Damian Hinds has pledged to continue to make the case for better noise mitigation along the A3 in East Hampshire. For many households, noise from the road is an ongoing problem.
From Grayshott to Petersfield via Bramshott, Liphook and Liss, people have complained of growing noise.
The Highways Agency has a list of priority areas affected by noise pollution. While Grayshott and Bramshott do currently have high priority status, other communities, often just as close to the A3, do not.
Priority status is determined using traffic flow data from the Department for Transport and information about the local environment compiled by the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs. Whilst priority status does not guarantee mitigating measures, it is important to be on the list for consideration as and when funds become available for allocation.
Following a series of Parliamentary Questions tabled by Damian Hinds, the DfT have said they will be conducting a new survey of traffic along sections of the A3, including in East Hampshire, in the summer to assess the effect of the opening of the Hindhead Tunnel one year on.
Following the collection of new traffic figures, DEFRA will be ‘noise mapping’ the road network later in the year and potentially recommending new areas to the Highways Agency to be listed as priorities.
Damian Hinds, together with local councillors, has pledged to keep the pressure on both departments and engage with the regional Highways Agency.
Local County Councillor Ferris Cowper said,
"Whilst the fabulous Hindhead Tunnel has made the lives of road users much easier, the traffic noise from the new road system and associated higher speeds, has blighted the lives of hundreds of residents living in formerly tranquil rural locations in beautiful countryside.
“The benefits to Hindhead Common are being eroded by the noise of HGVs thundering along at high speeds ruining the simple pleasures of the garden and in many cases penetrating people's homes, making the noise inescapable. We are indebted to Damian for taking up this important cause."
Damian Hinds said:
“Noise pollution from the A3 has repeatedly been brought to my attention by people living along the entire length of the road through East Hampshire. We are looking at a problem which is affecting the quality of life up and down the constituency and I will certainly press their concerns.
“Having corresponded with Ministers in two departments, as well as the head of the Highways Agency, it is vital that we feed into the new round of noise mapping later this year. The best way for us to do this is to work together with the County and District Councils and make sure the regional Highways Agency understand just how real an issue this is.
“Of course, we are living in tough economic times and every penny of public spending is being carefully considered. This makes it all the more important that we make clear the depth of local feeling. I hope, together with other local elected representatives, to be able to meet with the Highways Agency later this year and make our case.”