Dream home now a daily nightmare due to motorway noise
A COUPLE who moved into their home more than 30 years ago with plans to retire there are at their wits' ends with the amount of noise and pollution from the Ipswich Motorway a stone's throw away.
Norm and Jan Griffiths moved to their one-acre Gailes property in 1987 and said the increasingly busy motorway was taking a toll on their health.
Although they never planned to leave their home, they will look to sell it if they can find a buyer who is willing to put up with the constant drone of noise and dust from the motorway.
The Griffiths are calling on the State Government, which installed a noise barrier in 2009 as part of an upgrade to the motorway, to do more to help them.
Mrs Griffiths, 69, labelled the barrier as "useless" and said traffic noise had ramped up over the past decade to the point where they couldn't take any more.
"No matter where you go in this house we get the traffic (noise)," she said.
"It's affecting our health. If you don't sleep then you're not well. I've put all roller shutters down one side of the house to try and block the noise. It doesn't. If you want to watch TV or sit in the lounge room, that's how you sit, even in 40C heat you put them down. I have all the windows and doors closed.
"They reckon they won't buy us out because we're too far back. This was supposed to have been our retirement home. I'm not retiring here. If I tried to buy what I have now somewhere else, there's no way in the world you would be able to afford it."
The Department of Transport and Main Roads undertook noise measuring at the house in 2013, which recorded 66.95 decibels in the backyard and 63.35 decibels on top of the carport near the lounge room window.
According to the department, the noise criteria intervention level for residential properties near an "existing or upgraded road" is 68 decibels.
Mrs Griffiths was told another test wouldn't be conducted until 2022.
The school cleaner said she wanted to sell up before she retired within the next two years but didn't know how realistic that was.
"I used to come home from work and enjoy coming home," she said.
"When we first came here, you would not hear that road at all. Nothing. It was so peaceful. It's not the same house."
A TMR spokesperson said it "appreciates the concerns" of residents living next to major road corridors.
"We manage noise in accordance with our department's Transport Noise Management Code of Practice, which establishes a consistent standard for dealing with the effects of road traffic noise," they said.
"The code contains the noise level criteria that must be met before treatment options for noise-affected properties are warranted.
"We undertook noise measuring at 4 Ritz St, Gailes, in 2013 and based on the results of the noise measurements, the road traffic noise levels were below the noise criteria.
"We do not have any requirements for the property at 4 Ritz St for any planned road or transport upgrades so will not consider buying the property.
"If the warrants for noise barrier improvements are met in the future, the works to upgrade the barriers would then need to compete for funding on a state-wide basis with other projects."