8 Financial Considerations
8.1 Cost Benefit Analysis
The financial impact of noise on society has been estimated at between 0.2% to 2% of GDP. In addition the European Commission Green Paper (1996) noted noise contributes greatly to reducing city dwellers quality of life and can cause severe health problems. There is a clear benefit to society to reducing environmental noise. At the same time however, reducing noise levels will often involve interventions requiring significant expenditure and cost. Competent Authorities and their Key Partners within the working groups will therefore be required to develop sift criteria, and prioritisation matrix, for identifying areas of concern that need further detailed study, to determine whether practical and cost effective noise mitigation measures can be taken. In this way the budget can be allocated to permit such measures to be implemented where benefit is justified.
It is likely that it will be appropriate to develop a five year plan of appropriate interventions to achieve the desired target levels of improvement.
Useful criteria for consideration in developing any prioritisation matrix may include the following.
- Identifying the noisiest locations that affect the most people.
- Identifying the location of nearby sensitive buildings.
- Minimising whole life cost.
- Including interventions within existing maintenance and improvement programmes
- Minimising disruption.
It is envisaged a prioritisation will be developed by the working groups and their key partners. Thereafter a timetable and programme for a series of interventions would be agreed and included in the composite Action Plan. The interventions should identify the number of properties and people that would benefit, and the cost of the intervention.
8.2 Possible Intervention Measures
- Speed reduction measures where practicable.
- Traffic flow relocation measures.
- Consideration of all reasonably practicable mitigation measures..
- Traffic volume optimisation measures.
- Improvements to running surface where practicable
- Environmental barriers where practicable