AFTER more than a decade of campaigning thousands of Winchester people will enjoy reduced noise pollution from the M3.

The Government has announced that the road from junction 9 at Winnall to junction 14 at Chandler’s Ford will be resurfaced sometime between 2015-17.

Local MP Steve Brine was told the news by roads minister John Hayes that plans have been brought forward from 2020.

Shepherds Down Special School headteacher Jane Sansome welcomed the news.

“I’m delighted. Road noise has such an impact on the school. We have a lot of autistic children and they can get upset by it. So this is great news.

“The road is right next to the school fence and it can get incredibly noisy,” said Mrs Sansome at the 130-pupil school at Compton which reopens tomorrow/today. (THURS Sep 4) Mr Brine said it was “absolutely fantastic news” for thousands of his constituents.

He has campaigned to bring forward the resurfacing work since his election in 2010 and last year took local councillors, as well as representatives from Shepherds Down to meet the minister in London.

Mr Brine said: “We had been told the carriageway passing through Winchester and Chandler’s Ford was unlikely to be resurfaced until 2020 at the earliest but I couldn’t accept that because noise from the motorway is seriously impacting on peoples’ lives in large parts of my constituency. The situation is especially bad for the children at Shepherds Down School and I understand it was their lobbying which really helped us get the ministers’ attention and ultimately this decision.”

He added: “This work has been carefully agreed with the Highways Agency to build what is required maintenance of the carriageway into the urgent need to address noise pollution. It is absolutely fantastic news for thousands of my constituents and, while we should not be tricked into thinking road surface is the sole cause of motorway noise, the lower noise surfacing material will significantly dent the din.”

Some limited work has been done to reduce noise in the last decade but this resurfacing will be of all three lanes and the hard shoulder.