A27 traffic noise between Southerham and Beddingham hits ’jet engine’ levels

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<KENOX S1050 / Samsung S1050>

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Noise levels on the A27 between Southerham and Beddingham have reached “jet engine” levels, it has been claimed.

Consequently house values at this picturesque part of the Ouse Valley have plummeted, said an angry protester.

Richard Ruzyllo said the road improvements on the stretch of highway were completed only some four years ago “but it already has the well-worn look of a 20-year-old motorway”.

The local resident said the traffic noise generated was totally unacceptable and had been measured at 90 decibels from about 100 metres away at Ranscombe Lane, Glynde.

Mr Ruzyllo said that at his insistence the Highways Agency commissioned a company to carry out computer modelling to test the viability of installing an acoustic barrier in order to shield local people from the ever-increasing noise levels.

But as the 60mph, three-lane road is situated in the South Downs National Park there are aesthetic considerations. An acoustic barrier – fence – running alongside the A27 would interrupt “the view”.

Mr Ruzyllo said it took a meeting with Ministers at the Department for Transport in London to persuade the Highways Agency to refund the cost of a noise survey, but only after the residents had arranged it and paid for it.

“Meanwhile the battle for some sort of compensation for loss of property value has been taking place,” he said. “For some residents it has taken six years to reach a settlement.

“The very first offer of compensation for loss of value was £12,000 but after a year-long struggle it was doubled. Some people continue their ‘compensation negotiation’.”

Mr Ruzyllo said that one local woman recently offered her house for sale. Approximately six months and 50 viewings later, with a price drop of £50,000, there were still no takers.

He said: “The overriding reason? Noise. On occasion, extreme noise.

“It would seem the A27 Southerham-Beddingham Scheme has sucked out a huge amount of value from local properties.”

He continued: “I said to a Minister ‘Sometimes we wish we were Greater Crested Newts’

“‘Why is that?’ he asked. ‘Because you managed to spend tens of thousands of pounds on capturing them and making them more comfortable but no-one appears to have the same benign attitude towards humans’.”

He added that as the A27 surface “continues to deteriorate” people in Ranscombe Lane cannot use their back gardens or open windows on hot days because of the racket.