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.
All 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.

Prompted by your signatures and campaign letters, UNESCO publicly stated that it is monitoring the road scheme very closely.
International visitors who want to support the campaign, please visit the campaign website here:
The photograph of Stonehenge in its landscape setting is courtesy of Jon Westra

Reasons for signing

  • This scheme represents desecration of a globally-unique landscape.
  • the suggested tunnel goes over many possibly yet undiscovered prehistoric remains.
  • ...for my childrens children


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