RESIDENTS IN Wiltshire are the latest to protest against 'excessive noise' from a concrete surfaced design, build, finance and operate road.
Around 60 residents in the village of Cricklade are angry about noise from the A419/A417 Swindon to Gloucester road. Their homes are outside the 300m zone affected by regulations governing road noise.
Protestors claim the high pitched whine made by tyres running over the concrete surface means house windows have to be kept closed up to 800m away.
Residents' spokesman Chris Blizzard has bombarded roads minister Lord Whitty and the Highways Agency with letters of complaint since the road opened in December 1997. But so far his claims have been dismissed.
He told NCE this week: 'I have been given all sorts of ridiculous excuses, including that the noise was bouncing off the clouds. But I am not going to lie down and let these guys tread all over us. If the Agency doesn't believe us I will get independent testing done.'
The protest follows similar stands made by residents close to the M1/A1 link road in Leeds (NCE 18 March) and the A30 between Exeter and Honiton (NCE 2 September), both of which are also concrete surfaced DBFO roads.
The Leeds residents successfully persuaded DBFO company Yorkshire Link to resurface a 2.5km stretch of the road with low noise bitumastic surfacing after surveys carried out by the operator showed noise levels to be 3dB higher than predicted.
Agency DBFO manager for the A419/A417 David Mills admitted that no noise monitoring had been carried out at Cricklade. He said neither the Agency nor DBFO concession company Road Management Services had plans to carry out surveys because noise insulation regulations apply only to properties within 300m of the new road.
'Obviously, concrete roads do have maintenance benefits but they are benefits to the country as a whole, not just the DBFO company,' he added.