Highways England recently visited Amber Valley and went on a tour of the key noise hotspots with me.
Their noise specialist, Ian Holmes, attended alongside their regional manager for this area, Kamaljit Khokhar, and I took them to noise hotspots in Ripley, Alfreton, Swanwick and Coxbench. Whilst in Coxbench, we met with some of the residents whose homes are most affected by the problem there, so that they could convey their concerns, suggest possible measures to alleviate the issues and highlight the importance of some improvements being made soon.
I also relayed the problems and hotspots constituents emailed me about in anticipation of the visit and tour. In particular, I stressed the desire for more noise barriers near affected sites in Amber Valley. Although there are no plans for these at the moment, as Highways England insist bunds or barriers wouldn’t be effective due to the elevation of the A38 in some places in the constituency, they agreed to keep investigating their viability.
The resurfacing target of over the next few years is still on course, as the current tarmac/surfacing deteriorates. Unfortunately, the current noisy surface is the long-lasting Hot Rolled Asphalt, which means that Highways England have a deadline of 2020 to do the resurfacing in Amber Valley. Nevertheless, during the tour, we did notice the degradation of some of the noise barriers near Ripley and Lower Kilburn, and a loose manhole cover on the A38 near Alfreton which was causing extra noise for residents of Derwent Grove in particular. Ian and Kamaljit have ordered for these to be repaired, and the manhole cover has now been permanently fixed.
I will continue to put pressure on Highways England and on the Government to deliver improvements as soon as possible to reduce the awful impact A38 noise has on many residents in Amber Valley.