A group of residents and councillors from along the A419 and A417 have launched a brand new campaign against excessive noise from the road.
Cllr Paul Hodgkinson with 40 residents and councillors at the launch of the cross-party, parish and county campaign.
The issue of noise from the dual carriageway has been a running sore for residents since it was first built in 1998. Various attempts to reduce the sound have been made over the years without success so far.
Now, a group of 14 people have come forward to get the campaign moving again and have been meeting since last summer. They held an official launch yesterday.
Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (CDC, Churn Valley) is chairing the group which has called itself A419 NAG (Noise Action Group) and believes the will is there to take action at last, “Those of us living north of Cirencester suffer just as much from excessive and irritating noise from the road as those around the Water Park area, north Wiltshire and parts of Cirencester. People have been raising the issue again and we agreed something fundamental had to be done about this.”
“This is about righting a wrong – since the completion of the dual carriageway, people living along this section of the road have suffered excessive noise pollution. This massively disruptive problem to everyday life is caused not just by the sheer weight of traffic but by the surface used – concrete.”
“At the time of its construction the estimates for noise generated by the road were far below what we now experience. The decision to use concrete, rather than more environmentally friendly asphalt, was based on cost benefits but the payback is it has brought misery to thousands living along this stretch of the road. This problem is affecting people’s health, enjoyment of their homes and local businesses are also feeling the impact.”
The group consists of representatives from Baunton, Bagendon, Latton, Down Ampney and Cerney Wick parish councils, along with Cirencester and Water Park councillors and residents.
George Philips from Driffield first contacted the Cotswolds MP in 2003 when he was a Parish Councillor to complain about the public nuisance, “Since then, we received confirmation that the resurfacing would be completed in the period 2004/5 to 2006/7 but we are still waiting for any action whilst the human impact increases.”
”Who can we turn to for revised vigour and action as the problem of excessive noise continues to be exacerbated by vastly increased traffic flows and higher speeds? I feel that the battle for a solution has not been lost as the real offensive has never been started!”
Janet Sharpe is a Latton resident who has been working on a Parish Plan for the village, “We have found that the A419 noise is of real concern to residents as its getting increasingly more disruptive to lives. People are reporting being unable to sleep, unable to open windows and enjoy their homes and gardens. It feels like those who have the power and budgets to deal with these issues are not listening to citizens’ concerns and this gives the message that people don’t matter.”
Cllr Hodgkinson added, “We believe that all who suffer the horrible consequence of this miscalculation deserve to be given the road they were promised. This can be achieved by resurfacing the concrete with a quieter and more suitable material.”
“We invite others to join the campaign and help us realise what was promised. A good way to contribute is by completing our survey online at our website – www.a419nag.co.uk.”