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Innovative plan to cut M40 noise moves forward
12:20pm Tuesday 3rd September 2013 in News
THE battle to cut M40 noise which has blighted the lived of residents in Bucks has taken a major step forward.
A feasibility study into a groundbreaking new noise barrier, which should both cut traffic noise and generate electricity from solar energy, has been completed.
The study was the result of a partnership between local campaign group M40 Chilterns Environmental Group (M40CEG), Wycombe District Council and the Highways Agency.
Councillor Jean Teesdale, Cabinet Member for the Environment at Wycombe District Council said: "Having encouraged M40CEG from the outset, we are excited that the Highways Agency can see the opportunity this solution could have. This not only has the potential to reduce traffic noise and solve a local problem, but also to generate renewable energy.
"None of this would be possible without local communities, local and central government all working together to find a new way to solve an old problem."
The proposed noise barrier, that converts solar energy into electricity would be the first of its kind in England.
The Highways Agency will now consult with the community and continue to develop the plan.
Ginny Clarke, Chief Highway Engineer at the Highways Agency, added: "We've been impressed by the professionalism, energy and organisation this partnership has put in to drive the work to this point.
"We are committed to our environmental responsibilities and now we’re going to take the idea to the next step by looking in real detail how we could use these barriers, which, if constructed, would be a first on roads managed by the Highways Agency."
People living alongside parts of the M40 in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire have been affected by traffic noise for many years. M40CEG has been campaigning locally and working closely with neighbouring parish councils and local district councils (Wycombe District Council and South Oxfordshire District Council) for some years as a result.
A copy of the feasibility study can be downloaded at www.wycombe.gov.uk
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