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Thursday, 18 October, 2001, 14:44 GMT 15:44 UK
Government admits road is noisy
The A30 in Devon
Residents say the A30 makes too much noise
People living near a section of the A30 in Devon will be able to apply for free noise insulation now that the government has acknowledged it is noisier than expected.

Protests over noise levels began almost as soon as the first stretch of the 75m road A30 between Exeter and Honiton was opened in 1999 by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.

Its opening was brought forward to help cope with the expected increase in traffic coming to watch the solar eclipse in August that year.

John Prescott opened the A30 in Devon
John Prescott opened the A30 in Devon
The traffic never came in the amount expected, but people living near the section say the noise was unbearable, especially in the summer months. They blame the concrete surface.

The Highways Agency has admitted that noise levels on the road, dubbed the "noisiest road in Britain" by nearby residents, are higher than it had predicted.

The Government has now announced that it is going to resurface 25 concrete roads around the country - but despite past promises, the list does not include the A30.

Last year, Prime Minister Tony Blair promised to end the longstanding noise problems but no date was given for resurfacing.

Road safety

There was also a campaign for a 50mph speed limit to be introduced to reduce road noise.

However, the RAC Foundation said drivers would be unlikely to heed the restrictions and it could cause road safety problems.

Further surveys are to continue to assess whether noise levels are still higher than predicted.

Residents living within 300m of the road will have another chance to apply for free noise insulation, even if they have been turned down in the past.

Click here to go to BBC Devon Online
See also:

03 Oct 01 | England
Car crashes into speed trap
12 Aug 99 | Total Eclipse
Eclipse traffic 'hangover'
11 Aug 99 | Total Eclipse
Traffic chaos after eclipse
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