SUFFERING locals describe the unrelenting noise of traffic thundering on a motorway causing even their homes to vibrate.
Residents on a Kent cul-de-sac say life is made miserable by the roar of cars and trucks on the M20, one of Britain’s busiest motorways.
Ashford residents reported that sound levels in some back gardens had risen above the recommended safety limit of 70 decibels.
The main road was converted from the A20 dual carriageway to the M20 motorway in 1981 – but locals say the congestion is now leading to new levels of noise.
Muhammad Kashref said he was unaware of the extent of the disruption when he moved in almost 15 years ago.
He said: “We have a room at the back and we can’t sleep at night if we don’t close the windows.”
“It was my first purchase so I had no idea.
“The noise and dust are a problem. My wife has to clean our windows every day – and the dust comes into the house too.”
“We can feel the vibration too.”
Nige Wilson, 80, has lived nearby for 43 years.
He said: “When we came here there was no motorway, just a dual carriageway – so when they built the motorway there was a domino effect.”
He recalled how authorities initially tried to curb disruption by laying porous asphalt on the highway to reduce noise.
At the time, signs said “noise reduced,” he says – but in recent years the volume has apparently increased.
He said: “The authorities wanted to put up a noise barrier but they didn’t – they said because only two per cent of the population affected were affected and they had the money to spend.”
“We all complained.”
Neighbor Margaret Feakins, 80, says she raised concerns about the noise to no avail.
She said: “As long as complainants don’t die, they don’t do anything.”
She told how neighbors put up a fence around their front garden because the M20 noise had become so unbearable.
Her husband Kenneth, also 80, said: “It’s not so much the cars, it’s the trucks.”
Newcomers have also raised complaints.
Dana, 27, arrived in Ashford three years ago and described her new home so close to the motorway as “good when you’re in the house” – but added: “When you go out into the garden it’s just awful.”
Mari Rauks, 51, accepted the noise as a “necessary evil” to get to work comfortably in nearby Maidstone.
She said: “When we chose this house we already knew it was going to be there – it has its advantage because it’s really easy to get to.”
“I think it’s a good thing that we have trees behind it and that it’s actually run down.”
Kent County Council said it was not involved and it was the responsibility of National Highways.
The Sun Online has also contacted National Highways, which looks after motorways and major roads, for comment.
The differing opinions come after homeowners on what they call Britain’s busiest road insisted the M62 in Greater Manchester is making their lives miserable.
On the same M62 are houses including Quirky Stott Hall Farm, an 18th-century farmhouse between two motorway lanes near Huddersfield in West Yorkshire.
There have also been complaints about people living close to motorways in Rowley Regis in the West Midlands.
Nearby traffic flows along the M5 in and out of England’s second largest city, Birmingham.
Concerns have also been raised by a father who lives under the M4 in Port Talbot, Wales – although his wife disagrees.
And another family from the same area says they find the sound calming.