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Exclusive: Raised bank to 'ease Ketch noise fears’
A RAISED bank is expected to be created off Worcester’s Ketch roundabout in a bid to ease the concerns of people left furious about a major project to ease traffic.
Talks have taken place with residents in St Peter’s left dismayed by next year’s £8 million overhaul of the island, which will bring thousands of cars 25 metres closer to their properties.
Worcestershire County Council wants to slice into a large green plot of land currently protecting the homes to create a controversial slip-road for drivers turning left at the island from Bath Road.
It led to 100 people signing a petition during the summer calling for the redevelopment to be scrapped.
Now, officers are investigating ways of reducing noise by creating a raised bund outside homes in Begonia Close, with mature planting and an acoustic fence to ease the impact.
The fence would help to block out some of the noise from the cars using the slip-road to head up Broomhall Way towards Norton island.
The talks, which are still ongoing, are being seen as a partial victory for the residents after months of campaigning.
A 12-week public consultation is set to start before work on the Ketch roundabout gets underway in March or April.
The project will see the roundabout double in size, and forms part of a £38 million plan to part-dual the A4440 Southern Link Road by early 2018.
Councillor Roger Knight, who represents St Peter’s on Worcester City Council, said: “They are talking about raising the earth bund at the boundary of Begonia Close, plus an acoustic fence and mature planting to offer some protection.
So there are some positives to come out of this, that the county [council] seems to be willing to engage over it.
“It’s been a major concern of local people and it’s really important residents get a say over mitigation measures.”
Cutting into the current grassed land will also lead to a cycle lane and rows of trees being chopped down.
The issue is being discussed by the Conservative cabinet today which is expected to agree to the consultation.
Councillor Simon Geraghty, deputy leader, said: “More than 30,000 vehicles use this road every day and without action the delays will get worse, impacting on our economy and costing our residents and businesses time and money stuck in delays.”
The work on the Ketch roundabout is due to finish in the spring of 2015.