§ Mr. Jamieson
[holding answer 3 July 2001]: As indicated in the reply of my predecessor's my right hon. Friend the Member for Streatham (Mr. Hill) of 30 October 2000, Official Report, column 306w, the Department has a continuing involvement in negotiating EU Directives in the reduction of noise emitted by new vehicles. These measures have already delivered a substantial reduction in noise levels from new vehicles and these measures will bring improvements as the vehicle fleet is renewed.
The Department was involved in negotiating an EU Directive to limit tyre noise, this being the dominant source of noise from traffic at speeds above 40 mph. The Directive was adopted very recently.
In addition, the 10-Year Plan for Transport, published in July last year, will enable the Highways Agency to install by 2011 quieter surfaces on over 60 per cent. of the national road network including all concrete stretches. The Highways Agency will also provide over the next 10 years other measures such as noise barriers in some of the worst and most pressing cases where there is no immediate need for the road to be resurfaced.