Following the failure of an emergency services test recently, it has been revealed that the new £155,000 a metre tunnel under Hindhead's iconic Devil's Punchbowl will now never be opened.
A recent "crash test" revealed that the drainage for the new tunnel linking Portsmouth with London is about 50cm too narrow. This has meant that the water pressure in the drainage system is redundant and causes a thin layer of fluid, leading to the risk of aqua-plaining.
The management company who have spent 7 years building the tunnel have admitted defeat. Apparently the extra 50cm of boring for the new tunnel would have to be done by hand and because the workers visas of all the foreign labour runs out next month there is reluctance to rely on British workers to complete the work.
As an alternative role for the 3 miles of tunnel, residents of Hindhead have been asked for their ideas:
"Bang Murdoch on the head and bury him in it" was the suggestion of one resident, as was "use it as a car park for a park and ride to London"..... slightly missing the point of the problem there we think.
It is likely that the A3 tunnels will be filled in and turned into massive ant farms. For the commuters of the London to Portsmouth route however; as the work starts to bury the existing A3 as planned, they will have to use the already congested M3 or get an already overcrowded train.