CIVIC chiefs in Eastleighhave written to the government regarding their “serious concerns” about the current M27 and future M3 smart motorway schemes.

Eastleigh Borough Council has written a letter to the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, outlining their concerns that the previous promises to include low noise resurfacing as part of the M27 smart motorway works have now “not been included” in the scheme, despite government funding being specifically allocated for this reason.

The council says that they were informed by Highways England that without further ministerial intervention, the low noise surfacing scheme “may never be delivered”.

Now Eastleigh civic chiefs have requested that a representative from both the government and Highways England attend an overview and scrutiny panel as soon as possible to answer questions about the decision.

Daily Echo:

Council leader Keith House said: “We are very angry that despite previous promises from Government and Highways England to include much needed low noise surfacing as part of the M27 Smart Motorway works that is now not included.

"We, on behalf of local community, urgently need answers to our concerns over environmental and biodiversity issues , the safety of Smart motorways and the ongoing issue of noise.”

A spokesperson for Highways England said: "Highways England is committed to a quieter network and the need for noise mitigation is a consideration in all our schemes. Upgrading the M27 to a smart motorway will bring real benefits to people's journeys. We are committed to replacing the road surface with a low noise surfacing when we have finished upgrading this section of the M27 to smart motorway next year."

Daily Echo: Keith House

Eastleigh council leader Keith House

Eastleigh Conservative MP, Paul Holmes, pictured below, has slammed the council and branded the letter as a “shameful political stunt”.

Daily Echo:

He said: “This is a shameful political stunt by Lib Dem Eastleigh Borough Council.

"The position on the M27 smart motorway remains unchanged. The concrete section between J5-J7 is scheduled to be resurfaced after the smart motorway works finish and the money is in place to do this.

“This is an attempt to distract the public after the Lib Dems were forced into a humiliating ‘U-Turn’ on their plans to build 5,200 homes on ancient woodland last week.

"However, I know the voters of Eastleigh will see this trick for exactly what it is.”

Only last month the Daily Echo told how the smart motorway works overnight were keeping residents living nearby awake.

Daily Echo: An artist's impression of what four lanes of the M27 would look like.

An artists impression of what four lanes will look like

Councillor Tim Bearder, said: “It affects the whole of West End, and while Highways England have control of the whole motorway, it’s very difficult for us to have any control over what they do.

"They really ought to put residents first. It’s very regrettable they are choosing to do very noisy work overnight.”