A LONG-TERM objector of the Stonehenge tunnel plans has called for a response from Highways England over a “fundamental design flaw” which he fears could cause problems for surrounding villages.

Andy Rhind-Tutt, who is president of Salisbury Chamber of Commerce, addressed a panel of inspectors last week as part of an examination of Highways England’s £1.6billion A303 proposals.

He spoke of his concerns about the “lack of detail” and “clarity” presented by Highways England regarding “traffic movement, rat-running, contraflows and lighting” within the World Heritage Site. He also raised concerns about when a contraflow system would have to be put in place, meaning traffic would have to be temporarily moved from its usual side of the road to the other half of the carriageway.

He said: “Whilst I appreciate road junctions can now be designed without street lighting there is an exception when it comes to changing lanes in contraflow situations.”

Mr Rhind-Tutt. pictured right, said he had “constantly questioned” how Highways England could continue to say there will be “no lighting within the World Heritage Site”.

He said: “Earlier in the week I challenged the highways engineer regarding lighting for contraflows and was informed that the contraflows would indeed need lighting. However, it was not a problem as this was temporary lighting and it would be situated outside of the World Heritage Site and therefore would not cause any problem with the Stonehenge sunsets, the alignments at midwinter which gathers an enormous amount of publicity and participation by the public particularly as sun sets near the western portal.”

Mr Rhind-Tutt added: “If the highways engineer is correct and the planned contraflow where traffic is sent from one side of the dual carriageway to the other side to enable the closing of one of the tunnel portals for maintenance or attention is outside of the World Heritage Site then this must mean the contraflow on the westbound will be situated beyond the proposed Longbarrow grade separated junctions.

“If the contraflow is beyond the Longbarrow junctions may I ask you how you think the traffic travelling westbound will access Shrewton, the A360, which is Longbarrow junction, the Stonehenge Visitor Centre or the army camp at Larkhill when they will not be able to exit the Longbarrow junction because they will be on the opposite side of the dual carriageway.”

He said this was a “fundamental design flaw” and “must be addressed” by Highways England.

Mr Rhind-Tutt said: “I don’t believe there is enough length in the road between Longbarrow and the tunnel to put in a contraflow within the World Heritage Site, and if there is it will be lit. If it is not then we have a serious traffic problem in the surrounding roads and villages and in particular Shrewton because the only way to get back to the visitors centre will be to head all the way out to Wylye and come all the way back through the villages, or turn round.”

He requested HE arrange a site visit to see the proposed routes used in the event of diversions.