Sir George has been told by the Minister for Transport that the A34 near Whitchurch should get a quieter surface within three years.
The letter says as follows.
FROM THE RT HON JOHN SPELLAR MP
MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT
LONDON SWIE 5DU
You may recall from our previous correspondence that a number of measures for tackling traffic noise have been announced, including an annual ring-fenced budget of £5m for noise mitigation measures, such as acoustic fencing, on existing roads where traffic noise is a problem. This section of the A34 at Whitchurch has been assessed by the Highways Agency under the criteria for this budget to see whether it qualifies for a more detailed study to determine whether practical and cost effective mitigation measures can be provided. Although it had passed the initial sift and was being taken forward for further study there are many other locations being considered and priorities for treatment have to take into account the number of people affected, road noise levels and the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of the possible remedies.
The outcome of the consultation with local highway authorities and other interested bodies on the criteria and programme to provide quieter noise surfacing for over 60% of the existing trunk road network by 2011, including all concrete roads as set out in the Government’s 10 Year Transport Plan, was announced on 16 October. In the case of the A34 at Whitchurch, the Highways Agency would expect to meet its commitment by resurfacing with lower noise materials when major work is required as part of the normal maintenance cycle. At present this is expected to be within the next three years.
JOHN SPELLAR MP