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'We're all trapped thanks to A12 din', say residents

August 20, 2010 9:11 PM
By Paul Ainsworth in Brentwood Gazette
A12 noise

DEAFENING: Eve Whiteley, 7, with, back, left to right, Mohamad Anjoyeb, Patricia Whiteley, Pauline O'Neill and Cllr Karen Chilvers want protection from A12 noise

IRATE residents say the constant irritating hum of traffic on the A12 is trapping them in their own homes.

Homeowners in Selwood Road, Talbrook, Spital Lane and surrounding residential streets in Brentwood are campaigning for noise reduction measures to block the constant din from the neighbouring dual carriageway, which has increased since the road was raised during construction works around six years ago.

One of the worst-affected residents, Patricia Whiteley, 42, of Selwood Road, recently had the noise levels measured by Brentwood Borough Council at an average of 64 decibels - just four below the level needed for noise reduction to be considered.

The six-hourly readings, however, were taken during the quieter school holiday period, between around 10am and 3pm.

Mother-of-two Mrs Whiteley said the raising of the A12, coupled with more traffic on the road, has made it unbearable in her garden.

She said: "It is like standing on the side of a motorway, although you can't get in your car and drive off. It is 24/7 - it never stops. You never feel relaxed in the garden.

"If you are in the garden and chatting to somebody, unless you are standing in the proximity of two feet, you can't hear them.

"If you call your children, they can't hear you and, if you are sitting in the conservatory, there is a drone."

The noise is so intense, residents living in the otherwise peaceful community, including Mrs Whiteley, have been unable to sell their homes.

She said: "About 15 or 16 people have come to view it. Every single one said it is a lovely house, lovely road, lovely part of Brentwood, the right price, but they can't stand the noise."

A Highways Agency spokesman said: "We are committed to understanding and controlling the environmental impact of our network, and we recognise that noise from roads is a concern.

"We have been working closely with DEFRA to produce a noise map for most of our network, which was published in 2008, and to develop a five-year action plan, which will lay out our proposals for noise mitigation across the motorway and trunk road network. The maps and action plans are requirements of the Environmental Noise Directive."

The spokesman added that, nationally, the area of the A12 in the vicinity of Selwood Road, Brentwood, was identified as being among the most serious cases.

He added: "We will begin investigating these cases, including that in the vicinity of Selwood Road, during this financial year, with a view to completing the investigations in Autumn 2011."