New A419 sound barrier campaign to be launched
Cllr Richard Hurley (left) and Cllr Dale Heenan (right)
Cllr Dale Heenan, “Noise from the A419 continues to be a problem for the local residents in Covingham, Liden and Watermead in Stratton who were not included in the 2009 Highways Agency construction along the A419.
Lorry watch to tackle the problem of lorries and HGV’s using Merlin Way in Covingham to cut through to Dorcan instead of using Oxford Road/Dorcan Way is due to finish this month, with the case for a weight restriction traffic regulation order hopefully demonstrated. This scheme was an idea I had while discussing Community Speed Watch with the Police last year and the concept lended itself to target HGV’s. After this was picked up by Covingham Parish before Christmas to run, I switched to thinking about the A419.
For the last few months I have been lobbying the Highways Agency to ask for their support in a new community led initiative to extend, and improve, the A419 sound barriers. I am pleased to say that earlier this month in a phone conversation with the person responsible for the A419 that I could investigating my ideas. I am currently chasing up for written confirmation!
I have kept this under wraps to avoid getting anyone’s hopes up unnecessarily. As a local Councillor, I find it more effective to try not to have a scatter gun approach but instead target a couple of issues, deliver on them then move onto the next. Tackling the A419 noise barriers is one of my next challenges….
The first idea is to use soil from the housing and employment developments which occur on the East of Swindon to create a noise bund. For example, the soil removed when foundations are created is normally excess and either disposed of or used for some kind of landscaping within the site. I’d like to see whether this soil, could instead be used to create a noise bund. This is a long term idea which would take several years to implement.
My second idea has a lot of promise. It is to install the UK’s first “solar sound barrier” along the A419. There are towns in Germany like Freiberg which have combined solar panels with sound barriers. The electricity generated by the solar panels covers the cost of the barriers and their maintenance, and in the right place earn a little profit!
If you would like to help take part in this initiative then please contact me!