On the 14th of May the A3 Tunnel at Hindhead was opened briefly to allow curious walkers to pass through. Although it will not be officially opened to vehicles until July 2011 this long-awaited construction  project, which started in 2007, is nearly complete. As well as resolving a traffic black spot the tunnel will allow the beautiful landscape around the Devil’ Punchbowl to be enhanced.

Butser Hill from the north, early 1900s

Butser Hill from the north, early 1900s

Over the years the road over Butser Hill has been deepened and widened to the present scenario where the Queen Elizabeth Country Park is split in two halves by the same A3, with some 30,000 vehicle each day passing through the cutting.

Butser Hill, a postcard

Butser Hill, a postcard

 These early images, with Butser Hill seen from the north, show just how much the landscape has changed. Although still as impressive as any part of the South Downs, and  Butser Hill is their highest point, a tunnel would still transform this part of the new National Park.

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