HIGHWAYS bosses have finally agreed to fit noise barriers to drown out the ‘deafening roar’ coming from a road which has blighted families in Port Solent for years.
Highways England has green-lit the move to install the walls along the edge of the M27 by Port Solent.
The scheme is now progressing to the detailed design stage and is expected to be completed in 2019/20.
The news comes after a prolonged battle by long-suffering residents who have been tormented by the noise of the traffic for years.
Retired Maggie Firth, 67, of Oyster Quayside, said the barriers would be ‘vital’ for neighbours. She said: ‘I can’t open my bedroom windows because the noise is so intrusive.
‘It feels that this is a long, long time coming. We had almost given up. So it was quite a nice surprise when we heard about this.’
The victory was announced to campaigners by Penny Mordaunt, Portsmouth North MP, who toasted the win with a champagne celebration.
Ms Mordaunt, who used to live in Port Solent, praised the residents for their years of hard work and doing ‘much of the heavy lifting’ in getting the barriers approved.
She said: ‘People sometimes think this is a trivial issue – it’s not, it has really blighted people’s lives, not just in terms of the quality of life here but actually people’s health as well.
‘Even with double or triple glazing it’s really difficult to cut out the noise.’
The sound-slashing fixtures will be paid for by Highways England out of a £75m pot designed specifically to install them.
It is not yet known how much the fencing in Port Solent will cost.
The campaign to have them installed was led by members of Port Solent Residents Association.
Chris Clark, 66, committee member of the group, said: ‘This is proof that if you get your local MP on side they can be extremely persuasive.
‘With her help, she gave new life to a campaign that seemed to be a dead issue five or six years ago.’
Teresa Pask, 69, of Oyster Quay, was thankful the screens would soon be installed. She said: ‘The noise is horrendous. It’s like a roar.
‘I have lived on the outskirts of the M25 in Weybridge in Surrey and it’s noisier here than it ever has been there. ‘
Oliva Firth, 70, of Coverack Way, added: ‘This is a long-awaited and much-desired addition.’
Highways England will provide updates on the project in the coming months, Ms Mordaunt added.