SUPPORT is being sought from Midhurst’s MP Andrew Tyrie in the fight to get the town put back on the map after it was wiped off by new signage from the Hindhead Tunnel.
After the opening of the tunnel last year, parish, town, district and county councillors joined forces to call for immediate action to improve road signs to Fernhurst, Midhurst and all the tourist attractions along the A286 as far as Chichester.
Midhurst’s Chichester district councillor Gordon McAra said: “There is a whole corridor of visitor hotspots on the A286 which are affected by the unfortunate A3 signage.”
He led the campaign for improved signage calling on the Highways Agency for a ‘rapid reassessment’, but a year later the agency is still refusing to budge.
And on Monday Midhurst town councillors decided to seek a meeting with Mr Tyrie to enlist his help.
Travellers coming south on the A3 used to pick up signs to Midhurst at the infamous Hindhead traffic lights.
But since the opening of the tunnel the stretch of road has been bypassed.
Now the first signs to Midhurst do not appear until the Ham Barn roundabout at Liss and take travellers even further south to Petersfield before they are directed to Midhurst along the A272.
Mr McAra told fellow town councillors the ‘intransigence’ of the Highways Agency was affecting the economy of Midhurst: “There is no highways reason for it, to my mind its an arbitrary decision taken by highways engineers.”
He said Mr Tyrie had been very helpful in getting an initial response from the Highways Agency and he believed it was important to meet him and ask him to take up the matter again on the town’s behalf.
“The new signs after the tunnel opening directed motorists to Grayshott and Hindhead only, when previously they included Haslemere and Midhurst,” said Mr McAra. “When we raised the issue the Highways Agency took it on board and put Haslemere back, but they said there was no room for Midhurst.”
“There seems no rhyme or reason for leaving Midhurst out and it’s to our detriment.”
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