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Highways Agency: Noise

Volume 476: debated on Thursday 22 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much has been allocated to the Highways Agency for noise reduction measures in each of the three financial years from 2008-09; and what proportion of the Highways Agency's budget this represents in each year. (207222)

The Highways Agency's budget includes an annual £5 million ring-fenced allocation for noise mitigation measures in the most serious and pressing cases, where practical and cost-effective measures can be provided. These measures are applied to the entire strategic road network. This annual allocation for noise mitigation is scheduled to continue until the end of the current spending review period i.e. 2010-11.

Noise mitigation measures are also included in the agency's improvement schemes, where warranted, as it is more cost-effective to do this work concurrently with other scheme works. The cost of these works is subsumed within the overall cost of the individual schemes making it difficult to extract the exact figure allocated to noise mitigation without a disproportionate commitment of resources.

Additionally low noise surfacing materials are used as a matter of course when major maintenance is required on the strategic road network. As the noise reduction results are a secondary benefit it would be inappropriate to assign costs from resurfacing to noise reduction alone.