In the News

UK Infrastructure Developments - Time for an Update!

Vicki Woolven

19th September 2023

Most of us teaching the AQA GCSE spec will agree that the UK section of Changing Economic World is a thorn in our sides and very tricky to make remotely engaging to students. And then you add in transport infrastructure and start to hear the collective yawn from the class and their eyes glazing over.

The one thing that my own classes used to enjoy were the clips from very angry people aghast at the thought of a road tunnel under Stonehenge to improve links to the SW. The £1.7bn two-mile (3.2km) tunnel is highly controversial (unsurprisingly) and the debate has been going on for so long that they are in the first editions of the text book and yet still haven't been passed.

So where are we at the moment?

In 2020 National Highways' plans were approved.

But in 2021 the plans were quashed following a successful campaign at the High Court.

July 2023 saw the plans being approved again by the UK government. However UNESCO has now got involved and urged the government to make amendments - activists and UNESCO are concerned that Stonehenge could lose its World Heritage status if the scheme goes ahead as it is.

The World Heritage Committee will meet again February 2024 and UNESCO wants to see an amended plan by then.

So who knows what will happen - but a lot of time has passed since the text books were published and this scheme it still not guaranteed to happen - adding the dimension from UNESCO is a really important update to this named example.

Vicki Woolven

Vicki Woolven is Subject Lead for Key Stage 4 Humanities at tutor2u. Vicki previously worked as a Head of Geography and Sociology for many years, leading her department to be one of the GA's first Centres of Excellent, and has been a content writer, senior examiner and local authority Key Practitioner for Humanities.

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