Highways England very poor at organizing, the leaflet that was sent to residents not all received one, showed M6 joins M54 around Manchester it doesn’t the M54 is below Birmingham.

Meeting with Kate Bernie, they didn’t know the stretch from 18 to 19 was already being resurfaced in low noise tarmac and said it will all be re-laid again!

This work was carried out without notifying residents that it was being done at night, and involved grinding the surface off very noisy,  and when complaints were made said they didn’t realise there were houses nearby,

Plans did show a short length of noise barrier to protect the property called the haven on oak tree lane, this property was demolished some 12 months ago. Stated if the house is gone then we won’t install barrier. (on an e-mail)

So you can see why we don’t have any faith in highways England. To address our concerns.

At the meeting at Sandbach town hall it was pointed out that residents have a problem with the noise level and pollution, subsequently we have sent highways England documents and the last one sent to all parties that include details of both the defra and design documents, and links to the noise and pollution barriers used in Europe. No acknowledgment has been received from highways.

We have spoken to one of the companies that supplied the noise barriers and they said they supply various types of panels the best one reduces the noise level by 47decibels.this was also passed on to Kate Bernie. By Mike Hodge chairman of Cranage parish council

Highways England stance so far is to ignore they have a problem this flies in the face of their own design document that says they should be aiming to achieve the world health organization target of 55 decibels , and that absorptive panels should be considered.

They go on to say that the pollution is not there problem but one for Cheshire east to consider.

Defras own documents shows the noise levels along the m6 corridor to be above the safe level , and whilst we are on that subject the design document says it’s not recommended to obtain noise level data from a low noise surface if the road is wet , no doubt this increases the level of noise. And doesn’t give them the lower readings they want.

The supreme court upholds the view on pollution and has levied a fine for every day that we are in breach and the recent revelations about car emissions now bring into doubt the government’s own pollution figures that have been used for computer modelling of pollution.

The minister issued a directive that says no impact assessment is required but he is misled by civil servants, the defra document and the highways design document state, if any road or motorway is to have further continuous running lanes added then an impact assessment is mandatory, this in turn would prompt action to be addressed on both the noise levels and pollution. The minister has been advised wrongly on this matter. The Hansard document backs this statement  up also .

This is the wording taken from hansard document page 6 planning controls

When proposing the construction of a new road, or an additional carriageway to an

existing road, a noise impact assessment must be carried out. For large scale projects,

an Environmental Impact Assessment is required by law, which would include a noise

impact assessment. In addition, the Highways Agency requires a noise impact

assessment to be undertaken if there is an expected increase of 1 dB LA10,18h.

There is a clear difference between an environmental impact assessment and an environmental assessment, an impact assessment means it triggers a full-blown look at all the aspects from when the motorway was first built to the projected use after the smart motorway is built. An environmental assessment only looks at the projected noise level over and above the existing level now.

The m6 was built in the early 60s it was not designed to take the traffic volume it now does and no effort was put into noise or pollution control at that time.

What do. Residents want?

First and foremost that highways England except there is a noise and pollution problem. And stop trying to hide behind the statement that the projected noise level will not be significantly increased so no impact assessment is required.. And that they look at the levels expected back in the sixty’s and the levels now and the expected future levels

Put forward a detail plan on what they propose to do to cut the noise level and pollution to the WHO required level, 55 decibels which also complies with the EU requirements. The details of which have been circulated before.

Cost of doing something should not come into play, resident’s health and life expectancy is paramount, and the present cost to the NH’s and the economy by the loss of life runs into billions.  Every one of us here today are suffering from noise pollution and the effects of the air pollution goes even further, each one of us can expect health problems and a possible shorter life expectancy all from this pollution. This is all backed up from WHO, and EU documents and other studies carried out by eminent bodies.

It angers residents that the highways state that the pollution aspect is not there problem but one for Cheshire east to respond to, yet if a factory was producing this much pollution and let’s not forget some of which is carcinogenic Cheshire east would serve a probation notice and shut it down. It is also significant that by placing it at Cheshire east it means that the EU can fine Cheshire east on a daily basis for exceeding the levels etc , placing a further financial burden on an already stretched local authority.

We have always been told every time that a proposal has been put forward to alter the M6 over the last 25 years that noise problems would be addressed now it seems to be being ignored and only token gestures being put forward.

Doing nothing is not an option

Please feel free to forward and share with friends and neighbours that are affected .