing discussion reversed most of the amendments and the UK Government were urged to continue to explore options that would not require dual carriageway cuttings within the property.
Our news report can be found here:

2018-06-10 19:09:48 +0100

Our campaign has reached something of a watershed. Our concerted action during the consultation last spring is making waves in Parliament. Last week a Westminster Hall debate was called by Alex Burghart, MP for Brentwood in Essex, in order to raise serious archaeological concerns, particularly the risks posed by the road scheme to the discoveries at Blick Mead by the eastern boundary of the World Heritage Site dating back to c7,500-7,900BC. Mr Burghart wanted to highlight the dangers at a time when consultation responses are being considered and the decision on whether the project goes ahead is with the Ministers. We are pleased it captured the attention of the opposition. Please read our blog here:

2018-03-06 16:44:30 +0000

Take Action! A303 Stonehenge consultation is underway and closes on 6th April.

We are in danger of walking into an international scandal if we allow this disastrous scheme to go ahead.

Please object today!

The Expressway, tunnel, portals, and 4-lanes of tarmac will plough through the chalk landscape of Stonehenge World Heritage Site and profoundly scar this iconic ancient landscape forever.

2017-11-01 15:35:52 +0000

National Trust votes against its founding principle:
A motion asking the National Trust to reconsider its support for a short tunnel and over a mile of new dual carriageways within the World Heritage Site failed by a fairly narrow margin. Nearly 22,000 votes were cast in favour of the motion.

You can follow the arguments in the video highlights attached to our latest blog below. We hope our efforts will give the Trustees a good reason to pause for further thought.

2017-09-17 09:25:33 +0100

Government announced its preferred route this month: a slightly amended version that is still going to inflict damage to swathes of Stonehenge WHS. The Alliance is shocked by the UK's Government's indifference to UNESCO's advice. The scheme comes at vast expense: £1.6bn, an increase of £200m since last January.

The damage proposed will be in direct conflict with UNESCO's advice to the UK Government earlier this year.

The significance of the ancient remains in the landscape is still being explored. As UNESCO states in its inscription, "These holy places and the nearby Neolithic sites are an incomparable testimony to preshistoric times."

We were quoted in the national press stating that "the potential risk of loss of World Heritage status casts shame on our country and those responsible for caring for our heritage." Please see our latest blog.

2017-07-10 22:30:57 +0100

UNESCO's World Heritage Committee has asked the UK Government to rethink its road and tunnel proposals so as to avoid the Stonehenge World Heritage Site altogether. It also asks that organisations such as Stonehenge Alliance, specialist Stonehenge Archaeologists and others are properly involved. Read more
The Report to the WH Committee which it adopted on 6 July can be found here

2017-03-26 19:31:07 +0100

Our HEARTFELT THANKS to all our supporters who responded to our appeal to object to the outrageous road engineering proposed for the Stonehenge World Heritage Site and its setting.
In the short time available we believe that around 7,000 objectors used our proforma either through our website or on the Friends of the Earth's website. We do not know how many objected directly to Highways England but the indications are that there is a groundswell of national and international objections that is putting the road developers in an awkward position.
To keep up to date please continue to follow Stonehenge Alliance's campaign on Facebook, Twitter or sign up on our website for updates. And of course, please continue to spread the word!

2017-01-22 16:22:19 +0000

Since setting up the petition in 2014 we have learned more about the recently discovered Mesolithic site at Blick Mead. This has led us to consider that if Government insists on a tunnel under the WHS, it must be long enough to avoid the WHS and its setting altogether. This would be in line with planning policy and World Heritage Convention safeguards. We cannot change the wording of the petition but road widening without further damage to the WHS is clearly expressed in the petition and its justification. Follow this link for further briefings here. More information will follow about briefings for the public consultation.

2016-11-13 21:39:39 +0000

Our campaign to stop further damage to the landscape of Stonehenge with a short tunnel has been given a fantastic boost by our supporter Tom Holland, historian, author and broadcaster. He urges viewers to support the Stonehenge Alliance, saying “Moving the A303 into a tunnel would be a catastrophe. An act of vandalism that would shame our country and our generation.”
The UK Government’s road building plans are at a pre-consultation stage but Highways England has written to Stonehenge Alliance saying that their working assumption is to build a 2.9 km (1.8 mile) tunnel. The location of tunnel portals is not yet confirmed but the tunnel would lie within the World Heritage Site. This is the time to influence Government. Please take action here, now.
Link to video:

2016-11-05 17:32:53 +0000

NEW BLOG Our campaign leaflet explains the threat to #StonehengeWHS and why we must carry on signing the petition, writing letters and sharing widely.

2016-06-09 17:14:27 +0100

We are building a small team of International Representatives to help The Stonehenge Alliance engage world-wide with objectors to the road-widening proposals that would severely damage Stonehenge World Heritage Site. We have also recently added two more translations of our petition: in Italian and in Portuguese to share. You can find out more on this link.

2016-04-26 13:43:01 +0100

Countdown to A303 Engineering Works has started. There are three distinct stages:
NOW: Pre-application Period: a number of options are designed and consulted on
SOON: Pre-examination: Highways England's preferred option is consulted on
LATER: Examination and Decision Making Period: Application will be submitted to an examining panel.
Scheme starts on site in 2020 if we don't stop further damage to our ancient landscape.
Further details in our blog:

2016-04-15 08:54:53 +0100

NEW hashtag: #SaveStonehengeWHS is our new campaign hashtag for comments, posts and tweets about widening of A303/tunnel by Stonehenge that is in design. Please use when sharing petition or tweeting @SaveStonehenge
Thank you!

2016-04-09 14:06:05 +0100

20,000 signatures reached

2016-03-06 12:17:08 +0000


Highways England are at the "optioneering phase" to identify solutions that "satisfy the scheme requirements; take account of environmental, physical and finanacial constraints; and are worthy of consideration as part of a public consultation" for early 2017. Nevertheless the Roads Minister stated that he is committed to a "1.8 mile tunnel".
Have ministers made their minds up before consultation? Key quotes from last week's Westminster debate on roads to the South West in our latest blog:
Carry on signing and sharing our petition!

2016-02-23 02:48:13 +0000

A drop-in 'information event' in Amesbury was organised by Highways England last Thursday to seek your views. No plans were available at this stage. It was confirmed that all options for upgrading the A303 are being considered. One display panel showed a "Key Benefit" of any scheme being "Conserve and enhance the Stonehenge World Heritage Site". A 2.9km tunnel would fall short of this. It would be very helpful if you could let Highways England know your views in their short survey here especially Question 10.

To view photographs of the eight panels please link here
Thank you!

2016-01-03 14:31:02 +0000

Government are proceeding with scheme design for a twin bore short tunnel for consultation this year. Extract from Highways England's update:
"Subject to the outcome of a consultation on options, the announced scheme includes the construction of a twin-bored tunnel of at least 1.8 miles in length on the A303 as it passes Stonehenge, a bypass for Winterbourne Stoke and junctions with the A358 and the A360. Provided that the necessary statutory approvals are secured and the scheme continues to demonstrate value for public money, we expect to start construction by April 2020."
It will irreparably damage our premier prehistoric landscape. Please share our petition widely whilst there is still a chance of saving our World Heritage Site from the bulldozer.

2015-07-28 12:59:28 +0100


The new Government's resolve to proceed with the A303 Expressway with a 2.9km tunnel and portals inserted in the Stonehenge World Heritage Site remains undimmed, despite massive cuts to other public services.

Although the Secretary of State, John Whittingdale, states that 2.9km is to be considered as the tunnel's minimum length, there is no increased budget to pay for a longer tunnel.

Please can you recruit friends, family and colleagues to sign our petition?

You can follow our blog

Our Campaign Twitter is here:

If you have time please write to UNESCO and the National Trust. Sample letters here:

Thanks again for getting behind our campaign.

Best wishes,

Mike Birkin on behalf of Stonehenge Alliance

2014-12-23 08:04:35 +0000

If your address is not in the UK you can sign the identical petition here

2014-12-04 23:54:48 +0000

Dear Supporter


Hello and a big thank you to Debbie W, who has just become the 10,000th person to sign our Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site petition!

Progress has been amazing since the government’s roads announcement on Monday. But clearly we have a fight on our hands and every extra voice counts. If every one of you can get one friend to sign we’ll hit 20,000 overnight!

You can follow us on twitter
and on facebook

And we have some high level support too… the UK branch of ICOMOS, one of the bodies that looks after World Heritage Sites, has written to the UK government to express its concern over the short tunnel.

Thanks again for your support, please help spread the word about Stonehenge World Heritage Site under threat

Best wishes

Mike Birkin on behalf of Stonehenge Alliance

2014-12-04 23:01:51 +0000

10,000 signatures reached

2014-12-01 19:35:21 +0000

5,000 signatures reached

2014-10-30 09:45:36 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2014-10-29 17:24:40 +0000

500 signatures reached

2014-10-29 10:33:04 +0000

100 signatures reached

2014-10-29 09:26:41 +0000

50 signatures reached

2014-10-29 08:33:20 +0000

25 signatures reached

2014-10-29 07:42:33 +0000

10 signatures reached

* A portion of the signature total has been collected offline and has not yet been verified by 38 Degrees.