An action group from along the A419/A417 have published startling new figures which show a dramatic increase in noise levels.
The issue of noise from the dual carriageway 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 without success so far. An action group, calling themselves A419NAG, was formed in 2012 and has been lobbying on behalf of residents all along the infamous road.
Now, the group is taking its campaign one step further by publishing noise readings taken at two locations along the highway.
Measurements were taken at Latton in Wiltshire and Cerney Wick in the Cotswold district. They show that the noise has doubled since the road was built 17 years ago.
Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (CDC, Churn Valley) is chairing the group and believes the new figures give firm evidence that action should be taken at last:
“Our readings show that noise levels have doubled since the road was built in the late 1990’s. For residents living anywhere near the dual carriageway it’s not a surprise but it’s still shocking nonetheless. This pollution is more than an irritant – excess noise has been proven to impact on your health and well-being.”
“Now, as we are making public these figures for the first time they make uncomfortable reading for the authorities.”
Ray Brassington, a member of the group, took the readings using equipment supplied by Cotswold District Council. He was retracing his steps as he did the same thing in 1998 when the road was first built: “I was employed by CDC in 1998 as an Environmental Health Officer and undertook an extensive noise survey along the length of the A419/417 and one of the monitoring locations was in Cerney Wick. The readings then were taken at the exact same location as now and over a same 15 minute period.
“What I’ve found is that the noise level has doubled in that time.”
The World Health Organisation states that to protect the majority of people from being seriously annoyed during the daytime and evening the outdoor noise level should not exceed 55dB. At night time sound levels 1m from the facade of house should not exceed 45 dB so that people can sleep with windows open. The WHO has also stated that prolonged exposure to noise above 55dB can trigger raised blood pressure and even heart attacks.
Ray added: “The noise levels at this location have increased by 9 dB over the 16 years the road has been in operation and are now almost twice as loud. I also took readings at Latton in Wiltshire and these were also almost twice as loud as stipulated by the World Health Organisation.
Now the group is contacting DEFRA to arrange a meeting in order to present its findings.
Cllr Hodgkinson is certain this new information will help residents: “This is about righting a wrong – since the completion of the dual carriageway, people living along this section of the road have told us they suffer excessive noise pollution. Now we know for sure that this is a real problem backed up by data. We now call on the authorities to take the action they should have taken years ago.”
“We will let the findings speak for themselves and drown out the sound of the traffic.”