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Transport Secretary sets the wheels in motion as he declares Hindhead Tunnel officially open

They say good things come to those who wait. Yet for motorists travelling on the A3 between London and Portsmouth, that wait is over.

On 27th July 2011, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond cut the ribbon at the Hindhead tunnel in Surrey signifying the end of a £371 million construction project and the start of smoother traffic flows and swifter journeys.

The tunnel, stretching 1.2 miles long, is the longest of its kind in the UK and is part of a four-mile bypass of the Surrey village of Hindhead. The project’s aim was to remove a major source of congestion thus benefiting motorists and the local community whilst also cutting pollution to preserve the Area of National Beauty that is the Devil’s Punch Bowl.

The scheme commenced in 2007 with the tunnel being dug the following year and has won awards for its innovations and safety record. Philip Hammond showed gratitude at the results:

‘This new road will transform journeys on the A3 – improving journey times by around 20 minutes or more at busy periods – and will deliver a threefold return on investment for the economy. This cutting-edge road scheme has surpassed expectation in almost every way, and sets a new standard for how vital infrastructure improvements can be delivered’

Hammond also noted the new cutting-edge safety features within the tunnel:

‘The tunnel itself contains state-of-the-art safety features, including the UK’s first radar-based incident detection system and 100% CCTV coverage’

Another innovative addition was the inclusion of Astucia Hardwired Bi-Directional Studs which will stream light and guide motorists safely through the tunnel. In October 2010, 868 Astucia Hardwired Bi-Directional studs were installed split equally between the 2 tunnel bores.

The studs are bi-directional meaning they emit a full 180 degrees of illumination when switched from uni-directional to bi-directional delineation when in the contra flow mode.

To read more about the official opening, click onto the Highways Agency Press Release here: http://www.highways.gov.uk/news/pressrelease.aspx?pressreleaseid=420594
Or find out more about Astucia’s involvement here: http://www.astucia.co.uk/case-studies/case-study-details?casestudyid=184983

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