Call for action to reduce noise on our major roads

Picture: Carey Tompsett/PA Wire

UPDATE: Portsmouth-London train line reopened after ‘significant damage’ to railway

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PRESSURE is mounting on the Highways Agency to solve noise problems on the A3M and A27 in the wake of the Hindhead Tunnel opening.

Traffic has significantly increased on the main road from London to Portsmouth – with an estimated 3,000 more cars using the route every day.

Local MPs David Willetts, George Hollingbery and Damian Hinds have now written to the Highways Agency to demand action on the A3M and A3 through East Hampshire and Waterlooville, as well as the A27 in Havant, which has been at the centre of complaints for years.

The noise on both routes has been recorded at more than 75 decibels – the equivalent of an alarm clock – and residents have complained about vibrations and not being able to open their windows.

In a step forward for campaigners, the Highways Agency has agreed to come up with noise reduction proposals – including resurfacing and acoustic barriers – near the A3M in Horndean, Bedhampton and Cowplain.

This could be put out for consultation as early as spring this year.

However, in a blow to A27 campaigners, the agency has confirmed it has no plans to install a quieter surface on the Havant flyover for the next four years.

Ken Moon, deputy leader of East Hampshire District Council, wrote to all the local MPs as he was concerned noise had got worse since the Hindhead Tunnel opened in July.

He said: ‘I was quite pleased with the response we got from the Highways Agency. It’s a step in the right direction. We have at least put the marker down.’

The Highways Agency has said that Bramshott, north of Petersfield, has been identified as a priority for noise reduction and possible options will be revealed later this year.

Angela Koenig, asset development manager at the agency, said: ‘I can confirm that the A3M in the vicinity of Bedhampton, together with locations near Horndean and just south of Cowplain, have been identified as First Priority Locations to be investigated as a priority.

‘These reports will include details of any feasible noise mitigation measures identified during investigations and will be sent to the relevant local authorities for consultation from Spring 2012 onwards.’

She said any work would be ‘subject to available funding’.