Campaigners demand action on 'noisy' stretch of A419
A LOBBY group is demanding that unspent money given to a road maintenance firm is used to repair a noisy section of the A419.
Excessive noise caused by a concrete section of the road near Latton has been plaguing residents since it was built in 1998 and has prompted the formation of the A419 NAG (Noise Action Group).
Figures recently obtained by the group from the Highways Agency (HA) show that Road Management Services (RMS), which built the road and manage it on behalf of the HA, received around £285million from the Government to spend on the carriageway between 1996 and 2013.
The cash was funded through a 30-year contract agreed when the road was built with RMS set to receive a further £200 million by the end of the agreement in 2026.
According to RMS £1.2-£1.5 million has been spent each year since 1996 on road maintenance, excluding management and major scheme costs, with the remainder used to repay a £110 million loan taken out by to build and operate the road.
Paul Hodgkinson, chairman of the A419 NAG, said: “Since the completion of the dual carriageway, a large amount of cash has been given out by the Government and very little spent in comparison. Surely a small part of this eye-popping £285 million can be spent on reducing the noise?
“We believe that the HA in conjunction with RMS should use some of the cash and address this issue once and for all. Measures can be taken to bring the noise levels down.”
A spokesman for the HA said that while some sections of the A419 had been identified as problems by a ‘noise map’ and would be tackled by 2021, the Latton section was not among them, but the road would be resurfaced with a quieter tarmac when the current road surface wore out.
A spokesman for RMS said the organisation could not comment for commercial reasons.
The A419 NAG is compiling responses from 500 residents who have completed a survey on the impacts of noise pollution, which it aims to publish in summer.
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