Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Low noise road resurfacing

An interesting article in this months briefing from EPUK about unexpectedly high reductions in noise when a road in Uxbridge was resurfaced with a low - noise asphalt. The textured thin asphalt is approved by the Highways Authorities Product Approval Scheme and is stated to reduce noise by around 5.5 dB(A). When before and after measurements were done by the local authority (London Borough of Hillingdon) they found that the noise reduction was in fact closer to 7 dB(A). No firm explanation for this has been proved, but it may be that the road condition prior to surfacing was worse than in test conditions. The study shows the benefits of resurfacing with a low noise material, but it is only cost - effective if the road is to be resurfaced for wear reasons.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Bristol to pilot Quiet Areas

DEFRA has selected Bristol as a pilot city to trial the identification and management of quiet areas. This is mainly because of the work we have done so far on consulting on quiet areas using the bristolstreets map and AskBristol website. We have also developed a wide range of internal contacts and working arrangements through our existing work on noise and air quality. A meeting is scheduled for 22nd October where we will look at the issue of how to identify "quiet areas" in the city with a range of internal stakeholders. DEFRA are currently undertaking a consultation on Noise Action Planning with sessions being run by EPUK.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Environmental Noise Leaflets

Environmental Protection UK have produced a series of information leaflets, sponsored by Defra, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Assembly Government, setting out the noise mapping and action planning process, and outlining the mechanisms available for managing transport noise.

The Environmental Noise Directive very clearly states that noise mapping and action planning should be actively and openly communicated; that noise action planning should be an inclusive process; and that public awareness of environmental noise impacts should be raised.

The Directive sets out to fufill the Community policy "to achieve a high level of health and environmental protection, and one of the objectives to be pursued is protection against noise."

The leaflets are aimed at supporting work at local level in developing noise action plans and communicating transport noise issues to the public, professionals and politicians - who need to be engaged if noise considerations are to be embedded in transport and planning policy.