Talks held in bid to end Midhurst A3 signage row

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MIDHURST town councillors held talks with the Highways Agency on Wednesday (April 24) in a bid to end the row over signs to the town from the A3.

The meeting called by the town council, included representatives from West Sussex County Council’s Highways department.

Afterwards town clerk Joan Hursthouse said: “We had a full and frank exchange of views and the town council found it very positive. We have some ideas about how we move forward together.”

In February councillors blasted the Highways Agency for failing to support their campaign to reinstate signs to the town from the Hindhead tunnel on the A3.

They have been fighting ever since Midhurst found itself wiped off the tourist map after the opening of the long-awaited tunnel in July 2011.

Travellers coming south used to pick up signs to Midhurst at the infamous Hindhead traffic lights on the old A3 but, since the opening of the tunnel, the stretch of road has been bypassed. Now the first signs do not appear until the Ham Barn roundabout at Liss and take motorists even further south to Petersfield and along the A272.

So far the Highways Agency has refused to budge saying they could not sign Midhurst as it was ‘not deemed to be a primary route destination’.

“The policy defines a tourist destination as a permanently established attraction or facility such as a museum, historic building, park or garden. The definition does not extend to towns.