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RESIDENT TO TAKE TRAFFIC NOISE CASE FURTHER

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A retired engineer who says his family's life has been made hell by a noisy road was today given the green light to...
A retired engineer who says his family's life has been made hell by a noisy road was today given the green light to carry on suing Reading BC.

Geoffrey Andrews from Reading, has carried out a number of tests to show traffic noise is louder than it should be.

And he says he has been kept awake at night ever since the council made a 'traffic regulation order' in 2000 relating to the A319 Kings Road Area in the town.

His original claim was for£4,206.53 to cover the costs of insulation, but because the issue is of such importance, the council has already spent£60,000 on defending it.

Mr Andrews, who has represented himself throughout the legal row, says his legal costs come to around£10,000.

Earlier this year the council argued at London's High Court that Mr Andrews' claim - which alleges that his human rights have been breached - should be 'struck out'.

Gillian Carrington, for the council, said there was 'no real prospect' of Mr Andrews succeeding in his claim.

She added that there had been considerable consultation about the proposed traffic regulation order which had resulted in a number of advantages to Reading - and the increase in noise was 'minimal'.

Mr Justice Collins observed there was a 'fair balance' to be struck between the 'competing interests' of an individual and the community - but said in this instance Mr Andrews had an arguable case.

The judge said there was 'no doubt' excess noise resulting from public schemes could amount to a violation of the Human Rights Act.

'Mr Andrews does say that the increase in noise did make life intolerable and required insulation measures,' he added.

'If that evidence is accepted, the Human Rights Act may be breached.

'It cannot be said at this stage that there is no real prospect that such a breach will be established.'

For those reasons, Mr Justice Collins refused to strike out the claim - but warned Mr Andr ews that he may not be successful when his case is heard by a county court.

'He has hurdles to surmount and he may in the end not succeed,' he observed.

STRAND NEWS SERVICE

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