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Call for action on M20 noise

M20 noise levels are "unacceptable"
M20 noise levels are "unacceptable"

Pressure is to be stepped on the government after it put in limbo long-standing plans to resurface a stretch of the M20 between Maidstone and Ashford.

Cllr Keith Ferrin (Con), Kent County Council’s cabinet member for highways, said he would do all he could to try to persuade ministers and the Highways Agency to review their programme.

The government announced earlier this year that because the stretch of concrete motorway, between junction 8 (Leeds) and junction 9 (Ashford) was considered structurally sound, no resurfacing would be considered for at least five years.

That is despite the government’s own assessment indicating that noise from the motorway had reached unacceptable levels.

Cllr Richard King (Con), who represents raised the issue during a full council meeting at County Hall last week after tabling a question asking KCC to help.

“The road surface noise from this part of the M20 has increased to an unacceptable level since the road opened 14 years ago,” he said.

“This has become a matter of great concern to all those who live along the line of the motorway and I would like the cabinet member’s promise of help.”

In response, Cllr Ferrin said he accepted that road noise from the 22km-stretch of the M20 was becoming a “very real problem” for residents but warned that it was not simply a case of treating the existing surface of the road.

“Thin surfacing treatments are not in themselves sufficient. Any future scheme will require a new sub-base as well as resurfacing and alterations to the barrier along the central reservation. The scheme will cost £20million and be programmed for 2012 or later,” he said.

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