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Residents 'played for mugs' by agency as bid for A12 noise reduction stymied

By Brentwood Gazette  |  Posted: October 25, 2012

noise rumbles on: Residents close to the A12 will get no relief

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A CAMPAIGN to improve the lives of households living next to the A12 has hit the buffers after a report concluded there will be no new noise barriers on their stretch of the busy trunk road.

Homeowners in Selwood Road, Talbrook and surrounding streets in Brentwood have been demanding noise reduction measures to block the constant din from the A12. They claim noise increased when the road was raised during widening works eight years ago.

They had hoped the Highways Agency would install noise barriers to mitigate the upgrade.

Writing on her blog, Councillor Karen Chilvers, wrote: "Almost to the day, that Cllr Kendall and I went to the Highways Agency in Bedford armed with a petition from residents in Selwood Road/Talbrook and surrounding area, a comprehensive resident survey and evidence that the noise levels were too high and had been made worse by some work the agency had done to raise the road some years previously, it has been announced that there will be no new noise barriers on the A12.

"It is abundantly clear that the department were just playing us for mugs, the promised consultation was nothing more than a paper exercise and they weren't actually prepared to do anything from the start."

A spokesman for the Highways Agency 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 fulfilled our promises under a ten-year noise action plan published by parliament in 1999, and since 2008 we have been working closely with DEFRA to map noise levels along virtually our entire network, and to develop action plans for the worst affected areas across the country – which includes sections of the A12 near Brentwood.

"As there are other locations along our network with pressing needs that have not had any noise-reducing measures implemented, no further noise-reducing measures are to be proposed at this location in the near future.

"Our findings have been sent to the local authority and we look forward to receiving their comments."

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