HOPES have been raised that the queueblighted A303 past Stonehenge will be turned into a dual carriageway after the Treasury announced a £3billion increase in spending on infrastructure.

The holiday trunk road, which has been subject to numerous upgrade campaigns, suffers heavy congestion in the summer and causes major problems for business owners who rely on it for transportation.

One of the main routes from London to the south west, it runs from the capital to Land’s End in Cornwall. Campaigners have long fought to get improvements on the stretch of road but none have succeeded.

The most controversial plan included a 1.3-mile tunnel at Stonehenge, which was axed in 2007 as costs soared.

It is now understood that the road is one of three projects in England likely to benefit from funding announced by George Osborne in the Budget, reviving hopes that it will be turned into a continuous dual carriageway.

VisitWiltshire chief executive David Andrews said: “Anything we can do to improve transport links into the county to make it easier and quicker for visitors to get here would be great news for Wiltshire’s visitor economy.

“Increasing tourism visits and spend is one of the county’s top strategic priorities so this will have positive benefits for increasing visitor spend and tourism jobs.”

English Heritage also welcomed the possible upgrade, but added that it was important the improvements were done in a way that was “sensitive to the ancient setting of Stonehenge and other parts of the historic environment that might be affected”.

But Amesbury mayor Jan Swindlehurst said the town was “not holding its breath”

over the plans.

“It would be wonderful if it ever happens,”

she said. “But we’ve been through this time and again and until we see diggers coming in I don’t think we can get excited.”

“The road is a nightmare. It’s a real bottleneck and creates total gridlock.”

A Department for Transport spokesman said a decision on future schemes will be taken following the Spending Review in June.

axed in 2007 as costs soared.