LETTER:Twyford roar

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GOOD for Roger Bell to see a silver lining to the clouds over the Twyford Down M3 cutting ("Making up for Twyford Down", 18 June) - but perhaps it's because the storm has been moved half a mile across, over the Itchen valley to be precise.

The historic link between Winchester and St Catherine's Hill may well have been restored but the historic link between Twyford and St Catherine's Hill has been ripped apart. If "two ribbons of tarmac once disfigured the lovely Itchen valley", six lanes of it now ravage the downland.

South-east Winchester may no longer suffer from the roar of traffic, but the "Twyford roar" since the road opened has caused serious and continuing noise pollution to local people here.

Twyford's once tranquil churchyard used to be one of the most peaceful places on earth; it is now continually noisy. "Local pollution and disturbance" (like Twyford Down) has merely been shifted from one place to another - and has been intensified in the process. That process incidentally removed an ancient monument, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It will have cost (who really knows?) anywhere between pounds 30m and pounds 55m.

Of course, it now allows more and faster traffic on the M3 - and that has to be a public good. Or does it?

Revd Dr Peter Lippiett

Vicar of Twyford

Twyford, Hants