AECOM has secured an eight-year contract with Highways England to be its technical partner for the major A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down improvements scheme. AECOM, working with its supply chain partners Mace and Mouchel, will deliver a range of multidisciplinary services to support all phases of the project, which will upgrade the eight-mile Amesbury to Berwick Down stretch of the A303 from single to dual carriageway to create a high-quality, reliable route to the south west, improve safety and help conserve and enhance the Stonehenge World Heritage site (WHS).
The Amesbury to Berwick Down stretch of the A303 passes just 165 metres from Stonehenge. With sights and sounds of traffic currently impairing the WHS, the project includes a proposed new tunnel alongside the site to improve the setting of Stonehenge and other important monuments within the WHS. The route also currently passes through Winterbourne Stoke and the project includes a bypass for the village, as well as improvements to existing junctions between the A303 and the intersecting A345 and A360.
As technical partner, AECOM will support Highways England in the delivery of the project, providing highways and tunnelling design services, as well as environmental, heritage, noise, traffic modelling and procurement consultancy services.
Highways England project director for the A303 Stonehenge scheme Derek Parody said: “This award is another step in our commitment to deliver the A303 Stonehenge improvement scheme. We have enjoyed an excellent and productive working partnership with the Arup Atkins Joint Venture during the route options identification phase, and we are now looking forward to forging another successful partnership with AECOM.
“We are still busy developing the design of the scheme, following a successful public consultation, and although we are yet to receive permission to start construction, this appointment will help us to design the best scheme possible to improve this road and enhance the World Heritage Site, and to prepare for works getting under way on time and to budget,” Parody said.
Dave Beddell, highways director Europe at AECOM, said: “AECOM brings a breadth of expertise to this nationally significant project, working in collaboration with Highways England and our partners to support the scheme from start to finish. The project will transform connectivity to the south west, not only supporting economic development in the region but also helping to protect and enhance one of the UK’s most important historical landmarks.”
The A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down Improvements scheme is part of a wider strategy to create a new South West Expressway, which includes a package of improvements to the A303 that will support economic growth, generate employment and increase visitor expenditure.
The A303 forms the most direct route between London and the south west and is vital for the local and regional economy. With around 24,000 vehicles using the 35-mile single carriageway section of the road every day, bottlenecks through villages, changes in speed limit, hidden accesses and staggered junctions make journey times unreliable. The accident rate on the A303 is also higher than on other similar roads. Upgrading the road to dual carriageway with motorway standard junctions will help improve journey times and safety, particularly in summer when the number of vehicles using the route increases significantly.