Swindon Council taskgroup gives green light for Solar Sound Barrier!
Cllr Dale Heenan has been championing the idea of a Solar Sound Barrier along the A419 and M4 to help cut the noise of the roads for local residents, with the electricity generated being used to cover it’s cost. An official Swindon Borough Council task group, formed in October 2013 to investigate proposals, has now submitted it’s findings to the Cabinet with a recommendation to proceed. The cross political party task group of Councillors has identified,
- A £3.2m hybrid solar sound barrier for the A419 will generate £3.5m in income from electricity to cover the cost of an industry best practice 3m high noise barrier.
- A Sound Solar Barrier built along the M4 at East Wichel would cost £11 million, and generate £1.5 million from electricity sales a year
Cllr Dale Heenan, “For six months, a cross political party task Group has been working up the plans for a solar panel based Sound Barrier along the A419 and M4, and the results are in. Many people were understandably cynical about the idea of a Solar Sound Barrier along the A419 because of the roads orientation but we can demonstrate our approach is viable and could have positive implications for towns and villages across the uk.
We now have the evidence that there are over 200 households in Watermead, Merlin Way, Retingham way and Liden are affected by noise levels above 60 decibels where there is no existing noise barrier, that the existing Commonhead and St Paul’s Highways Agency built wooden fence is largely pointless and needs replacing, and that a £3.2m Hybrid Solar Solar Barrier is viable and can cover the cost of installation and maintenance through electricity sales.
The A419 work has demonstrated that an M4 East Wichel Solar Sound Barrier can work as a commercial project. I will be lobbying my Council and Cabinet colleagues to fast track these projects, but I hope the taskgroup’s work convinces them of the merits”