Residents demand an end to the ‘A27 roar’

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PRESSURE is mounting on the Highways Agency to bring an end to the noise problems on the A27.

Residents say the infamous ‘A27 roar’ is making their lives a misery as cars drive over the bypass that cuts through the centre of Havant.

The noise has been recorded at 84.3 decibels – the equivalent of a vacuum cleaner or noisy kitchen appliance.

The town’s MP, David Willetts, has now written to Neil Andrew, the route performance manager at the Highways Agency, demanding that something is done.

He also questions why the Chichester bypass now has noise reduction barriers – but there are still no plans for the same at Havant.

In his letter, Mr Willetts said: ‘You will be aware of the continuing deep unhappiness of my constituents about the problem of noise from the A27.

‘The Highways Agency has now come to accept, not least thanks to the work you commissioned after a previous meeting, that this area has levels of noise way above the acceptable level.’

The Highways Agency has previously said that Chichester had a higher priority than Havant.

Mr Willetts added: ‘This surprised me very much given the evidence which you yourselves have identified.’

Richard Thorne, 66, of Orchard Road, Havant, has been writing to the Highways Agency to get action.

He has been living at the house for 40 years and said the noise has got gradually worse.

He said: ‘If you live next to it, it’s an extremely important issue. There’s considerable annoyance.

‘You can hear it inside the house. In the garden it’s virtually unbearable.

‘You have got to grit your teeth.’

The Highways Agency has already told Mr Willetts that acoustic barriers in Havant would cost somewhere in the region of £5m.

But Mr Thorne, a chartered civil engineer who has worked on highway schemes, said it was an overestimate.

He added: ‘The longer they keep putting it off, the more it is going to cost.

‘The more it’s going to cost, the more they will say they can’t afford it.’

James Wright, a spokesman for the Highways Agency, said experts were studying what options there are to reduce noise at Havant.

He said: ‘The Highways Agency is committed to understanding and controlling the environmental impact of its activities and we recognise that noise from major roads is a concern.

‘We have been working closely with Defra to map noise levels on our network and develop action plans. We are investigating what noise mitigation measures could be possible on the A27 at Havant and aim to complete this work by October.’

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