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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.”

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The campaign to cut noise from the A419/A417 has got new backing from the area’s two MPs.

An action group, calling themselves A419NAG (Noise Action Group), has been lobbying on behalf of residents all along the infamous road for the last 3 years.

Last Friday, the group met with parish and town council chairs from up and down the A419, representatives from Highways England and the area’s two MPs, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and James Gray.


The meeting, held at Down Ampney Village Hall, heard about the campaign group’s ongoing battle to address the noise issue for thousands of residents in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (GCC, Bourton and Northleach) chairs the group and said that the aim of the meeting was to get a commitment from the MPs to help cut the excessive noise:

“Our own scientific readings show that noise levels have doubled since the road was built in 1997. Residents were promised a tarmac surface but long stretches were built in concrete. The traffic has steadily increased along with many more lorries. This pollution is more than an irritant – our own survey has proved that this excess noise is impacting on the health and well-being of communities next to the highway.”

At the meeting, attended by 30 people, the two MPs promised to raise the issue with Environment Minister Liz Truss. Highways England confirmed that only one stretch of the road – next to Latton – has been earmarked for noise reduction measures.


The MPs will also ask the Government to speak direct to local residents when it carries out its next ‘noise mapping’ exercise in 2017. This exercise, to be carried out by the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), will earmark roads across the country which have noise pollution issues.


Cllr Hodgkinson stated that the group’s message must lead to the concerns of people in the Cotswolds and Wiltshire being taken seriously at last:


“There’s a compelling message to tell – this road noise has increased so much that residents now want urgent action. We are looking to our representatives to press hard for our area and help us right this wrong.”

We are keen to hear from businesses near to the road to understand the economic impact of the disturbance caused by the noise. If you are located near to South Cerney and within the boundary in red on the map below, we invite you to complete our short survey which can be found HERE.


(click map to increase size)

map 419


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.




Thank you Cricklade!

October 14, 2014




We’ve been advised that Cricklade Town Council has agreed to offer its support to A419NAG. In a letter to the Highways Agency, the Council made clear concerns of the continuing disruption caused by the road noise to people’s lives in and around the town.

Thanks Cricklade.

Hopefully we’ll have more news from the HA and it’s current position on our campaign in the near future..





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We are pleased to announce the launch of our report into the findings of the initial survey.

Launched on Friday to local and the wider press, the report gives a background on the issue and analysis of the survey responses received up to publication date. We view this as an ongoing process and we will update the report later in the year as and when new data is received.

Going forward, we see this report as the basis to lobby the involved parties to engage with us to explore what are the pragmatic solutions to help alleviate the road noise. In the meantime, your voice really does count so please feel free to comment on any aspect of the findings via this website.

Download the report here.A419 NAG Report July 2014

We are pleased to confirm that we will be releasing a report of our survey findings on Friday 11th July.

Both print and radio news reporters are attending the official launch so look and listen out for articles over the coming days. The report itself will be available to download from this website on Monday 14th.

Once the report has gained wider circulation and both residents and businesses have had time to digest the content, we will be looking to lobby influencers and key stakeholders. We hope this will be the beginning of finding a solution to this ongoing problem.

In the meantime, should you know of anyone who has yet to complete the survey please do encourage them to do so – it will remain ‘live’ for the near future.





Our campaign picked up more press coverage recently with an article appearing in the Wilts & Glos. Standard. You can see the full article here

It mentions our report which will be published and will make the case for why we believe the road noise issue needs to be addressed. More news on this will be posted via this website shortly.