A MAJOR breakthrough has come in the long campaign to stop the ‘A27 roar’ that has plagued residents for more than two decades.
People have long complained about the din of cars rumbling over Havant flyover – an elevated section which spreads noise out across the town.
Demands for resurfacing work and noise barriers appear to have fallen on deaf ears as the Highways Agency has continually said there is no money to pay for it.
But now there could be a glimmer of hope.
In a letter to Havant’s MP David Willetts, the parliamentary under-secretary for transport Robert Goodwill said the matter will be ‘properly considered’.
It comes as the government is aiming to triple the amount of money spent on strategic road networks by 2021 and inject £3bn to help boost the economy.
The A27 from Portsmouth to Eastbourne is the focus of a major review to see how it can be improved.
The noise has been recorded at 84.3 decibels – the equivalent of a vacuum cleaner or dustbin lorry.
Christine Normand, from Langstone Residents’ Association, said: ‘It’s certainly high time the work was done.
‘When you go to the houses backing on to the A27, the noise is terrible.
‘They can hardly sit in their gardens. We had meetings and were told it was going ahead when suddenly it wasn’t because of the money.
‘I’m glad to hear they are going to do something and will keep my fingers crossed.’
Richard Thorne, 69, a retired civil engineer, of Orchard Road, Havant, said: ‘I’m for a review.
‘I know the answer that will come out of it.
‘The fact is there is a major problem with noise on the A27. But at the end of the day I will believe it when I see what’s actually being carried out.’
Mr Willetts, in a letter to the Department of Transport, said: ‘The road has been resurfaced further east, from Emsworth to Chichester, and this has had a welcome effect in reducing the noise.
‘But the next miles running west through Havant and Bedhampton to the A3 junction do pose a significant noise problem.’
The letter from Mr Goodwill said: ‘Noise impacts are relevant to both the A27 Corridor Feasibility Study and the South Coast Central Route Based Strategy and consequently I have asked the Highways Agency to take the points that you make and ensure that they are properly considered in the most appropriate away throughout the progression of these studies.’
The first results of the review are expected this autumn and decisions on where to invest will be made early next year.