Noise barriers given the OK

This Is Wiltshire: Solar barriers that also block noise may be introduced on stretches of the A419 Solar barriers that also block noise may be introduced on stretches of the A419

SOLAR barriers laid alongside a stretch of the A419 will be applied for by Swindon Council after cabinet approved the scheme.

The project will cost £2.6m for a 1.7km stretch of barriers, which will also act as a noise trap to stifle sounds of traffic affecting nearby properties.

The expected revenue from the solar scheme is around £140,000 per annum, meaning the cost would be recouped by earning £3.5m over the next 25 years.

A study is due to begin into the feasibility of a similar, far more expensive £11m solar barrier scheme along the M4 around Wichelstowe.

The A419 barriers will run from the Commonhead junction in the south to Blunsdon in the north, and is expected to reduce noise levels for around 700 homes.

The report produced for the cabinet’s consideration said: “There are over 200 households affected by noise levels above 60db where there is no existing noise barrier along the A419. Even where barriers exist, there are properties which are exposed to high noise levels.

“Noise barriers equipped with solar panels could provide a self-funded solution to the issue of high noise levels on trunk roads.”

The western side of the A419 has been deemed unsuitable for the barriers, and the proposals are for them to be laid on the eastern side.

The report continued: “The work has revealed further potential along the northern side of the M4 at Wichelstowe.

“Such a scheme is likely to cost in excess of £11m, but generate annual revenues of around £1.2m, given its favourable east-west orientation for solar generation.

“The 25 year lifespan of the project is therefore likely to generate revenues significantly in excess of the capital cost of the scheme, and include the benefit of providing a high level of noise protection to future communities at Wichel-stowe. Such a scheme would also represent a highly visible statement of Swindon’s future energy ambitions.”

Under the proposals Swindon Commercial Services would be commissioned and authorised to carry out the work into stakeholder engagement to get the project off the ground.

Two site locations have also been approved by cabinet following Wednesday’s meeting to further opportunities for solar farms to be constructed, at Common Farm in Wroughton, and Chapel Farm landfill site in Blunsdon.

Planning applications will now be submitted for both sites subject to public consultations.

Comments (3)

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11:45am Fri 25 Apr 14

Oik1 says...

And if you swallow that load of tosh and think there'll ever be a profit from it or it won't end up costing us all a tidy amount then bigger fool you.
And if you swallow that load of tosh and think there'll ever be a profit from it or it won't end up costing us all a tidy amount then bigger fool you. Oik1
  • Score: 3

2:33pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Itssomewheretowork says...

I think that I am missing something here. The plan is that their primary use are as noise barriers. The article states that the barriers will be built on the Eastern side of the A419 as the Western side is unsuitable for the barriers.
Virtually all the houses that are close another to have any benefit are on the western side of the A419 and noise barriers work by being placed between houses and the noise inducing traffic. This means that any house west of the A419 won't therefore have any noise reduction. In fact I would expect there to actually be a noise increase as some of the noise will bounce against the barriers on the eastside and bounce across the road to the houses on the west side.

There seems to be something that Swindon council are not telling us or if not they have made a fundamental mistake.
I think that I am missing something here. The plan is that their primary use are as noise barriers. The article states that the barriers will be built on the Eastern side of the A419 as the Western side is unsuitable for the barriers. Virtually all the houses that are close another to have any benefit are on the western side of the A419 and noise barriers work by being placed between houses and the noise inducing traffic. This means that any house west of the A419 won't therefore have any noise reduction. In fact I would expect there to actually be a noise increase as some of the noise will bounce against the barriers on the eastside and bounce across the road to the houses on the west side. There seems to be something that Swindon council are not telling us or if not they have made a fundamental mistake. Itssomewheretowork
  • Score: 3

11:05pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Eastern Badger says...

Studies in US and Europe show there will be appreciable noise bounce. This is an expensive scheme and even if the Solar PV's are guaranteed for 25 years (which I doubt) then the Eastern side of A419 in Wanborough has many deep watercourses just off the dual carriageway - either they will build the 3m sound barrier on 5m stilts or they will build so close to the carriageway it will obscure all Highways signage. It really defies belief that 'cabinet' or council would swallow this idea - on the M4 there is a case but here is just a Wi-Fi debacle waiting it happen. Most of Covingham already has a sound barrier apart from the section where archaeological remains prevented it and unless these solar barriers float in the air it will be the same.
Studies in US and Europe show there will be appreciable noise bounce. This is an expensive scheme and even if the Solar PV's are guaranteed for 25 years (which I doubt) then the Eastern side of A419 in Wanborough has many deep watercourses just off the dual carriageway - either they will build the 3m sound barrier on 5m stilts or they will build so close to the carriageway it will obscure all Highways signage. It really defies belief that 'cabinet' or council would swallow this idea - on the M4 there is a case but here is just a Wi-Fi debacle waiting it happen. Most of Covingham already has a sound barrier apart from the section where archaeological remains prevented it and unless these solar barriers float in the air it will be the same. Eastern Badger
  • Score: 3

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