Calls for another rethink on road signs to Midhurst from the A3 following the opening of the Hindhead Tunnel have been made after Highways Agency proposals were branded inadequate.
The long-awaited opening of the tunnel in July had an unexpected backlash for the Midhurst area – at the heart of the new South Downs National Park – when it found itself wiped off the map.
Travellers coming south used to pick up signs to Midhurst at the Hindhead traffic lights on the old A3, but after the tunnel opening, the Hindhead crossroads road were bypassed and no new Midhurst signs have been put up.
Now the first signage to Midhurst appears at Liss and takes motorists even further south to Petersfield and along the A272.
Parish, town, district and county councillors joined forces to call for immediate action to improve road signs to Midhurst, Fernhurst and tourist attractions along the A286.
The Highways Agency promised, earlier this year, to look into the issue and respond to concerns.
And now, in a letter to MP Andrew Tyrie, board director Ginny Clarke has outlined their proposals: “Following local representations we concluded that we should also be signing Haslemere as being the nearest town to Hindhead.
“Midhurst being the next town to the south, is signed from the Hindhead crossroads where there is space on the signs.”
But Midhurst’s Chichester district councillor Gordon McAra believes the Highways Agency have missed the point.
“Sadly the response from the Highways Agency has not taken us forward to solve this problem,” he said.
“While they will now add Haslemere to the destinations at the new tunnel, they continue to leave off Midhurst, despite the town being signposted on the A3 for decades.
He said there was now clear evidence of a drop in traffic to the town.
He said he would write again to MP Mr Tyrie to ask him to raise the matter directly with the new transport minister.
For the full story see the Midhurst and Petworth Observer, out today (Thursday, December 29).
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