HC Deb 31 October 1995 vol 265 cc133-4W
Mr. Redmond

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consultation he has recently carried out with(a) the Secretary of State for National Heritage, (b) the chairman of English Heritage, (c) the National Trust and (d) other interested organisations in respect of (i) the A303 and (ii) the A344 and the effect that their upgrading would have on the World Heritage site at Stonehenge; what were the results of his discussions; and if he will make a statement. [40003]

Mr. Watts

This is an operational matter for the Highways Agency. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Lawrie Haynes to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 31 October 1995:

As you know the Minister for Railways and Roads, Mr John Watts, has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question in which you sought information about the A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down improvement scheme.

The Highways Agency have consulted the Department of National Heritage, English Heritage and the National Trust throughout the preparation of this scheme. Recognising the unique sensitivity of the World Heritage Site at Stonehenge, the Agency have arranged a planning conference which will give all interested parties an opportunity to explore and debate possible ways of overcoming the traffic problems on this length of the trunk road. Conferences on other schemes have been successful in identifying a consensus on the major issues and possible ways forward. The Department of National Heritage, English Heritage and the National Trust will be sending delegates to the conference. All other organisations known to have interest in the scheme have been notified of the arrangements for the conference.

An assessment of the possible routes identified thus far is given in Preliminary Assessments Reports which are available to the public. Any of the possible solutions illustrated in the conference brochure would help to reduce the effect of traffic on Stonehenge.