Highways England rejects accusations of 'industrial archaeology' at Stonehenge

 

Highways England has denied risking archaeological deposits at Stonehenge by using a mechanical digger to excavate archaeology evaluation trenches in wet conditions.

Campaigners have accused the government-owned company of an ‘industrial approach’ to archaeology in its preparations for the A303 tunnel at Stonehenge. The consultation on the A303 scheme closed on 23 April.

”Local
Source: The Heritage Journal

The Heritage Journal website said the use of heavy machinery by Highways England contractors in a field adjacent to Longbarrow Roundabout, just beyond the western boundary of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site (WHS), ‘underlines the threat that will soon reach the WHS’.

It said the use of a mechanical digger, continually moving back and forth in the current wet soil conditions, ‘would likely devastate any fragile archaeological deposits’.

The website said that if the investigations had been put off until the ground dried out, the risk of damage would reduce considerably, ‘but the timetable has been compressed by Highways England’s failure to engage constructively with landowners and farmers in the WHS, with no account of the farming calendar or extremely wet conditions exacerbated by periods of heavy snow’.

David Bullock, Highways England project manager for the A303 Stonehenge scheme called the claims 'alarmist and untrue'.

He said:'The archaeological investigations being undertaken are part of a programme of work devised in consultation with the Heritage Monitoring and Advisory Group (HMAG) comprising Historic England, Wiltshire Council Archaeology Service, the National Trust and English Heritage, taking expert advice from an independent Scientific Committee of eminent archaeologists.

'The archaeological evaluation works are being monitored on site by Wiltshire Council Archaeology Service and other members of HMAG. This monitoring has regard to both the agreed scope of works and the conditions on site.

'No work has been carried out during unsuitable conditions - the recent wet weather has resulted in the plant operations being stood down at times to avoid any risk to archaeology.'

Separately a group of senior archaeologists have said that Highways England’s plans for a 1.9-mile long tunnel, both of whose portals will be within the WHS, would have ‘dreadful consequences for the world’s most famous archaeological site and its landscape setting’.

The experts said they had all have carried out internationally recognised research within the Stonehenge WHS within the last 10 years or more. 

In a consultation response, they said the scheme would set a bad precedent by allowing large-scale destructive development within a WHS and that there was concern about impacts of any groundwater reduction on deposits associated with the prehistoric Blick Mead site.

 

Also see

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Transport Development Engineer

Bristol City Council
£22,021 - £23,836
An exciting opportunity has arisen in the Strategic Transport team for a junior engineer to join our Transport Development Management (TDM) team. Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol
Recuriter: Bristol City Council

Transport Development Management Co-ordinator

Bristol City Council
£38,813 - £41,675
An exciting opportunity has arisen within Transport Development Management (TDM) City of Bristol
Recuriter: Bristol City Council

Contracts Manager - Core Service

Liverpool City Council
£37,849 - £42,683 per year
The successful candidate will manage and maintain Highways partnerships and contractual arrangements to ensure effective, quality and value for... Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Transport Inspectors – Land & Maritime Security

Department for Transport
£33,990 - £36,880
Looking for Transport Security Inspectors to join our team to focus on direct monitoring and assessing of industry compliance against... London (Greater)
Recuriter: Department for Transport

Lead Engineer [Development]

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
£40,760 - £41,675 per annum
Looking for an exciting new opportunity? Join us in Knowsley’s Major Development Team! Knowsley (Metropolitan borough), Merseyside
Recuriter: Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Principal Engineer [Development]

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
£34,788 - £35,934 per annum
Looking for an exciting new opportunity? Join us in Knowsley’s Major Development Team! Knowsley (Metropolitan borough), Merseyside
Recuriter: Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Project Officer - Air Quality

Camden London Borough Council
£33,122 - £38,423
The successful candidate will ideally have a relevant degree or professional qualification. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Arborist

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£24.462 - £25.809
Seeking an experienced Climbing Arborist who has NPTC / LANTRA qualifications in chainsaw use and climbing operation units for an... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Environmental Enforcement Patrol Officer

Brent Council
£31,548 - £33,291 p.a. inc.
Looking for a person who has experience in undertaking enforcement work, carrying out awareness raising/promotional work.  Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Traffic Management Operative/Foreman

Balfour Beatty
Competitive
Are you a Traffic Management Operative/Foreman with Highspeed (12AB) Qualifications, looking for a new and exciting opportunity? If so read on..... Leatherhead, Surrey
Recuriter: Balfour Beatty

Principal Economic Growth Officer

Essex County Council
Up to £45,000 per annum
It is an exciting time to be joining the Economic Growth team at Essex County Council. Essex
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Economic Infrastructure Manager

Essex County Council
Up to £57,000 per annum
It is an exciting time to be joining the Economic Growth team at Essex County Council Essex
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Head of Service - Highways

Sheffield City Council
£69,091 - £74,137
Looking for someone dynamic, with vision, energy, and an outward focus who can build strong relationships with all key partners, stakeholders with... Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Recuriter: Sheffield City Council

Senior Transport Officer

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£33,799 - £35,934
You will be responsible for assisting the Team Manager with the day to day operational management and delivery of the transport service.  Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

PCN Appeals Officer

Brent Council
£26,745 - £30,711 p.a. inc.
Looking for an experienced parking professional to join the Notice Processing Team. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Environmental Protection Officer

London Borough of Sutton & The Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames
£25,809 to £33,291 (Grade F-G) / £33,291 to £42,684 (Grade H-I)
As an Environmental Protection Officer, you will be part of a small multidisciplinary team delivering a range of statutory environmental functions... Kingston Upon Thames (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Sutton & The Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames

Environmental Protection Team Manager

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£44.607 - £47.511
We would like to hear from exceptional candidates with broad pollution control experience and a can-do attitude who... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Highways Gang Leader

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£24,313 - £28,785 per annum
An exciting opportunity for a Highways Gang Leader has arose based at Taylors Lane, Oldbury. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Road Agreements Team Leader OCC5803

Oxfordshire County Council
£49,522 - £56,481 per annum
Take the next step in your career - click here to find out more information. Oxford, Oxfordshire
Recuriter: Oxfordshire County Council

Highways and Street Lighting Manager

London Borough of Bromley
Circa £43,000 per annum
Seeking an experienced professional with experience in highway, street lighting and traffic engineering. Bromley (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bromley