Highways England has appointed an Arup/Atkins Joint Venture to develop a preferred option to improve the A303 between Amesbury and Berwick Down in Wiltshire which will include the construction of the Stonehenge Tunnel.
As part of the £15 billion five year Road Investment Strategy the government has pledged to improve this section of the A303, including the tunnel near Stonehenge and a bypass of the village of Winterbourne Stoke.
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The package of work has an estimated value of £17.5m. Subject to statutory procedures, the proposed scheme is on target for construction work to start by April 2020.
Project Manager, Andrew Alcorn, leading the A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down scheme, said:
This award takes us another step closer to our commitment to deliver the A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down Improvement Scheme.
Now we have Atkins/Arup on board to help with developing options for the scheme and pre-construction planning, we will be able to take the next step towards making this scheme a reality.
Tony Marshall, Global Highways Business Leader, Arup said:
We are delighted to be a part of the team tasked with helping to relieve congestion and improving the setting of a world renowned heritage site. By working collaboratively we can produce a transport solution that is sensitive to an area that is of immense cultural and environmental importance.
Lesley Waud, Strategic Highways Market Director, Atkins added:
This is a much needed scheme that will play a pivotal role in relieving congestion and improving journey times. We are delighted to work in partnership with Arup in delivering this vital project that will not only generate major benefits to better meet the needs of the travelling public, but will also support local economic growth in the long term.
The contract has been awarded under Highways England’s Collaborative Delivery Framework (CDF). Following the preferred route announcement Highways England will draw up a development consent order application, which will be examined in public by the Planning Inspectorate, before a final decision by the Transport Secretary.
The A303 trunk road links London with the South West and is a key route for long distance commercial and holiday traffic. The scheme will unlock a pinch-point that has restricted the economy of the South West while enhancing the world heritage site at Stonehenge. This scheme is an integral part for creating a A303 ‘expressway’ to the South West region.