CLWYD SOUTH AM KEN SKATES has welcomed a new initiative by the Welsh Government to map noise levels across Wales.
The Welsh Government has published a series of ‘Noise Maps’ to illustrate levels of road traffic, railway and industrial noise in communities across Wales.
Local authorities, and other bodies, can use the maps to identify where high levels of noise coincide with other social and environmental problems. They will then be able to address these issues to improve the quality of life for people living and working in their areas.
The AM said noise local levels were highest along the A5/A483 running through his constituency and called for more noise reductions schemes to help people living along major roads in North East Wales.
CLWYD SOUTH AM KEN SKATES said:
“I’m pleased the Welsh Government is taking steps to monitor noise levels on our major roads across Wales. In the last two years it has been a big problem in my constituency as I have been contacted by individuals living in areas like Ruabon because of the noise of vehicles moving along the bypass.
“Both the A5 and the A483 are valuable roads, vital to our regional economy, but they are also major sources of noise and disruption. We need to balance out the economic benefits of a good highway with the need to reduce noise levels for those living alongside the roads.
“Particular sections of the trunk road network in North East Wales can be quite noisy and I know the Welsh Government is involved in a detailed noise modelling scheme to reduce noise and disruption in the worst affected areas, like Ruabon.
“Parts of the Ruabon bypass already utilises a low noise surface material, but the addition of more timber noise barriers could help further reduce disruption for people living nearby.
“Often its new housing estates which are most affected, because they’ve been bolted on to existing communities without much reference to how much noise there might be nearby and outside the zones of existing noise dampening schemes.
“Importantly we need to work with public and businesses most directly impacted by the noise and ensure that contractors work with the local community to get the best result.
“I am conscious of the harmful effect high noise levels can have on people’s quality of life and so I am glad this work is now being prioritised by the Welsh Government.”
The Local Government Minister Carl Sargeant recently wrote to the local AM to say that Ramboll Consultants have been appointed by the Welsh Government to undertake detailed noise modelling on the A483 at Ruabon and oversee construction of a noise barrier on sections of the road.
The two metre high fence will be made of timber and is planned to be erected within the existing highway boundary.
The Welsh Labour Government will shortly be consulting on a noise action plan which will bring together the noise policies and priorities of public authorities across Wales. The noise maps will be a key source of information helping to inform decisions by these bodies over the next five years.
Noise Maps – http://data.wales.gov.uk/apps/noise/