justsurrey - the surrey website
about us - contact
justsurrey bookmark
jobs in surrey local surrey news local surrey weather surrey business news local surrey sport surrey traffic and travel surrey whatson estate agents in surrey

Surrey road news

Surrey Local News

Surrey train timetables and rail information

Surrey forecast weather news

Surrey Local News - Local News From And For Surrey

21/02/12 Hindhead Tunnel - New start for village as local roadworks complete

Work to improve the old A3 through Hindhead has been completed, heralding the start of a new era for the Surrey village. A new 4-mile bypass, including the UK’s longest underland road tunnel, opened to traffic last summer and since then the Highways Agency led project team have been working to adapt the old road to make it more suitable for the traffic now using it.

The 1.4 mile road, now called the A333, has been remodelled to restore Hindhead’s village feel, making more space for pedestrians and recreational users, and the notorious ‘Hindhead lights’ - for years a traffic bottleneck - have been replaced with a system of mini roundabouts. The work is intended to kick-start regeneration in the village, which had been blighted by traffic for decades before the new road opened.

Construction teams have now completed the last remaining roadworks, having already removed all traffic restrictions from the road at the end of January, news which has been welcomed by leading figures in the local community.

Highways Agency senior project manager Paul Arnold, who was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year honours, said: "Restoring tranquillity to Hindhead village is a big part of the new tunnel’s legacy. Local people have played such an important part throughout the successful delivery of this major improvement project, and I’d like to thank them for their patience, especially throughout this final section of roadworks. I’m delighted that we are now able to hand them a road that will help to realise Hindhead’s potential – both as a place to live and work, and as the gateway to some of the most stunning natural scenery in southern England at the Devil’s Punch Bowl. It is now over to local partners to make the very most of this opportunity for the people of Hindhead."

For years, the village was home to one of the country’s worst traffic bottlenecks, with drivers coming to a daily halt at the notorious Hindhead crossroads. Queues of 40 minutes or more were not uncommon at peak times. Now, with the new tunnel taking the weight of traffic, the crossroads have been removed and replaced with a new double mini roundabout. Another mini roundabout has been installed at the Headley Road junction, and the whole road has been re-profiled, with wider, better footpaths.

Mayor of Haslemere Jim Edwards welcomed the completion of the roadworks.

Jim Edwards said: "Being a resident of Hindhead for the last 35 years, I along with all the residents and members of the business community of our village, appreciate the difference and improvement in the quality of our lives this new road brings. We can now look forward to the opportunities this redevelopment will generate and Haslemere Town Council will support the Hindhead community as they strive to realise the full potential of their village in any way they can. Their lives have been blighted by the unprecedented increase in traffic over the past 25 years and they can now look forward with confidence and surety to a much brighter future."

Haslemere Town Councillor Melanie Odell, who led organisation of last year’s community day at the tunnel, and was Mayor of Haslemere at the time said: "The removal of the traffic lights has really helped to join up communities around Hindhead; in particular, travel between Haslemere, Hindhead and Grayshott is much easier now that the new road layout is in place. This is an exciting time for Hindhead, and I think that the village can look to the future with anticipation."

Last Friday saw the final meeting of Hindhead Together, the partnership tasked with making the most of the environmental and economic benefits of the scheme for the local community. Founding leader of the group, and current chairman of Natural England Poul Christensen said: "The amazing success of this project is due to everyone coming together, to people here working together. A lot of people are cynical about localism but I think it is important to build things from the bottom. Hindhead Together is a good early example of localism in action and should be a blueprint for this kind of development right around the country."

The Hindhead Tunnel opened to traffic on 27 July 2011 after four years of construction. A further section of the old A3, where it skirted the Devil’s Punch Bowl, has been filled in and returned to nature. The final part of the improvement project will be planting work on this section, before it is handed over to the National Trust to look after for the nation. This is expected to take place early in the spring.


 

Please note Justsurrey does not have responsibility for information published on external websites, please see our disclaimer. Sitemap.

© www.justsurrey.co.uk