IT HAS taken more than a decade but finally thousands of people in Hampshire can look forward to an end of the noise nightmare that has plagued their lives.
After 13 years of campaigning, the Government has announced it will be taking action to reduce the noise pollution from the M3.
Local MP Steve Brine, pictured below, celebrated the news that junction 9 at Winnall to junction 14 at Eastleigh will be resurfaced between 2015 and 2017.
The MP was given the good news by roads minister John Hayes, who said that plans have been brought forward from 2020.
Joining in the celebrations was Shepherds Down Special School head teacher Jane Sansome.
She said: “I’m delighted. Road noise has such an impact on the school. We have a lot of autistic children and they can get upset by it. So this is great news.
“The road is right next to the school fence and it can get incredibly noisy.”
The Daily Echo ran a campaign Bin the Din as far back as 2001 to highlight the issue as so many people complained about the constant noise from the stretch of motorway.
Mr Brine said it was “fantastic news” for thousands of his constituents.
He has campaigned to bring forward the resurfacing work since his election in 2010 and last year took local councillors, as well as representatives from Shepherds Down, to meet the minister in London.
Mr Brine added: “We had been told the carriageway passing through Winchester and Chandler’s Ford was unlikely to be resurfaced until 2020 at the earliest but I couldn’t accept that, because noise from the motorway is impacting on peoples’ lives in large parts of my constituency.
“The situation is especially bad for the children at Shepherds Down School and I understand it was their lobbying which helped us get the ministers’ attention and ultimately this decision.
“This work has been agreed with the Highways Agency to build what is required maintenance of the carriageway into the urgent need to address noise pollution.
“It is fantastic news for thousands of my constituents and, while we should not be tricked into thinking road surface is the sole cause of noise, the lower noise surfacing material will dent the din.”
Some limited work has been done to reduce noise in the last decade but this resurfacing will cover three lanes and the hard shoulder.