Friday, May 13, 2011

No light at end of tunnel furore

Outraged people with nothing to fill their day have been upset by being unable to purchase something they can get for free in a few weeks.

Residents living near the soon-to-be-opened Hindhead tunnel are disgusted – nay outraged! – that they are unable to buy tickets to walk through the tunnel this Saturday.

The £271m project, which opens this summer, opens for one day only on May 14, to allow members of the public to walk through. But health and safety concerns mean only one person will be allowed through every half-hour and this has sparked outrage among local residents who have been unable to claim a place among the lucky few.

Threats have even been made to tunnel staff, with one man being told: “I’m going to yell something rude at you on Saturday.”

The Hindhead Engineering Long-hole Project Users Society (HELP US) is an association consisting of eight agencies who are involved in, or who have an interest in the A3 tunnel project and they have been receiving huge numbers of complaints from people with nothing better to do.

Sue Icidal, chairman of the group, has been dealing with the outraged members of the public.

She said: “Don’t they have better things to concern themselves with? I mean, in a couple of weeks they can drive through the damned thing for free!”

The 4,000 tickets available online sold out far faster than the Hindhead team had expected, with people waiting hours on their computers while porn sites loaded in the background as they attempted to fill their long and lifeless days.

Cam Payne, the president of Petersfield Residents Against Things (PRATS), had not been aware of an issue – but is now equally outraged.

He said: “I wasn’t aware of an issue previously but this is just the sort of thing I like to get upset about – something that to an outsider looks like a complete waste of time, effort and emotion. I’ve already prepared a placard and am happy to travel anywhere to protest this or any other thing.”

A spokesman for contractor Big Tunnels R Us said: “Are they serious?”

And in other news in this week’s Petersfield Proust:
  • A photographer claims aliens ruined his pictures; and
  • A man is inconvenienced in a car park

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