RAG have issued this letter to all the residents who responded to the survey they carried out, copy at the bottom of this article .
Chairman of RAG Peter Wild said it’s now apparent that highways did not comply with the 600 metre distance for consultation, this deprived many residents including most of Northwich road along with byley lane, middlewich road, kings lane and oak tree lane plus others.
And that the fact that their own documents now show us that 1500 addresses each of which is allocated a noise level predicted by a computer to show the present level , not one address was below the 40 decibels for night time noise recommended by the WHO and the directive from theEU , and their own predicted levels on completion of the so called smart motorway do not go down.
Miles and miles of Tillon acoustic fences have been installed along the M40 some in areas very similar to the housing density of cranage, so why are we being treated differently ,yet highways will not even engage with RAG or the Parish Council in any further dialog.
Just to make clear RAG are not trying to stop the M6 we never have, but just want highways to address the problem for the benefit of the health of the residents and our children.
It was acknowledged in 1994 that a problem existed even then, and the proposed solution was a fence on an embankment, now we have the option of using noise absorbing panels, yet highways say there isn’t a problem this despite their own figures saying different.
Let me just say this, every one of the 1500 addresses possible some 3000 residents their health is being compromised ,they may not be showing symptoms in whatever form but just read the 184 page document from the WHO night time noise, and all the studies that have been carried out and the results.
Things can be improved it needs the political will do it, and for residents to be heard.
RAG have a meeting planned with our MP Fiona Bruce to discuss the FOI documents and I personally will be speaking to a barrister to see what legal options are open to me.
RAG update July 2018
You may well be aware that RAG, in conjunction with the Parish Council, applied for a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to Highways England (HE) over the M6 upgrade to a Smart Motorway.
We have now received this information and on initial inspection some quite startling matters have come to light. These are listed below.
1. HE should have taken into account all residential properties within a 600 metres distance from the M6, not the 300 metres that they insisted was correct. Whilst HE has apologised for this, it doesn’t rectify the fact that all those affected should have been notified and given the opportunity to apply for or be considered for mitigation.
2. HE have supplied 1,500 residential addresses along the proposed upgrade from J16 to J19 that falls into the 600 meters distance from the motorway, along with their computer derived noise levels for each one; not a single address was below the level for night time noise that the world health organisation (WHO)1 states should be no more than 40 decibels. This is also adopted by the European union (EU) and is a directive issued to all EU members. Given that the HE documents show 1,500 addresses it safe to assume that a conservative estimate is that more than 3,000 residents are being put at risk on a daily basis.
3. HE’s stance is that as the carriageways are not being increased in width, they are not making things any worse. However, in the instance of converting to an “all lane running” situation, which is a feature of Smart Motorways, this is deemed to increase the width of the carriageway, and as such it can be strongly argued that they will make things worse, especially given the predicted increase in traffic flow and the long term problem that these higher noise levels will create.
.WHO also go on to list the effects on health and mortality rates which include effects on blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease and diabetes and they list a number of other factors that are detrimental to general health. They have also carried out studies on children that show a link to ADHD and other problems including aggressive behaviour.
They also restate that anything above 40 decibels is shown to have direct link to the health of individuals.
RAG are currently exploring what actions can now be taken forward. However, it looks likely, due to the reluctance of HE as stated in their covering letter that accompanied the FOI documents to engage in dialog with either RAG or the parish council, that it is likely to be of a legal nature. Going down the legal route will most likely require raising a considerable sum of money. Other options are to seek support from other organisations. We would welcome ideas from affected residents about how to proceed. If anyone can offer legal expertise it would be most welcome.
RAG still seek financial support if you feel you can help no matter how small the amount please get in touch!