LTC Noise Barriers

One of the refinements in the latest consultation is the addition of 17 LTC Noise Barriers.

Highways England have stated in the consultation guide that following the Preliminary Environmental Information Report (links in ‘Related Reading’ section below) which was published in 2018 Statutory Consultation, which identified the need for noise mitigation, further detailed noise assessments have been carried out.  These assessments have identified locations along the proposed route where noise barriers could be used to reduce road traffic noise.

So where are these 17 (or 19!) noise barriers located?

Please be aware that the maps below are taken from the consultation guide, but we have photoshopped out some additional points to try and make it easier to highlight just the Noise Barrier aspect in these maps.

South of the river (Kent) (pages 28 and 29 in the guide to consultation)

Map showing proposed noise barriers along the route south of the river (Kent)

The design proposes four noise barriers, up to 600 metres (1968.50ft) long and between 1 and 2 meters (3.28ft and 6.56ft) high.  These would, according to HE, help to mitigate potential road traffic noise effects in the local areas, including Gravesend, Shorne and Thong.  Also according to the Environmental Impacts Update (EIU) “Although they introduce a new built element and may introduce new visual receptors, there would be no change in the nature of effects or mitigation meansures reported in the PEIR.” (Taken from page 200 – Environmental Impacts Update July 2020)

 

North of the river (Thurrock) (pages 44 and 45 in the guide to consultation)

Map showing proposed noise barriers along the route north of the river (Thurrock)

Four noise barriers, up to 700 metres (2296.58ft) long and between 1 and 2 metres (3.28 and 6.56ft) high, are proposed in the Tilbury area between the northern tunnel entrance and Muckingford Road,  HE state that these would hep to mitigate potential road raffic noise effects in the local area, including East Tilbury, West Tilbury and Chadwell St Mary.  Again according to the EIU “Although they introduce a new built element and may introduce new visual receptors, there would be no change in the nature of effects or mitigation meansures reported in the PEIR.” (Taken from page 200 – Environmental Impacts Update July 2020)

(pages 58 and 59 in the guide to consultation)

Map showing proposed noise barriers along the route north of the river (Thurrock)

A noise barrier, less than 150 metres (492.12ft) long and six metres (19.68ft) high, is proposed near Brentwood Rd. According to HE this would help to mitigate potential road traffic noise effects in the local area, including Chadwell St Mary.

Five noise barriers, up to 550 metres (1804.46ft) long and between one and two metres (3.28 and 6.56ft) high, are proposed in the A13/A1089 area. According to HE this would help to mitigate potential road traffic noise effects in the local area including Chadwell St Mary, Orsett and Orsett Heath.

Again according to the EIU “Although they introduce a new built element and may introduce new visual receptors, there would be no change in the nature of effects or mitigation meansures reported in the PEIR.” (Taken from pages 200 and 201 – Environmental Impacts Update July 2020)

(pages 72 and 73 in the guide to consultation)

Map showing proposed noise barriers along the route north of the river (Thurrock/Havering/Essex)

Three noise barriers are proposed in the LTC/M25 area. Two are up to 1,5000 metres (4921.25ft) long, and both are approx one metre (3.28ft) high. One is less than 200 metres (656.16ft) long and approx two metres (6.56ft) high. According to HE these barriers help to mitigate the road traffic noise effects in the local area, including South Ockendon.

Again according to the EIU “Although they introduce a new built element and may introduce new visual receptors, there would be no change in the nature of effects or mitigation meansures reported in the PEIR.” (Taken from page 201 – Environmental Impacts Update July 2020)

Points to bear in mind

Let’s start with the fact that whilst HE state in the consultation materials that they are adding 17 noise barriers, if you count the ones they show in maps, as we’ve highlighted above, there are actually 19 noise barriers.  We are not sure if the figure of 17 is the error, or if the maps are incorrect. We will be chasing to try and find out which is correct!

Also there is very little commitment in the dimensions of the noise barriers.  There are no cross sections or elevational drawings. If for example you say that a barrier is less than 1500 meters doesn’t that mean that in reality it could be as short as say 1m or as long as 1499 metres?

HE have not announced exactly what these noise barriers will be made of or look like.  Evidently it is highly unlikely that this kind of detail will be shared before at least Development Consent Order (DCO) stage.  But that shouldn’t stop us asking and giving our opinions on what we think is needed! We need to stress that this makes it difficult to make any meaningful representations in this consultation as we do not have adequate info.

HE have not provided us with data that shows how these locations for the noise barriers have been decided upon.  There is very little info or data about noise in the environmental update, which again you might want to stress means it makes it difficult to make any meaningful representations.  We will let you know if we manage to get hold of any of this kind of data/evidence.

Bear in mind that certain things relating to LTC will likely be the subject of a requirement on the DCO which will be discharged after the DCO is granted.  It could be that the Department for Transport discharge the requirements, or we could comment in our consultation responses that we feel our Local Authorities would be better placed to discharge these requirements, since they know our area better than the DfT.

It is important that we all comment in our responses that we have concerns about the material, height, and effectiveness of the barrier, and state that we would like to be consulted on the design at the relevant time.

At the HE webinar on Tues 21st July 2020, in response to a question about the 6m barrier near Brentwood Rd attendees were told the barrier is for one specific property not the golf course or Chadwell St Mary in general.  The fact the barrier is also on the opposite side of the LTC to Chadwell St Mary as far as we can see means it would not benefit residents in the main part of Chadwell St Mary at all anyway.

Whitecroft Care Home is surrounded by LTC and LTC sliproads and there are no noise barriers protecting them at all.

Consider the height of an average HGV and ask yourself if you feel that a 1 or 2 metre noise barrier is adequate?!

Ask yourself if you feel the locations and dimensions of the proposed noise barriers are sufficient. Give as much detail and feedback as possible in your response.

TCAGs opinion in short

We do not feel we have been provided with anywhere near enough data and info to adequately be able to give an opinion of the noise barrier aspect of LTC. From the little info that has been provided we have serious concerns that they are not adequate or that the locations chosen alone will be adequate for the needs of all communities along the route.

Related reading

Here’s a list of links to the PIER documents from the 2018 Statutory Consultation for further reading.