Noisy M20 sur­face ‘won’t be re­placed’

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Road Campaigns - By Ai­dan Bar­low

Res­i­dents fear they may have to wait for an­other 20 years be­fore ac­tion is taken to cut the noise of mo­tor­way traf­fic.

The M20 to the west of junction 9 has a con­crete sur­face, which Sandy­hurst Lane Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man Tony Bartlett says makes theirs one of the nois­i­est places to live in the coun­try.

But de­spite let­ters to High­ways Eng­land, they have been told that be­cause there are no prob­lems with the con­crete, it is un­likely to be changed.

Mr Bartlett said: “A map shows we are in one of the worst ar­eas of the UK for high noise lev­els. It is the vol­ume of traf­fic which has gone up dra­mat­i­cally. The num­ber of lor­ries has gone up by 135% since 2000.

“There are more than 200 houses in Sandy­hurst Lane, so 600 peo­ple live within 500 me­tres of the mo­tor­way and its con­stant noise.

“If the coun­cil’s Lo­cal Plan goes ahead, an­other 200 peo­ple could be added to that num­ber.”

Tar­mac sur­faces have been laid by High­ways Eng­land be­tween junction 9 and 10, and along most of the mo­tor­way be­tween junction 10 and 11.

Mean­while re­pair works to the sur­face were car­ried out overnight for five nights last week.

A let­ter from High­ways Eng­land sug­gests that resur­fac­ing could take place in 2021, FEARS: Tony Bartlett sub­ject to gov­ern­ment fund­ing.

On the as­so­ci­a­tion’s web­site, the re­sponse was: “We are well aware of the change­able na­ture of fund­ing as Gov­ern­ment pol­icy varies, so we are not get­ting our hopes up.

“We have had s i mil a r prom­ises in the past which have failed to come to fruition.”

Mr Bartlett added that the pro­posed scheme at junction 10a could pro­vide some funds to help find a so­lu­tion for peo­ple liv­ing in Sandy­hurst Lane.

A High­ways Eng­land let­ter to the as­so­ci­a­tion from Chris Carter states that the con­crete sur­face is usu­ally fit for 40 years, and was laid in the 1990s.

He said: “It’s High­ways Eng­land pol­icy roads are only resur­faced for main­te­nance and safety rea­sons, not just as a noise mit­i­ga­tion mea­sure. The M20 be­tween junction 8 and 9 is cur­rently in good con­di­tion and does not need im­me­di­ate resur­fac­ing.”

What do you think? Write to Kentish Ex­press, Unit 4, Park Mall shop­ping cen­tre, Ash­ford TN24 8RY or email ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­group.

Res­i­dents are cam­paign­ing for mea­sures to re­duce noise on the M20

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