Hindhead Tunnel - Exit

The Hindhead Tunnel is definitely worthy of a mention due to the fact that it’s a tunnel, and motorbikes LOVE tunnels (OH THE NOISE!). The tunnel itself is on the A3 between Guildford and Petersfield, connecting London to Portsmouth. You can find it here on Google Maps. The Hindhead tunnel might not be the loudest of tunnels (I think the walls are designed not to reflect sound), if you’re leading a pack of Harley Davidson’s through it, then I’m certain it will sound amazing! For everyone else, just drop down a gear and the trailing bike will get an ear-full.

Rider Tips

The tunnel is monitored by average speed cameras at the entrance and exit, with variable speed limits possible. Typically it is set at the National Speed Limit, and I’ve never known it to be less, or for it to have a lane closed.

A solid white line separates the two carriageways which is only broken by cats eyes. There is great debate whether or not you’re allowed to change lanes in the tunnel, as the HWA states that switching lanes in tunnels is legal however a solid white line would indicate that it is not. If you’re travelling at 60mph in either lane (the maximum speed allowed in the tunnel, enforced by average speed cameras at each entrance) then realistically there should be no need for anyone to overtake you, unless they have blue flashing lights of course.

Due to conflicting reports online, the amount of discussion and a recent comment (comment not approved as it didn’t have a name or real email address), I reached out to Highways England for a definitive answer on this matter. Thank you to the commenter who posted on 28-November 2018 for sparking this update.

The official answer is:

I’ve spoken to our Tunnel manager who can confirm that during normal operation you may change lanes and travel at national speed limit as the white line is broken. In this operation every other LED road stud is lit in the direction of traffic. However during Contraflow (vehicles travelling in one bore in both directions), that all LED road studs are all lit and in both directions, this creates a solid white line and you can’t overtake, this is supported with overhead signage and red X indicating a closed lane.

This should clear up any ambiguity with regards to overtaking in the tunnel.

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Tristan Findley

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Tristan is an IT Professional, Photographer and motorcycle enthusiast. Working full-time as a Systems Administrator for Royal Holloway, but running his own photography company, and the occasional IT Contract. Tristan has been riding motorcycles since 2016, and is the original author of "My First Motorcycle", the forerunner to this site. He built it with the intention of providing a resource to those interested in riding, and to give something back to the community that had helped get him started in the world of motorcycles.

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