"Earlier this year, following representations from my constituents who live near the A303 in Andover, Cllr Marion Kerley and I were in touch with the Highways Agency who have responsibility for the road. The Agency said they would undertake a noise study to see whether the noise was such that it would qualify for relief, in the form of acoustic barriers."
"The study has now been completed and it shows that, along certain stretches, the noise is such that it qualifies for help; but the Agency say that there are 40 other "hotspots" in Southern England, and there is no prospect of help within five years because of pressure on the Budget."
"So there is good news and bad news. The good news is that this stretch of road is now on the Agency's radar, and it is on their list of priorities. The bad news is that nothing is planned to happen before 2010."
"I don't regard this as an acceptable outcome; I want to consult with my constituents who live along the road, with local councillors - in particular Marion Kerley - and see how we can make faster progress. The road is getting noisier and noisier as traffic levels and speeds increase; no action is unacceptable. I will be holding a meeting with the Highways Agency to discuss the way forward."
Report reproduced below.
A303 Andover: Traffic Noise Assessment
1 Introduction and Background
Following a number of letters from residents in the district of Andover about traffic noise from the A303, the Agency undertook a noise study to assess whether the calculated level of noise in the area is severe enough to consider the provision of acoustic barriers.
Within the overall geographical location of Andover and district, the study area is defined as being within a noise contour of 68dB, which is the level at which noise is considered to become a nuisance.
The study expresses the noise level as a Noise Severity Index (NSI), the definition of which is set out in the following methodology. The purpose of the NSI is to allow meaningful comparisons of traffic noise to be made across the Highways Agency’s network and from which priorities can then be determined using the index as a basis.
To enable a consistent approach to be applied across the Highways Agency’s network nationwide, there is a specified methodology for the assessment. This is a desktop exercise using an adaptation of the standard method for the calculation of traffic noise in the UK, the Calculation of Road Traffic Noise (CRTN), DoT technical memorandum. CRTN is a method based on measurements adjacent to a large number of roads and involving many and varied traffic conditions.
The method takes the annual average traffic flow, speed, % heavy vehicles, road surface type/texture and gradient to calculate a basic noise level close to the kerb. The result includes the effects of a light wind blowing from the road toward properties and reflection from the facades of the properties of concern. All figures quoted in this report follow this method.
Traffic noise can fluctuate widely on an hourly, daily and seasonal basis and also with weather conditions, therefore the collection of sufficient statistically valid data at an appropriate spacing over a wide area by actual noise monitoring would not be practical or economic.
The method requires that the severity of noise be described using a Noise Severity Index (NSI). This is a complex function of calculated noise level, the proportion of the population affected by the noise level and the local population density.
3 The A303 at Andover
The Andover bypass was opened in 1969. The entire road is surfaced with a Hot-Rolled Asphalt (HRA). The section of the road to the west of Barlows Lane was re-surfaced in 1998 with HRA. This is expected to last for some 15 to 20 years, thus is unlikely to require full width re-surfacing for some time. The condition of the remainder is presently sound except for relatively short sections of various lanes. These will be patched with a noise-reducing material but the overall benefits to the adjacent areas are unlikely to be significant.
4 Study Results
The NSI varies according to housing density and proximity of dwellings to the carriageways. The residential area of Andover adjacent to the A303 has therefore been divided into sections in accordance with the prescribed methodology.
4.1 A3093 Picket Twenty Junction to A3057 Winchester Road Junction
Along this section of the A303, the calculated distance to the 68dB contour is approximately 80 metres. The nearest dwellings to the road are in South End Road and Herons Rise, some 230 metres to the north. These lie well outside of the defined study area boundary, thus the NSI for this section is zero and noise mitigation measures cannot be considered under the current programme.
4.2 A3057 Winchester Road Junction to A343 (southbound) Junction
4.2.1 North side: Winchester Road to Barlows Lane
Some dwellings in Barlows Lane, Apsley Close, Murray Close, Beresford Close, Anglesey Close and Conholt Road lie within the defined study area. The ground slopes from east to west so that the propagation of noise is constrained to some extent by the cutting shoulder at the eastern end of this section. At the western end, the road runs on an embankment and noise levels are therefore higher.
The NSI for this section is 33.4.
4.2.2 North side: Footpath underpass to Salisbury Road
Some dwellings in Leyton Way and The Ramparts lie within the defined study area boundary. Those at the eastern end of Leyton Way and The Ramparts are protected to some extent by an extensive earth bund.
The NSI for this section is 20.8
4.2.3 North side: Salisbury Road to the A343 junction
Some dwellings in Floral Way lie within the defined study area.
The NSI for this section is 17.7
4.2.4 South side, whole section
This overall section is adjacent to the village of Upper Clatford, for which an assessment was made in 2002. The original calculations have been reviewed but the conclusion remains the same, i.e. that the village lies outside of the defined study area limit of 68dB thus the NSI is zero and noise mitigation measures cannot be considered under the current programme.
4.3 A343 (southbound) junction to A343 (northbound) junction
4.3.1 North side: A343 south junction to Railway bridge
The recent development in this area is well protected by a bund/barrier presumably erected as a condition for planning consent and has not therefore been considered further.
4.3.1 North side: Railway bridge to Monxton Road
A 2m high noise barrier already exists at the top of the cut between Monxton Road and the northwest end of the playing field. Some dwellings in Monxton Road, Gallagher’s Mead, Shaw, Close Spruce Close and Cypress Close lie within the defined study area.
The NSI for this section is 11.5.
4.3.2 Southwest side: Railway bridge to A343 Monxton Rd
Some dwellings in Salmond Road lie within the prescribed study area.
The NSI for this section is 14.0
5 Priority for future action
About 40 individual noise hotspots within the Highways Agency area covering central southern England have been assessed in detail to date.
The results for Andover have been inserted into a table of these hotspots ranked in order of Noise Severity Index (table attached). The calculated values are such that the Andover sites fall some way down the priority list.
Under the present funding arrangements, it has only been possible to date to install mitigation measures (barriers) at the most seriously affected sites, generally those adjacent to motorways.
• The Noise Severity Index for various sections of the A303 adjacent to residential areas in Andover has been calculated in accordance with the specified methodology-CRTN DoT technical memorandum.
• The results have been compared to those for the many other noise hotspots in the central southern area of England. When placed in a list ranked in order of the Noise Severity Index, the sites on the north side of Andover are scattered around the mid position.
• The original calculations made for Upper Clatford in 2002 have been reviewed but the conclusion remains the same, i.e. that the village lies outside of the defined study area limit of 68dB thus the NSI is zero and noise mitigation measures cannot be considered under the current programme.
• Sites on the north side of the A303 can now be considered within the Agency’s value management process and assessed against other priorities on the network competing for the annual £5 million ring-fenced noise mitigation budget. It is unlikely that mitigation for the highest priority site on the A303 through Andover will be provided for at least five years given the funding situation and the need to provide mitigation at other sites of greater severity. In any case, this should not be taken as a firm commitment for Andover at this early stage of the process.
• The issue of potential noise reflection from barriers placed on the north side of the A303 opposite the village of Upper Clatford is being researched.
• The surface of the A303 through Andover is currently in a satisfactory condition and will not require resurfacing for some considerable time. When resurfacing is required, a lower noise surface will be used.
9 December 2005
SUMMARY OF NOISE SEVERITY INDICES FOR THE HA AREA OF CENTRAL SOUTHERN ENGLAND
(Indicating sites at Andover in bold)
Hotspot site side Noise
M3 Jct 4-4a Farnborough Street/Hawley NW (A3) 127.8
M3 Jct 4-4a Farnborough Street/Hawley SE (E2) 99.0
A27 Portsbridge, Hants N 92.5
M3 Jct 5-6 Basingstoke N 75.4
M3 Jct 4-4a Farnborough Street/Hawley NW (A2) 66.6
M3 J9 - 10 Winchester W 60.6
A3 Guildford: Deerbarn to Ash Grove N 58.5
A404 Marlow Bypass, Berks W 56.4
A27 Portsbridge, Hants N 44.2
A31 Ringwood, Hants S 42.3
M3 J3-4 Camberley, Berks N 42.2
A3 Guildford: Deerbarn to Ash Grove S 38.2
M3 J3-4 Camberley, Berks N 35.0
A3(M) Horndean/A3 Clanfield, Hants W 33.6
A303 Andover Winchester Rd-Barlows Lane N 33.4
M3 J3-4 Camberley, Berks S 33.0
A3(M) Horndean/A3 Clanfield, Hants E 32.1
A3(M) Horndean/A3 Clanfield, Hants W 32.0
M3 Jct 4-4a Farnborough Street/Hawley SE (E3) 30.5
A31 Ringwood, Hants N 27.6
A404 Marlow Bypass, Berks W 27.4
M3 J3-4 Camberley, Berks N 26.9
A31 Ringwood, Hants S 24.2
A31 Ringwood, Hants N 24.0
M3 J3-4 Camberley, Berks S 21.4
A303 Andover footpath up-Salisbury Road N 20.8
M27 Jct 1-2 Copythorne S 20.4
A404 Marlow Bypass, Berks E 19.9
M27 Jct 1-2 Copythorne S 18.1
A34 East Ilsley Bypass E 17.7
A303 Andover Salisbury Rd-A343 junction N 17.7
M3 j4a - 5 E 15.1
M27 j7 - 8 W 14.5
M27 j7 - 8 E 14.0
A303 Andover Railway Bridge-A343 Monxton Rd SW 14.0
M3 j4a - 5 E 13.6
A3(M) Bedhampton W 12.9
A303 Andover Railway Bridge-Monxton Road NE 11.5
M27 j7 - 8 W 10.9
A3 Ripley, Surrey S 9.5
M3 Jct 5-6 Basingstoke S 9.3
A3 Ripley, Surrey N 5.6
M27 Jct 1-2 Copythorne S 4.8
M3 Jct 5-6 Basingstoke S 4.4
A34 Litchfield E 3.8