§ Ms. Coffey
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport to what extent the use of noise-reducing road surfaces such as porous asphalt are used in the United Kingdom; what assessment he has made of the effect of using such road surfaces on the level of road noise on the mainland of Europe; and if he will consider introducing more of this type of surface.
§ Mr. Kenneth Carlisle
The use of noise-reducing surfaces in the United Kingdom has until recently been confined to full-scale road trials.
Contacts are well established between officials of the Department and other European countries that use these surfaces selectively depending on the site conditions. Assessment of the noise reduction effect of these surfaces indicates overseas performance similar to the United Kingdom trials.
A specification for porous asphalt which has particular noise-reducing characteristics is about to be issued by my Department. The material may now be used on trunk roads, including motorways, where it can be shown to be suitable and cost effective. At the same time other forms of surface treatment are being developed.
It is a matter for local highway authorities to decide the particular choice of surface for use on their own roads.