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Stonehenge film released to show how site would be without traffic on A303

English Heritage, Historic England and National Trust film.

A film showing how Stonehenge would look without the busy A303 running through the site has been released in collaboration by English Heritage, the National Trust and Historic England.

The film has come out a year after the Government announced plans to build a 2.9km tunnel around Stonehenge to hide part of the road and ease congestion.

Once built it's hoped the tunnel will give people better access to the site and help preserve local habitats for skylarks, brown hare and Adonis Blue butterflies.

Still image from the English Heritage film Credit: English Heritage

In a statement on their website English Heritage said:

"Tens of thousands of vehicles thunder past Stonehenge on the A303 every day. The heavy traffic and constant noise from the road compromises our enjoyment and understanding of the monument and the road cuts the stones off from much of the surrounding ancient landscape and many prehistoric monuments."

"On 1 December 2014, the Government announced that it would invest in a tunnel of at least 2.9km to remove much of the A303 trunk road from the Stonehenge World Heritage Site. English Heritage, Historic England and the National Trust all welcomed the announcement, describing it as a 'momentous decision'."

– English Heritage
Another still from the English Heritage film showing Stonehenge with and without traffic. Credit: English Heritage

The A303 around Stonehenge has long been a problem spot for congestion in the South West as the road goes down from two lanes into one and becomes particularly busy as visitors make their way to Stonehenge.

The Department for Transport unveiled plans last year for a £2 billion investment to create a "super highway" on the A303 which remains a crucial route between London and the South West.

But not everyone agrees a tunnel is the answer to the congestion problem. Many historians say digging up the area around the site could cause irreparable damage to the landscape and other historical artefacts.

Traffic around the A303 site. Credit: English Heritage