Archives For September 2019

June 2019

In conjunction with the Air Balloon ‘Missing Link’ project, Highways England (HE) have finally agreed that noise mitigation on the concrete section of the road – which affects many people – will be taken into consideration as part of the overall scheme. There will be a public consultation in September/October and the aim of the group is to get as many individuals affected as well as parish councils and other groups and organisations to make representations via this consultation and to get HE to actually provide some sort of noise mitigation. This could be re-surfacing but might also be a speed limit, barriers, tree planting or a combination of all sorts of methods. 

The Missing Link construction is due to begin in 2021 and be completed in 2024 and if, as predicted, there is a large increase in the volume of traffic (reports say up to 50% increase), there will undoubtedly be an increase in the volume of noise from the road.

So I would encourage residents who are affected to participate in the consultation and the NAG group will be advising on that shortly once we know the exact format of the consultation.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (Chair of A419NAG).


August 2018

An action group from along the A419/A417 has welcomed a commitment from roads bosses to sort out excess noise from the dual carriageway.

The issue of noise from the road has been rumbling on for residents since it was first built in 1998. Various attempts to reduce the sound have been made over the years and the action group, A419NAG (Noise Action Group), was formed in 2012. It has been lobbying on behalf of residents all along the notorious road.

Now, the group is taking heart from the results of a consultation into the big project to solve the ‘Missing Link’ at Birdlip.

At a councillor briefing in Gloucester recently Highways England, who are responsible for the dual carriageway between Swindon and the M5, presented the results of their consultation into solving the gridlock at the Air Balloon.

2000 responses were received and people said they were concerned about noise pollution further down the A417/419 both north and south of Cirencester and stretching into Wiltshire. 

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (GCC, Bourton & Northleach) chairs the A419NAG: “I asked project bosses about this and they said they would be working with their colleagues to find ways to cut the noise levels.  

“We absolutely back the Missing Link project but we also need to make sure people living up and down the dual carriageway don’t keep suffering from excessive road noise from the concrete sections which were built 20 years ago. With projected traffic to increase on the A417 by 50% by the mid 2020’s residents need reassurance that this will be dealt with.”

Janet Sharpe is a member of the lobby group from Latton: “It’s good news that noise pollution is on the radar at last and that is thanks to constant lobbying. Concrete roads aren’t built anymore because they are just too noisy for residents living by them. We represent communities up and down the A419 and want the noise cut. It’s a reasonable request and one which Highways England can sort out at the same time as getting traffic moving at Birdlip.”

March 2019

An action group has published the findings of a new survey which show that thousands of people are fed up with noise from the area’s busiest road.

Members of the A419 Noise Action Group

The issue of noise from the A417/419 has been a running sore for residents since it was first built in 1998. Various attempts to reduce the sound from the concrete sections of the highway have been made over the years. The action group, calling themselves A419NAG, was formed in 2012 and has done a new survey of parish councils all along the infamous road.

The group asked community representatives who live near the busy road about whether the noise affects their villages and towns. 10 parishes say they are directly impacted by it. These include South Cerney and Ampney Crucis plus villages to the north of Cirencester like Baunton and Bagendon.

Wiltshire has also responded – with Cricklade and Latton both saying they’re in the firing line of noise pollution.

Highways England will be consulting the public this summer about their plan to solve the notorious ‘Missing Link’ problems at Birdlip. Last year, they acknowledged that noise is something that must be looked at as part of the project. Traffic levels are predicted to increase substantially once the new road is built.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (GCC, Bourton & Northleach) chairs the group and says that 15 parishes have also committed to writing to Highways England bosses this summer to make sure that noise pollution is dealt with as part of the Missing Link solution:

“We totally support the need for the Missing Link to be sorted out and are now delighted that so many parishes back our plea to get the noise reduced for the many thousands of people who live along the dual carriageway. Highways England have a golden opportunity to introduce noise mitigation measures whilst they build the new road at Birdlip.”

Lisa Spivey is on the action group and lives in Preston. She has been battling against the noisy road since moving into the area:

“This is our first bit of contact with local communities for a while and we wanted to test the water. Now we have been given a mandate by councils representing 13,000 people.

“This is about righting a wrong – since the completion of the dual carriageway, people living along this section of the road have suffered excessive noise pollution. We now call on the authorities to take the action they should have taken years ago.”