Kapiti residents plan direct action as motorway noise problems continue

News from Expressway Noise Action Group
Kapiti residents have been told there is little chance of respite from the expressway noise in the medium term.

NZTA have employed two consultants, a PR specialist and a Planner, to field all noise enquiries and are refusing to answer noise related questions.

Expressway Noise Action Group spokesperson Nick Fisher has released a list of action points that NZTA have committed to, but noted: “There is no mention of a commitment to reduce noise, nor an acceptance that there is a problem. If NZTA spent as much on solving the problems as they spend on consultants to tell us there isn’t a noise problem, there wouldn’t be a problem.”

An email from the NZTA stated they are planning the following:

• We will provide a low-noise asphalt surface along the section of the expressway that currently has chip-seal surface. This work will be completed in the summer of 2017 / 2018.
• We are liaising with the trucking industry to implement measures to reduce morning-and-night-time noise disturbance.
• We will begin monitoring the expressway noise with a specialised noise camera this month to identify individual heavy vehicle operators using engine brakes in areas that may cause disturbance.
• We are reviewing the requirement of advisory signs to limit engine braking in built up areas.
• We are reviewing the requirement of / feasibility off additional bridge joint noise mitigation to reduce noise made as vehicles drive over these joints.
• We are reviewing key areas along the expressway where rumble strips near residences can be removed, without impacting driver safety.
• Carry out early compliance noise monitoring to verify the effectiveness of existing noise mitigation on predicted noise levels.
• Set up an independent panel of experts to consider and report back, within the next three months, that we did enough work to meet the NZ Standard 6802, as required under the resource consent.

When asked to explain what measures the trucking industry could take, and what is meant by ‘we are reviewing the requirement of’, Craig Pitchford from NZTA refused to do so and deflected questions to their new consultants. The consultants, who are not acoustics experts, also could not answer.

“They are still not getting it,” Nick said. “Taking a further 3 months and hundreds of thousands of dollars to check compliance with the standard, doesn’t reduce the noise. No-one we have contacted at NZTA or NZ Standards can explain what the purpose of the standard is, and whether this has been achieved.

“We don’t care about the standard, we care about our health and our right to a decent night’s sleep. Until NZTA take the problem seriously, we will be taking further direct action.”

 

3 comments:

  1. glenn bond, 11. August 2017, 15:05

    Here’s a thought. As you have have had issues with this road from day 1…shift.

     
  2. Esjay, 11. August 2017, 17:50

    In Queensland, wooden fences are constructed along the motorways. In Italy and China, acoustic noise absorbent fences are constructed to give relief to residents. By the way Glenn, no one is required to shift their homes! The onus to remedy the noise falls onto the local authority. But I venture to say it’s not in their budget.

     
  3. Coaster, 14. August 2017, 14:59

    I’m appalled that in this day and age a road can be built that is noisier than the one it is replacing. It scares me that authorities and those in charge of projects like this can hide behind outdated standards. Meeting the minimum is not showing due care for the health and well being of communities. This is a National problem that can and will affect the entire country. If you think it couldn’t happen to you think again – a lot of people affected by this expressway have owned their properties from when this thoroughfare was designated as a local two lane road.

     

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