A303 Braces Itself for MakeoverTest Valley Borough Council has being liaising with the Highways Agency to identify a number of local priority areas for the A303 resurfacing project.

The purpose of the Highways Agency project is to improve the condition of the carriageway and reduce traffic noise. To ensure the areas most in need of quiet surfacing are prioritised, the council wrote to the Highways Agency at the end of last month and put forward its proposals for which sections should be completed first. The authority identified three priority levels based on the current noise impact on local residents.

The council identified two priority one sites where the provision of acoustic barriers is not practical due to land issues or the raised profile of the carriageway. As a result, the council has suggested that resurfacing work should be undertaken in these areas first.

Priority two sites should be targeted next and these include areas where an acoustic barrier in the form of an earth mound or fencing has been provided, but it is less effective due to the raised profile of the carriageway.

The priority three sites are where more effective acoustic barriers have been provided but the areas would still benefit from quieter surfacing.

The Highways Agency is now in the process of designing the programme of resurfacing work and agreeing timescales.

Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Councillor Ian Carr, said: “In my letter to the Andover Advertiser in December last year regarding the A303 resurfacing work, I promised to update residents as the project progressed. When the Highways Agency announced that they would be undertaking resurfacing work, I approached them and asked if the council could have some input into the plans, to help ensure that the areas most in need of quieter surfacing could be prioritised. This has no been done and we are awaiting a response from the Highways Agency with regard to our proposals. Ideally, I would like to see the full length of the A303 around Andover resurfaced with low noise surfacing but I realise this isn’t going to happen overnight. I hope I will be in a position to share a final set of plans with residents in the near future.”

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