29 June 2009
The Government has now agreed to proceed with essential maintenance of the M3 inline with their original plans after they came under pressure from MP Maria Miller and local residents when essential works faced delay because of budget problems.
Maria and supporters of the M3 Action Campaign recently met transport Minister Lord Adonis to voice their concerns over M3 safety, noise and congestion.
The main works to renew the surface of the motorway will start on 13 July 2009, with the completion date expected to be towards the end of October. The work will involve carriageway resurfacing, drainage works, central reserve hardening and the installation of new road signs and road markings.
All 3 lanes of the southbound carriageway between junctions 5 and 6 will be resurfaced, and a quieter surface material will be used. Resurfacing is carried out based on the maintenance need of the carriageway but has the additional benefit of noise mitigation because a quieter surface material is applied as a matter of course.
9 March 2009
Maria Miller MP led a delegation from Basingstoke to visit Lord Adonis, Minister of State for Transport, to express concerns over the noise pollution and congestion from the M3.
Maria Miller MP said “The Government’s aspiration for Basingstoke to be a Growth Area and to set house building targets of 1,000 new homes being built each year– requires serious investment in the infrastructure of Basingstoke, including schools, hospitals and –very importantly – roads. Yet the only budget for infrastructure projects announced to date amounted to £5.7million (December 2008).”
Maria Miller MP went on to express concerns about the capacity of the Basingstoke road network to deal with increasing volumes of traffic. Over 100,000 vehicles use junction 6 every day and congestion between junction 6 and 7 has increased by 5,000 vehicles a day over the past 10 years. This is causing serious congestion problems and noise pollution.
Members of the delegation expressed how the congestion on the M3 was affecting businesses and residents in Basingstoke.
Graeme Hobbs said “Many businesses in Basingstoke are knowledge-based, thus reliant on people. It is therefore essential that people are able to move in and out efficiently. Delays of people and goods are extremely damaging for businesses. “
Alan Hutton said “Noise levels had become intolerable in a growing area of the town and surrounding villages, affecting the quality of life of people in Basingstoke. In some areas in the constituency, they were suffering from sound levels above those recommended by the World Health Organisation.”
Maria has once again called on the Government to match its objectives for Basingstoke to be a centre for growth with improvements to local services including road networks.
Maria gained ans undertaking from the Minister to meet a delegation of residents and local businesses
15 October 2008
During the debate, Maria gained an undertaking from the Minister to meet a delegation of residents and local businesses.
Speaking after the debate Maria said, "I would like to thank the Minister for agreeing to meet local residents and businesses to hear first hand the problems created in Basingstoke as a result of government house building targets."
"I am concerned that during the debate the Minister indicated that the Government may be moving away from their original commitment to resurface all 6 lanes on the M3 with noise retardant material by 2010. This is not acceptable and I will be pressing the government further on this issue on behalf of residents."
"Whilst the work to find ways to remove the traffic queues onto the hard shoulder is welcome, this will not reduce the time delays experienced by those coming into Basingstoke. The Government have no plans to look at how to solve the problems until 2010."
"It is clear that the Minister has chosen to ignore Hampshire County Council's demands that any future growth in house numbers is dependent on reducing congestion and traffic jams at junction 6. We cannot accept any further Government imposed house building targets for Basingstoke until the Government is prepared to ensure our local services and road networks are expanded to cope."
13 October 2008
Speaking before the debate Maria said, “There has been a 22% increase in congestion on the M3 in the past 10 years. Not enough has been done to reduce the impact this has on Basingstoke residents. The Government need to come to tomorrow’s debate to explain how they will ensure the existing problems with motorway noise and congestion are to be dealt with; and details of how any future government house building targets are matched with investment in local services such as our roads and motorway to ensure house building in Basingstoke is truly sustainable.”
The Minister responding for the Government is Paul Clark, Minister for Transport.
22 July 2008
On 22 July 2008 local MP for Basingstoke Maria Miller, handed over a public petition on the floor of the House of Commons on behalf of more than 2,000 residents in Basingstoke, who are increasingly concerned about the levels of noise and traffic congestion connected with the M3, particularly around junctions 5 to 7.
The petition follows the launch of Maria’s “M3 – Action” in summer 2007, which has received overwhelming support of over two thousand individuals.
The problems of M3 noise and congestion have escalated as a result of the unprecedented number of vehicles which now use the motorway. This is a direct result of the significant increase in house building which is happening in Basingstoke and throughout the South East.
Despite promises by the Government in their 10 year transport plan to reduce congestion on our roads from present levels by 2010, the reality is that Hampshire is creaking under an ever increasing level of traffic on our major roads of 19% between 1995/6 and 2005/6, the 3rd highest regional figure in the country.
Maria said “I am delighted to present this petition on behalf of Basingstoke residents as there has been a dramatic increase in traffic on the motorway, which means that more local residents are affected by more noise and excessive tailbacks on the motorway at peak times. As a result, some areas in Basingstoke and particularly the villages and suburbs, are experiencing quite significant increases in rat-running.
The petitioners request the House to urge the Government to stop the delay and install noise-reducing road surfaces on all six lanes of the M3 and to put in place improvements to junction 6 that will ease the traffic flow at peak times, as it is affecting not just residents but major employers in the Basingstoke area. This amounts to much-needed investment to fill a yawning infrastructure gap created by an ever-increasing level of house building demanded by the Government in Basingstoke and in the south-east more generally”
“M3 – Action” campaign has three aims:
1. To get modern "whisper quiet" motorway surfaces on all 6 lanes of the M3 as originally promised;
2. A locally co-ordinated approach to noise barriers including their location and setting appropriate standards to help stop noise bouncing into neighbouring communities
3. To see the investment needed in Junction 6 to stop tail backs and congestion which are leading to rat running, accidents, injuries and even deaths.
14 January 2008
The above allocation applies to the entire strategic road network, not just motorways.
Maria said “Motorway noise is an everyday issue not only in Basingstoke but across the entire UK. This is a topic that comes up in Parliament regularly and all Members of Parliament know just how important the issue of motorway noise is to our constituents as it causes local residents great distress.
An annual national budget of £5million illustrates graphically that the Government do not take this problem seriously. This budget will provide just 10 miles of sound insulating barriers. I am urging the Government to look into a more effective way of providing relief to those suffering from Motorway noise."
05 December 2007
Noise levels for the M3 through Basingstoke, continue to increase at ‘unacceptable levels’, says Maria Miller MP. A study undertaken on behalf of Mapledurwell and Up Nately Parish Council, show an increase in noise of nearly 5% in just over three years.
The noise study undertaken on Kembers Lane in Mapledurwell, recorded noise levels at 69 decibels, which are similar to the noise levels of a Vacum Cleaner or Hairdryer at 70 decibels. People are warned that prolonged exposure to any noise above 90 decibels can cause gradual hearing loss.
Maria Miller MP who several months ago launched her ‘M3-Action’ campaign and petition has demanded action on congestion, traffic speed and the resurfacing of the motorway with a modern "whisper quiet" surface which would roughly halve the audible sound level.
Campaigners hope that these latest figures will further support Maria’s campaign and petition which she hopes to present to the Highways Agency in the New Year. Maria said “These figures demonstrate the unacceptable levels of traffic noise that residents have to deal with. Nearly 2000 residents have supported my campaign and have signed my petition to date.
Local resident Alex Wiseman, said “We have lived in Mapledurwell for the last 12 years and have noticed a considerable increase in noise from the M3, particularly over the last 2 years. It has a huge impact on everybody’s quality of life and has got to the stage, where it even disturbs sleep. If the noise level continues to increase annually, we dread to think what it will be like in the next few years. It's time that investment is made in this section of the M3"
Maria Miller will be holding further ‘M3-Action’ residents meetings soon in Basing and Beggarwood, residents who wish to attend should ring – 01256 322207.
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