Efforts to continue the successful management of noise from the roads and railways have taken a step forward with the launch of a new consultation.
Transport Scotland is seeking the views of the public and organisations on its latest five yearly draft action plan, which begins in 2019 and runs until 2023.
The action plan relates to traffic noise in areas of a particular population density outside of the four major cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen. Views are being sought up until the closing date of January 16th 2019.
Road traffic noise is one of the main contributors to environmental noise and associated health impact in Europe and the World Health Organisation considers it to be one of five noise sources which impacts on public health (the others being railway, aircraft, wind turbine and leisure noise).
Transport Scotland aims to manage noise linked to roads and railway consistently and is currently finalising the Transportation Noise Action Plan (TNAP). This is a major requirement under the EU Environmental Noise Directive (END) for the next five years.
The directive came about in 2004 and member states should aim to avoid, prevent or reduce on a prioritised area basis, the harmful effects due to environmental noise.
In Scotland, this is achieved through the Environmental Noise (Scotland) Regulations 2006.
Specific action plans relating to noise are being prepared so that action plans can be laid down to prioritise how they are managed. With rounds one and two of the END having been completed, work on the third round is now under way.
Rounds one and two of the noise mapping took place across Scotland in 2007 and the results can be found here
Consultation on the action plans for the areas of particular population density in the four aforementioned cities began in October 2018, and ended in November 2018. Airports are taking forward their own noise action plans separately.
The Transport Noise Action Plan – which relates to areas outside these major cities – runs for six weeks with the responses evaluated and where appropriate, draft noise action plans amended. They are likely to be approved early in 2019 and the summaries of the Noise Action Plans will then be submitted to the European Commission in time for the deadline stipulated by the European Noise Directive.
If they are then adopted by END and Scottish legislation, they will run for five years. The only changes that are likely to occur would be if there was a major development requiring review and revision.
To take part in the consultation before January 16th 2019 follow this link here