I have been asked to remind residents about the state of play on M4 motorway noise and improvements.
The central government is responsible for the M4 as it is a national route. Wokingham Council is responsible for the A329 M and other local roads. This year the government has announced its intention to turn the M4 junctions 3 to 12 into a managed motorway. This will entail converting the hard shoulder into an additional lane and putting in information and speed control systems like the M25 western section. Variable speed limits will be used to improve traffic flows.
I attended one of their formal consultation exhibitions to speak to the staff and have followed up with written and oral submissions to the Highways Agency and the Secretary of State. I stressed the need to take noise mitigation measures, to include resurfacing with noise reducing materials and to place noise reducing barriers where these would cut the noise in people’s homes.
I received a letter from the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency confirming that their consultation “will identify any (noise) mitigation measures required. This may include the use of noise barriers made of materials which absorb noise like those close to Junction 10, and low noise road surfacing.” I also received a later confirmation that they would use noise reducing materials for a resurfacing.
I have kept residents up to date with these developments through these local pages. There are entries on March 28th, May 20th and June 19th with the details. I also urged people to write in to the Highways Agency to respond to their consultation on the managed motorway idea, as it always helps to have confirmation that many people are worried about highway noise.