Flintshire residents hit out over sound-proof fence failings

Reporter:

Kate Forrester

AN ANGRY householder who lives yards from a busy dual carriageway has hit out at highways chiefs for failing to build a sound-proof fence.

Gary Simpson, 53, lives on Aston Road, next to the A494 dual carriageway.

He claims the North Wales Trunk Road Agency promised him and his neighbours a sound-proof fence more than two years ago, when plans to extend the road to create a seven-lane ‘super highway’ were on the cards.

The plans were scrapped by transport minister Ieuan Wyn Jones in March 2008 and despite repeated pleas from residents, the fence has still not materialised.

Mr Simpson said: “They were planning to put the fence in anyway and it’s taxpayers’ money paying for it, so why can’t they just build it?

“There are railings there at the moment and you often see little kids trying to get through them.

“I’m just worried one day a child will get hit by a car and killed.

“There are three families with young children on this road and we need a proper fence to keep them safe and keep noise to a minimum.

“My 83-year-old mum lives next door to me and she isn’t getting any sleep either.

“The reason they don’t want to build one here is because they think everyone along the road will want one, which is just ridiculous because we are right next to the first lane of the carriageway.”

Work has just begun on building a new, non-sound-proof fence outside Mr Simpson’s home, which he says residents are also up in arms about.

He added: “They are just putting in new railings, which is absolutely stupid.

"There is a review being carried out over reducing noise on trunk roads, so they will probably rip out that fence in a couple of years and put a sound-proof one in anyway.

"It’s a complete waste of our money and I am so angry about it. We are just being rode roughshod all over and no-one is listening to us.”

Overnight roadworks are currently ongoing to resurface the A494 in a bid to reduce noise and other residents have claimed they are being kept awake all night by workmen.

Mr Simpson said: “I don’t mind having to put up with a bit of noise for a while if it means the road will be quieter, but the most important issue for us is getting the fence we were promised.”

A Welsh Assembly Government spokesman said: “The existing pedestrian guardrails located adjacent to the A494 at this location were in a very poor state of repair.

“The carriageway had to be closed so that resurfacing could be undertaken.

“We took advantage of this closure to replace the guardrails at the same time, saving the costs of traffic management which would have had to be in place to carry out future repair work to these defective railings.

“We are also using surfacing materials which have noise reducing properties.

“Consideration of the future development of this road corridor is ongoing and once this is more advanced specific consideration will be given to the provision of noise fencing."

See full story in the Leader

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