A303 traffic changes which would see an ambitious and divisive tunnel built next to Stonehenge should be put to local people in a referendum.

That's according to one Journal reader, who had his say recently in a passionate letter to the paper.

Below we have included the letter in full.

What do you think? Email your views on this and other issues to newsdesk@salisburyjournal.co.uk.

'A303 traffic plan should be put to a referendum'

The Secretary of State for Transport has approved the ‘A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down Road Scheme’, which includes a tunnel at Stonehenge and a Winterbourne Stoke bypass.

His approval is against the advice of the independent Planning Inspectorate panel, appointed by the Government to check the details of the scheme.

As a local resident and life-time campaigner for the A303 dualling and Winterbourne Stoke bypass, I am not in favour of this approach.

The scheme is designed with one thing in mind.

The disposal of 1.25 million cubic metres of mostly contaminated wet chalk that will be extracted from the tunnel, treated at a special plant, before being transported and dumped in and around our beautiful village.

To accommodate the spoil, the proposed road over the River Till will be located in an excessively high position, which will create a major noise problem for the village.

Let’s hope the proposed legal challenge to the decision is successful.

To resolve this, all interested parties should be prepared to compromise.

Why not dual the A303 on its present line, dropping it into a landscaped cutting deep enough to lose sight of the stones from the A303?

This will allow the ancient right-of-way to pass over the road, allowing visitors a view of the ancient barrows, unhindered by the sight and noise of traffic. 

This would also allow the Winterbourne Stoke bypass to be constructed as approved in 2004.

It would also be the quickest and cheapest way of relieving the traffic besieged village of Shrewton, which has suffered so badly since Wiltshire Council prematurely closed the A344. 

I know this approach would not find support at a national level, but the needs of local people should be considered.

Could we not hold a local referendum to prove the strength of support behind the idea?

Ian West

Winterbourne Stoke