Fw: Stonehenge saved? Not quite!

george at dicenews.com george at dicenews.com
Sat Dec 14 22:32:21 GMT 2002

----- Original Message -----
From: "Save Stonehenge!" <info at savestonehenge.org.uk>
To: "'Save Stonehenge'" <info at savestonehenge.org.uk>
Sent: Friday, December 13, 2002 8:06 PM
Subject: Stonehenge saved? Not quite!

> Dear Friend of Stonehenge,
> Before you read on, please note:
> 1. This is the regular (once every blue moon or so) email to people on the
> Save Stonehenge! email list about the campaign to save the Stonehenge
> Heritage Site from a proposed new 4-lane road scheme and associated
> "improvements" (full details at http://www.savestonehenge.org.uk).
> 2. Our sincere apologies if you receive this as an unsolicited or unwanted
> email.
> We have no wish to irritate people with junk ("spam") emails and we
> respect your privacy. To be removed from our list, please simply send us a
> short reply. A warm-blooded human being will remove your name and you'll
> never hear from us again. Ever! Promise. (Full details of our privacy
> policy
> are on our website.)
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> In this issue:
> 1. Stonehenge saved? Not quite.
> 2. What happens next?
> 3. Would you like to support our campaign?
> ---
> 1. Stonehenge saved? Not quite.
> Much has happened since we last wrote to you back in September.
> As you'll recall, we wrote to ask your help in stopping a four-lane
> from being bulldozed through the Stonehenge World Heritage Site. The plan
> was to create a brand new and very wide road using a method called
> cut-and-cover: gouge a deep trench, add a roof on top... and ask questions
> later. We also alerted you to the position of Britain's National Trust, a
> charity that owns most of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site, which had
> initially supported the road scheme.
> Thanks in part to the many emails and letters you sent, some remarkable
> things have happened in the last few weeks.
> After looking carefully at all the evidence, the National Trust made a
> courageous decision to change its position and firmly opposed the
> cut-and-cover road it had once supported. Opposition also came from
> ICOMOS-UK, the committee of archaeologists charged with safeguarding the
> World Heritage Site on behalf of UNESCO. Other groups, notably the
> Stonehenge Alliance of environmental, archaeological, and transport
> organizations chaired by Lord Kennet, continued to make a powerfully
> persuasive case against cut-and-cover.
> Well miracles do happen.
> On Wednesday of this week, the British's government's Transport and
> ministries announced that they had changed their minds about the road: it
> would now be bored underneath the central part of the Stonehenge World
> Heritage Site instead of arrogantly bulldozed right throught it. Good news
> indeed for Stonehenge. (You can read more about the announcement in Maev
> Kennedy's article from the UK newspaper, The Guardian, here:
> http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,857552,00.html
> But there is a snag.
> The new tunnel will be just 1.3 miles (2.1 km) long. That means, outside
> the tunnel section, huge cuttings will still have to be bulldozed through
> part of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site. Many people -- including Save
> Stonehenge -- refuse to stomach the idea of bulldozers trashing the World
> Heritage Site and we simply do not accept that a short, bored tunnel is
> best we can do. ICOMOS-UK does not support the short bored tunnel. The
> National Trust has said it wants to know why the government won't build a
> longer tunnel (as the owner of the land, it still has the power to veto
> road altogether).
> Now we don't want to appear ungrateful to the British government: they
> have, after all, agreed to find an extra 30 million pounds (45 million
> dollars) on this highway. Thank you British government. But let's be clear
> about this: The British government is pretending that its main concern is
> to do Stonehenge a favour. It isn't. The aim of this scheme is to build a
> new four-lane highway. Stonehenge is, unfortunately, in the way. So the
> British government is doing the cheapest thing it possibly can to make it
> politically acceptable to build a new highway through a World Heritage
> Site.
> It's pretending to go out of its way to protect Stonehenge, which has been
> there for 5000 years, by spending an extra ?30 million pounds. But it has
> ?5.5 billion to spend on transport. And it spent ?800 million pounds on
> London's Millennium Dome, an ill-fated, much-hated plastic tent that was
> only used for a year.
> We believe Stonehenge deserves the best possible solution, not the
> one. And we will continue to fight to ensure it gets it. Other, longer
> tunnels need to be considered; new routes have been proposed that take the
> highway right outside the World Heritage Site; and there are public
> transportation options too. All these things must be looked at first
> we take drastic, irreversible steps.
> After all, Stonehenge is 5000 years old; the motor car is about 100 years
> old. Will we still be driving automobiles in 100, 500, or 1000 years time?
> Will future generations curse our short-term, blinkered thinking in
> bulldozing a new road through Stonehenge?
> So our campaign to secure the future Stonehenge really deserves will go
> You wouldn't expect any less of us, would you?
> ----
> 2. What happens next?
> In the Spring of 2003, the British government will publish the official
> legal documents (known as Draft Orders) that will allow it to proceed with
> the scheme. Save Stonehenge and a number of other groups will formally
> oppose these orders. And there will then be a public inquiry -- a cross
> between a public meeting and a court case where supporters and opponents
> the road can argue their cases. We will keep you posted.
> ---
> 3. Please support our campaign
> Do you buy things from Amazon.com? If you follow a direct link from our
> website, we make 5-15% commission on whatever you spend -- and it won't
> cost you any extra:
> http://www.savestonehenge.org.uk/stonebooks.html
> Many people have written asking to make donations to our campaign. We're
> delighted to announce that we've finally set up a secure online donation
> system on our website, using the PayPal system:
> http://www.savestonehenge.org.uk/donate.html
> It works in the UK, the US, and hopefully in most other countries too.
> Every penny/cent we raise goes straight into the campaign. We have 0%
> and bureacracy costs!
> Thanks, as always, for your support and Season's Greetings,
> Save Stonehenge!

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