I have received a letter from Highways England in response to my recent enquiries about noise barriers on the M4:
29 December 2015
Dear Mr Redwood
Thank you for your letter addressed to Jim O’Sullivan (Chief Executive of Highways England) of 25 November 2015 regarding the M4 junction J3-J12 smart motorway project.
As this issue falls within my area of responsibility, Jim O’Sullivan has asked me to reply to you personally on this matter.
I am sorry to hear your concerns that the proposed noise barriers are not as extensive as you and your constituents would like.
As you will recall from our previous correspondence the scheme proposals include additional lengths of noise barrier either side of Mill Lane Bridge, Sindlesham. On the westbound side there will be an additional 50m length across the bridge. On the eastbound side there will be an additional 200m length, which again crosses the bridge and includes lengths on both approaches. We will also provide low noise surfacing across all lanes.
An assessment of the effects of noise reflections from the barriers has been undertaken as part of the modelling work we have carried out for the scheme. This assessment, which includes the positive impact of low-noise surfacing, has demonstrated that these measures will provide appropriate levels of noise mitigation between junction 11 and junction 10.
We are, however, also currently carrying out a further study looking at potential enhanced noise mitigation within the scheme corridor. The areas of Shinfield, Earley, Emmbrook, Whitley Wood, Sindlesham and Winnersh are included in this enhanced mitigation study. This study will assess benefits against cost. We expect to have the results in January 2016 and we will let you know the outcome of this.
Director of Major Projects