OVER the past month many Wallington residents have contacted me and the In Touch team with their comments and concerns about the lack of sound barriers planned by Highways England for the Wallington area along the new smart motorway.

Understandably residents have been worried that Wallington is currently set to miss out on sound barriers that other parts of Fareham are going to benefit from.

Wallington village is very close to the motorway and noise levels have, as traffic has steadily increased over the years, become loud and irritating, especially in the north part of Wallington.

I have written three times to Highways England, initially in the hope that they’d simply missed Wallington off their installation plans, but since it became clear they do not intend to install sound barriers at all, my efforts have been focused on getting them to reconsider.

Sadly their decision, as it stands right now, is that no sound barriers are to be installed.

I appreciate the situation Highways England are in, they can only base the location of the sound barriers on where there is a Noise Important Area (NIA) present, and on sites where it’s believed resurfacing works won’t otherwise reduce the noise level sufficiently.

However, there are dwellings within Wallington that do fall within an NIA and Highways England have acknowledged this.

Wallington residents are understandably disappointed with this news so far, as they believe there is excessive noise and that sound barriers would help.

For my part, I regularly visit Wallington and I too believe the noise levels there to be excessive.

While I appreciate resurfacing works may go some way to addressing this issue, the noise levels are disturbingly high and this moment in time presents the best opportunity to remedy the situation. I have implored DEFRA to revisit the site and review the noise levels, because I do truly believe that the Wallington area NIA needs expanding.

As there are clear noise concerns and because DEFRA may potentially expand the NIA upon successful lobbying, I have requested that Highways England await a review before making a final decision on whether sound barriers can be placed by Wallington.

Cllr Tom Davies Fareham