Light at the end of the tunnel in Midhurst A3 signs battle

CAMPAIGNERS fighting for signs to Midhurst from the A3 say they can now see light at the end of the tunnel.

Members of Midhurst Town Council and chairman of the Midhurst Society Sheila Ryan met representatives from the Highways Agency and West Sussex County Council’s Highways department to thrash out the issue.

They are now hoping Midhurst can be put back on the tourist map with ‘follow on’ signs from the Milford end of the Hindhead 

The campaign began when 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 to the town do not appear until the Ham Barn roundabout at Liss and take motorists even further south to Petersfield, and then along the A272 to Midhurst.

Campaigners enlisted the help of their MP Andrew Tyrie, who also appealed to the Highways Agency.

But the agency refused to budge, saying it could not sign Midhurst as it was ‘not deemed to be a primary route destination’.

But after the town council’s meeting, Gordon McAra reported to a full meeting this week a proposed solution from Midhurst Society chairman Sheila Ryan.

“If we could get two of these ‘follow on’ signs between the turnoffs from Milford and the tunnel entrance it would solve our problem.”

He told town councillors: “We looked at all the permutations and it boils down to the fact that the Highways Agency are not very flexible and haven’t got a lot of money.”

He told town councillors the agency believed follow-on signs could be a possibility if finance could 
be found.

“At the meeting we said if we could raise some of the money, could we do it, and the representative from the agency was quite interested in the idea as 
a solution.”

Mr McAra told town councillors: “If we can get some positive indication from the Highways Agency and start looking at costs and look at grants, this proposal has potential.”

Town councillors have been told if they want to add Midhurst to the bigger main signs on the A3, it could take as long as seven years to go through the planning stages.