Noise barrier to be built by A14

LONG-suffering families plagued by noise and fumes from heavy lorries were today given excellent news – acoustic barriers will be built alongside the A14.

LONG-suffering families plagued by noise and fumes from heavy lorries were today given excellent news – acoustic barriers will be built alongside the A14.

Four-metre high specially-designed noise absorbent fencing will run all the way from the Felixstowe dock spur roundabout to Trimley St Martin to protect villagers from the rumbling of an expected one million extra juggernauts.

Felixstowe port will pay for the project – expected to cost tens of thousands of pounds – as part of a multi-million pound mitigation and compensation package connected with its expansion plans.

It is news residents have wanted for years as they claim the noise of the pounding trucks on the dual carriageway just yards from their homes is already at times intolerable.

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They complain the noise and fumes is so bad that in summer they have to keep their windows shut and cannot use their gardens.

With the port set to double its capacity in the next 15 years, families fear the situation will get much worse

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But now parish councillors in the twin Trimley villages have been told port owner Hutchison Whapoa is willing to provide the two-mile long barrier.

A series of talks have been held between councillors and port chiefs, the port's noise consultant Bernard Postlethwaite and landscape consultant Colin Goodrum, and Suffolk Coastal council officers.

Following a feasibility study, a possible route has been drawn up for the fence, to begin behind Heathgate Piece and Langstons in Trimley St Mary on the Ipswich-bound carriageway of the A14, near the dock spur.

It will then weave its way in and out of woodland, go along the open space at the back of Farmlands estate, and at Trimley interchange, near the footbridge, it will again thread its way through the woodland.

A report given to latest meeting of the group dealing with the project said construction in some places "would not be easy" because of the sloping embankments. In other areas householders will need to consider the visual impact of having the barrier close to homes.

At Trimley St Martin the barrier will be seen from all around the open countryside, but at Trimley St Mary mostly from the A14.

"Its impact on residential properties will be less (at St Mary) given the set back and separation between the road corridor and the housing areas by either existing public open space, well established tree belts, wooded embankments," said the report.

"Some thinning or tree removal will be necessary."

Topographic surveys are now being done, and talks taking place with landowners, and the highways authority over the fence's future maintenance.

Port corporate affairs manager Paul Davey said a number of meetings were taking place with local councils to try to come to agreement on most of the issues of concern before the inquiry into the expansion begins on October 26.

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

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