Publication - FOI/EIR release

Transport Scotland M74 upgrade noise emissions levels: EIR release

Published: 21 May 2019

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

Published:
21 May 2019
Transport Scotland M74 upgrade noise emissions levels: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/19/00256
Date received: 21 Jan 2019
Date responded: 21 Feb 2019
Information requested

I undernote some extracts from Transport Scotland and The Roads Partnership concerning the M74 upgrade. It is confirmed that the noise emissions levels at Kirklands Hospital were established at the beginning of the M74 upgrade at 60 decibels and that noise emissions would be checked at year 5, 10 and 15 following the start of the project. Given that specimen locations were chosen to establish average noise levels it is reasonable to state that should such specimen averages increase then this would have implications for the full extent of the upgraded area.

1.  Have any of the required quinquennial assessments been carried out yet and if so what noise levels were detected?

2.  Given that the commencing noise level datum point ,established at 60 decibels linked with quinquennial reassessments, in effect means that noise levels cannot exceed 60 decibels on the upgraded section of the M74 then what measures would be put in place if testing shows noise levels have increased?

 

Response

1.  Have any of the required quinquennial assessments been carried out yet and if so what noise levels were detected?

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance Transport Scotland does not have the information you have requested. The year 1 Noise Assessment for the project commenced in July 2018 and is currently ongoing. Obtaining measurements is dependent on weather conditions such as road surfaces being dry in the measurement area and wind speeds at the time of measurement. Our contractor, Scottish Roads Partnership, plans to have the Year 1 noise assessment completed by May 2019. With the 5 year assessment being planned for May 2023 (5 years after the commencement of the year 1 assessment).
Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), Transport Scotland is not required to provide information which it does not have.

This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption. While we recognise there may be some public interest in if the noise level assessments have been carried out, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

2.   Given that the commencing noise level datum point, established at 60 decibels linked with quinquennial reassessments, in effect means that noise levels cannot exceed 60 decibels on the upgraded section of the M74 then what measures would be put in place if testing shows noise levels have increased?

A post construction ambient noise assessment will be carried out within 3 months of all snagging and completion works being completed. This will establish if the post-construction ambient noise levels exceed the pre-construction ambient noise levels or the levels reported in the Environmental Statement.
Upon completion of the post construction ambient noise assessment, should the noise levels exceed the levels measured in the pre-construction ambient noise assessment or those reported in the Environmental Statement, our contractor would be required to investigate, design and construct appropriate mitigation measures as appropriate to reduce noise levels to lower or equal to those recorded in the pre-construction ambient noise assessment or those in the Environmental Statement.

The results of the noise assessments at Year 1, and 5, 10 and 15 years thereafter, will be analysed to determine whether any properties would qualify for improved sound insulation under the Noise Insulation (Scotland) Regulations 1975. Measures will be taken in accordance with those regulations where properties are found to qualify.

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
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