Petition - Reduce the traffic noise and air pollution on Romsey Road, Eastleigh, caused by the large volume of heavy lorries

Response from Hampshire County Council, October 2018

Thank you for your letter dated 12 September 2018 and enclosed petition regarding vehicular noise and air pollution along Romsey Road, Eastleigh.

Hampshire County Council is highway authority with responsibility for the efficient use, management and maintenance of the local highway network including Romsey Road.

Romsey Road is an A Class Road, forming an important link between within Eastleigh Town Centre and the wider highway network and suitable for the use by heavy good vehicles.

Whilst there is some congestion during peak hours, this is to be expected on a town centre road and generally Romsey Road operates within its design capacity. Road maintenance data shows that the road is generally in good condition. A total of eight patch repairs have been carried out in the last couple of years, notably, three of these have been around metalwork (covers/grates). The presence of covers could contribute to noise, but are difficult to avoid in a town centre location. There is one outstanding manhole cover awaiting repair shortly. Hampshire County Council has a long term strategy to make roads more resilient to the effects of extreme weather and heavy traffic. At present Romsey Road has not been identified for planned maintenance works.

Romsey Road benefits from a 30mph speed limit which is indicated by the system of street lighting that is in place. The County Council comply with Department for Transport criteria in setting speed limits that are both self explaining and self compliant. Speed limits reflect and build upon the natural reactions of drivers to the environment that surrounds them, to present an enforceable regime that the majority of drivers will respect and appreciate. Traffic speed enforcement is the responsibility of the Police and where you believe traffic is travelling noticeably above the speed limit I recommend that you report your concerns directly to the Police to consider the appropriate level of enforcement.

In summary, the road is of good repair, operating within design capacity, has a speed limit of 30 mph and is suitable for all vehicles.

Road noise is a complex and emotive subject and legislation, guidance and advice is not prescriptive. Traffic noise is expressly excluded from Part III of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 which means the County Council has no direct responsibility in relation to road noise on existing roads. Whilst there is no legal limit to road noise, levels are taken into account when new roads are planned. The low speed of the road would minimise noise and the property concerned is some 14 metres away from the road. The impact of road noise for future residents of the development would have been a material consideration in the determination of the planning application by Eastleigh Borough Council.

Romsey Road is within an Air Quality Management Area, which has been designated and is monitored by Eastleigh Borough Council, as this comes within their responsibilities under Environmental Health.

For further information regarding the consideration of noise and air quality impacts, residents are advised to contact the borough council and contact details are available at the following website I have notified Eastleigh Borough Council of your petition and will forward a copy of this response.

I trust this answers your concerns.

Yours sincerely

Cllr R Humby
Executive Member for Environment and Transport