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Campaigners slam needless noise maps

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MINISTERS ARE wasting money developing 'noise maps' for British towns instead of implementing already agreed noise reduction strategies, antipollution campaigners said this week.

They were responding to the launch by the Department for the Environment Food & Rural Affairs of a major study to produce 'noise maps' for 20 UK towns, cities and regions.

The aim is to complete the study by early 2007.

We've already had an ambient noise strategy for some years that has gone nowhere and we are way behind, ' said UK Noise Association secretary Val Weedon. 'We would rather the money was spent on taking action now.

'The noise maps are going to be a useful tool in the long term but we are concerned about the time it's going to take to get these maps in place.

'We know where the action needs to be taken and there are a number of things that can be done now for which you don't have to do noise maps.' She pointed to the use of quiet road surfaces such as porous asphalt and noise barriers at the side of the road as two such measures.

Consultants were appointed this week to produce the noise maps and a DEFRA spokeswoman said that the department would work closely with the Highways Agency and Department for Transport before publishing the noise maps in 2007.

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