English Heritage and National Trust said in a joint statement that the announcement was a “truly momentous decision” in the modern history of one of the most famous places in the internationally.

English Heritage is the custodian of Stonehenge and National Trust owns thousands of acres surrounding the site where more monuments and burial are also well-visited.

Stonehenge is one of the most famous prehistoric sites in the world

Dr Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said: “This will be the biggest single investment ever by Government in this country’s heritage and is truly a momentous decision.

“We felt so proud to close the A344 last year and build award-winning visitor facilities at Stonehenge. We have been campaigning for a tunnel to remove the blight that is the A303, for the past 30 years. This news is the icing on the cake and vindicates all our hard work.

“We have been trying to find a solution for the A303 improvements since 1986 when Stonehenge became a World Heritage Site – recognition that it is one of the best known and most important prehistoric landscapes in the world.

“It is vital that any new scheme to put the A303 into a bored tunnel is located in the right place and designed to the best specification.

“This is about investing in the future. We have a responsibility to future generations to get this right as we provide a world class solution for a world class place.”

Built between 3000BC and 2000BC Stonehenge is the remains of a ring of Neolithic standing stones and has become one of the modern wonders of the world.

“The importance of this announcement today cannot be overstated,” said Helen Ghosh, Director General of the National Trust.

“After many false starts and challenges, this does for the first time feel like a real opportunity to tackle the blight of the road that dominates the landscape of Stonehenge.

“If designed well, putting the A303 into a tunnel of 2.9km will bring the Stonehenge landscape together once more, creating space for nature and improving the site’s tranquillity.

“I know there will be some sadness that people will no longer be able to see the stones from the road, but visitors will once again be able to hear the sounds of skylarks singing rather than the constant noise of traffic.

“We’re committed to finding alternative ways for even more people to see the Stones on their journey and for future generations to experience and explore this inspiring prehistoric landscape as our ancestors did.”

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