At last, we meet the Highways Agency…

October 29, 2014

Since the action group was formed, we have worked tirelessly to ensure we meet the right stakeholders and influencers in order to get our voice heard. Last week we finally had the opportunity to meet a representative from the Highways Agency. Whilst not conclusive, we nevertheless feel there’s progression. Here’s a summary of the meeting and update from the Chair of A419NAG, Paul Hodgkinson:

 As a result of out report in July listing the social impact of noise pollution on residents up and down the A419/417, the Highways Agency (HA) agreed to meet us last week.

We met one of their officers who deals with highway maintenance and renewals. It’s the first time we’ve been able to open up a proper dialogue with them and shows that our report has got some traction. 

Here were the key points:

  1. DEFRA has tasked the HA to look at EU regulations on noise pollution and as a result the HA are to conduct a new study across the country on the impact of this. It is likely to be at least 18 months away from reporting its findings. This is obviously something we feel positive about as clearly the authorities are taking this type of pollution seriously.  
  2. The HA are also going to help find us a suitable contact in DEFRA for us to talk to about why they have only designated some areas as ‘Important’ for noise pollution along the road. As a group we feel strongly that much more of the highway should be designated as ‘important’. In particular the areas to the north and south of Cirencester and immediately to the east side of the town.

Finally, we will be carrying out our own noise monitoring in the next few weeks in the area to assess noise levels now compared to when the road was first built.