15 March 2022
Request for Information – ATISN 16079
I wrote to you on 15 February regarding your request for information on noise barriers on the A55 Northop.
1. How many road noise reduction schemes have been carried out in Wales since 14/11/19
2. What priority rating number does our scheme here in Northop now have
3. How does delivery of these schemes fit with the commitments made in the all Wales Soundscape and Noise Action plan, published in April 2019
4. Given there have been at least two major road resurfacing operations adjacent to our section of A55 since November 2019, why hasn't our section been addressed under the general commitment of "The Welsh Government will look for opportunities to treat priority and proximity areas during routine maintenance activities and road improvement schemes" as stated on the April 2019 Action plan
5. What is the current plan or scheme to address the noise priority areas identified in the 2019 action plan and where does our section fit within this, with relevant timescales for delivery.
I can confirm that the Welsh Government holds information captured by your request. Please see information below in response to each question.
For question 1, there has been one road noise reduction scheme carried out in Wales since 14/11/19. This was on the A40 between Abergavenny and Raglan adjacent to The Bryn.
For question 2, the priority ratings will not change until the new Noise and Soundscape Action Plan for Wales is released for the 2023-28 period.
For question 3, noise mitigation schemes using barriers are very expensive to implement, and the Welsh Government is trialling other methods such as low-noise surfacing and possibly future speed reductions in order to achieve lower noise levels.
For question 4, I can confirm that funding was released at short notice, to address the deteriorating carriageway and unfortunately, it was not possible to complete modelling and a design for other noise mitigation within this timeframe. The adjacent resurfacing schemes were carried out due to the deterioration throughout the concrete carriageway and the defects arising particularly at the joints of the concrete slabs. The treatment was primarily required to remedy an increasing volume of safety related defects.
For your final question, the section of concrete carriageway has been resurfaced with low-noise surfacing and future concrete carriageway schemes will be similarly treated. With regard to other mitigation in the form of noise barriers or speed restrictions, it was announced on 10 February that a North Wales transport Commission will be established:
The Commission will consider a variety of issues relating to transport including environmental effects such as air quality and noise. The Deputy Minister for Climate Change wants to see solutions developed in line with sustainable transport models which will lower carbon dioxide as well as other environmental effects such as noise, in line with Llwybr Newydd, the Wales Transport Strategy.
If you are dissatisfied with the Welsh Government’s handling of your request, you can ask for an internal review within 40 working days of the date of this response. Requests for an internal review should be addressed to the Welsh Government’s Freedom of Information Officer at: Information Rights Unit, Welsh Government, Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NQ or Email: Freedom.firstname.lastname@example.org. Please remember to quote the ATISN reference number above.
You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. However, please note that the Commissioner will not normally investigate a complaint until it has been through our own internal review process.