Council wants £500,000 to erect sound barrier to spare travellers' delicate feelings (Daily Mail 16/1/09)

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Council wants £500,000 to erect sound barrier to spare travellers' delicate feelings (Daily Mail 16/1/09)

Post by Admin on Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:47 am

Council wants £500,000 to erect sound barrier to spare travellers' delicate feelings

A council is planning to spend up to £500,000 building a noise barrier beside a dual carriageway after a group of travellers complained about the sound of passing vehicles and abuse from motorists.

Around 50 people who have moved on to the camp say their lives are being made a misery by the constant rumble of traffic.
They also claim they are being victimised by lorry drivers who beep their horns, flash their lights and shout obscenities.

Roadside views: The travellers' camp by the A14

The barriers could be installed when the A14 near Milton in Cambridgeshire is improved during a major project beginning next year. But Tory-run South Cambridgeshire District Council insists the travellers should not have to wait that long in such an ' uncomfortable place to live'.
The Blackwell camp was opened as a transit site for travellers in the 1970s but became an official council-run facility in 1993. The road runs on an embankment above the site.

'Entitled to their privacy': Around 50 people say the noise from cars and trucks is making their lives a misery

The council has already secured a £15,000 grant to improve the entrance to the camp but is applying to the Government for more money
to build the barrier.
Nick Wright, the councillor responsible for planning, said: 'It's such a noisy place to live. When you go down there it's almost a job just to have a conversation. 'Obviously their homes don't have any double glazing or sound proofing.'
Sebastian Kindersley, the leader of the LibDem opposition, hinted that the council would dip into its reserves if it failed to win a grant for the project.

A lorry drives past the gypsy site. The travellers receive abuse from passing drivers, who beep their horns and shout at them

He said: 'The travellers live between a motorway and a rubbish dump - it must be pretty desperate and something should be done urgently.
They are entitled to their privacy.' However the TaxPayers' Alliance branded the plans 'a farce'.
Spokesman Mark Wallace said: 'Given that the residents of this site are self-declared travellers, it is amazing that they do not simply move on somewhere else if they don't like the fact they are living next to a dual carriageway.
'There is very little reason why taxpayers should bear a massive bill because of the surroundings people have chosen for themselves.'
The National Romani Rights Association blamed the council for choosing a poor site.
Chairman Basil Burton said: 'It's disgusting that the local authorities have placed a gypsy site next to a busy dual carriageway in the first place. But this barrier should be better than nothing.'
Three years ago it emerged that South Cambridgeshire District Council had spent close to £ 1million on attempts to evict travellers from Smithy Fen in Cottenham, one of the country's biggest and most notorious illegal camps.

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