The ongoing concern pertaining to traffic noise levels to the rear of residential properties adjoining the Athlone relief road was a pertinent issue for discussion at a recent meeting of Athlone Moate Municipal District.
Raising the motion, Town Mayor, Cllr. Frankie Keena, noted that the traffic noise generated to the rear of such residential areas was “incredible” as he called upon the Council executive to urgently request Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII ) carry out a survey to ascertain the need to erect relevant noise barriers in the interest of public health and safety
“This ongoing traffic noise issue is of a vast health and safety concern for those residents effected in this regard and I would like to have TII conduct a relevant survey as a matter of urgency.
“I am of the opinion that the traffic noise being created is beyond standard decibel levels and in many cases, it is immensely difficult to conduct a conversation while standing in the back gardens of the residential estates effected,” Cllr. Keena stated.
Echoing similar sentiments, Cllr. John Dolan, noted that it was not the responsibility of a housing developer to conduct such a survey with the onus upon TII to provide same.
“We must urgently correspond with TII on foot of Cllr. Keena’s motion as it is simply not acceptable that residents are subjected to such levels of traffic noise and a barrier, where required, needs to be erected. It is a perennially busy relief road, both day and night,” Cllr. Dolan remarked.
Noting the higher volumes of traffic now using the relief road, Cllr. Aengus O’Rourke, acknowledgef that many local residential estates were impacted by such traffic noise.
“I can think of Priory Park for instance and also, the proposed Brawny estate development which will run parallel to the motorway. How will this be impacted? Yes, there are indeed a few pertinent questions which we, as a Council, must put to TII in this regard,” Cllr. O’Rourke added.
Responding, Director of Services, Barry Kehoe, acknowledged that while the relief road did alleviate traffic in the town centre, the traffic noise which is created on the particular route was detrimental to those living in close proximity.
“I agree members, there is work to be done in this regard and it may or may not include the erection of noise barriers in future times. However, going forward, all proposed housing developments shall include details of traffic noise management as part of the planning process,” Mr. Kehoe emphasised.