THE Stonehenge Alliance has written to the Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin to express its concern at the short tunnel options being considered for Stonehenge as part of a wider plan to upgrade the A303.

The government is considering a number of options to improve the A303, one of which is to build a 2.5 to 2.9km tunnel under Stonehenge.

However the group contests that the tunnel should exceed 4.5km in order to protect the site.

George McDonic, chairman of the Stonehenge Alliance, said: “The current proposals for a 2.5 to 2.9km tunnel below Stonehenge might sound long enough, but they would still result in significant harm being done to the World Heritage Site.

“We are urging the Secretary of State to get this right and to protect Britain’s iconic heritage site.

“A 4.5km tunnel might cost more but what price can you place on a landscape that means so much to so many people?

“This is part of our history, our past and our culture.

“Once damaged, it will be spoilt forever.”

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “We are discussing a range of potential options for improving the A303/A30/A358 corridor with interested parties to understand their views, including consideration of the section of the A303 that passes Stonehenge.

“As part of this process we have worked closely with key organisations, including English Heritage and the National Trust, to assess the impacts of potential options on the Stonehenge World Heritage Site.

“No investment decisions have been made as this is work in progress and, when completed the study outcomes will inform the Government’s 2014 Autumn Statement.”