The purpose of this consultation is to seek views on three draft Noise Action Plans for roads (including major roads), railways (including major railways) and agglomerations (large urban areas). These Action Plans have been prepared by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to meet the terms of the Environmental Noise (England) Regulations 2006, as amended, which transpose the Environmental Noise Directive (END).
The END requires Member States to produce strategic noise maps every five years, designed to show the number of people exposed to various levels of transport and industrial noise.
It also requires Member States to prepare Noise Action Plans, based upon the noise mapping results, which must be consulted on before adoption. These Action Plans include details of the process for identifying Important Areas (noise ‘hotspots’) and an approach for identifying and managing quiet areas in agglomerations.
Responses should be sent to the consultation email box: NoiseAPConsultation@defra.gsi.gov.uk, or by post to:
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
17 Smith Square
London SW1P 3JR
If you would like to receive hard copies of these documents, you may call 020 7238 5931 and they will be sent to you in due course. Your response should then be sent to the above address.
What Happens Next
The consultation responses will be evaluated and, where appropriate, the draft Action Plans will be amended. Defra intends to formally adopt the Actions Plans in early 2014, following which, summaries of the Action Plans will be submitted to the European Commission in line with the reporting timetable set out in the END. The Action Plans will then be implemented following the process described. In line with the terms of the END and the Regulations, the Action Plans will be valid for a five year period from the date of their adoption. The Action Plans shall be reviewed, and revised if necessary, when a major development occurs affecting the existing noise situation, and at least every five years after the date of their approval. To comply with the Regulations, Defra will also keep the identification of quiet areas under review and make revisions where considered appropriate.
We also plan to publish a report in early 2014, which will set out the progress made on implementing the Round 1 Noise Action Plans.