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Residents seek European backing for quieter A34

OXFORDSHIRE RESIDENTS were this week seeking European Parliament support in a campaign to get the brushed concrete carriageways on the A34 replaced with a quieter asphalt surfacing.

They claim the Highways Agency has breached the European Convention on Human Rights by failing to resurface the noisy concrete road with a quieter alternative.

Residents have been complaining about the surface for more than 10 years, after winning support from Oxfordshire County Council.

They are seeking European Parliament backing to put pressure on the government to act, rather than going to the expense of full scale legal action at the European Court of Justice.

The residents are also supported by Gosford & Water Eaton Parish Council, and Cherwell District Council, plus local resident Richard Branson.

Oxfordshire paid for transport research body TRL to measure the noise levels affecting properties along the 9km corridor.

'The report revealed that the road was between 4dB(A) and 6dB(A) noisier than the original calculations estimated, ' said Gosford & Water Eaton Parish Council clerk and civil engineer Carl Smith.

The government eventually agreed to resurface all concrete roads, but only after the Highways Agency had done its own study in 2002.

'The published timetable for the removal of all concrete surfaces on the motorway and trunk road network schedules the A34 Peartree to Weston resurfacing scheme for the period 2004-05 and 2006-07, subject to the availability of funds, ' said a High ways Agency spokeswoman.

But residents claim the work is continually being put back. Originally the date for resurfacing was set for 2003.

Residents now hope that the European Parliament will intervene and put pressure on the government to accelerate the programme.

The European Parliament has agreed to look into the matter.

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