Call to cut freeway noise


MEMBERS of a Safety Beach action group are frustrated that VicRoads has done little to curb increased traffic noise on the Mornington Peninsula Freeway.

They say the noise deprives them of sleep, causes health issues and has lowered their standard of living.

The group is holding an open forum meeting to discuss their issues at Rosebud Country Club, Boneo Road, 6.30pm for 7pm, Wednesday 30 May.

Organiser Wayne Ashby said VicRoads had “failed the people of the Mornington Peninsula in addressing traffic noise” – and especially those living in Safety Beach, Dromana, McCrae and Rosebud.

“It is now very evident that the issue of, and lack of, noise attenuation on one of the oldest freeways in Victoria is purely political and demonstrates that VicRoads cannot see the forest for the trees when it comes to their rigid application of regulatory guidelines governing noise.”

Mr Ashby said VicRoads’ noise guidelines were outdated while other states, such as NSW, used more modern night-and-day decibel measuring regimes and did not rely on an average reading to establish a case.

He said a “final acceptance that there is a problem with increased traffic on the freeway” was the announcement of a new four-lane freeway from the Peninsula Freeway to Mordialloc to “reduce traffic congestion”.

“This will only add to the issue of increased traffic and increased traffic noise,” he said.

Mr Ashby said VicRoads in a letter in 2001  acknowledged there was an issue with traffic noise in Dromana and Rosebud and that it would seek funding to address it. “That was 17 years ago and nothing was done.”

He said no noise attenuation works had been done south of the Moorooduc Freeway to Jetty Road. It also rankled that high tech sound barriers had been erected along the Monash Freeway near the Blackburn Road interchange and on freeways in the inner west. “Are dogs and sport more important than people and their health and wellbeing on this end of the freeway?

“The noise is becoming more constant with the increases in traffic volumes going north and south at all hours of the day and night,” he said. “Noise travels when it is subjected to medium and hard surfaces and the recent testing clearly shows how far the noise travels from a freeway that is elevated above land and housing.”

Vic Roads reportedly tests for noise 6am-11pm. Mr Ashby said recent testing at Safety Beach had identified traffic noise above 68 decibels before 6am. “Most people are still asleep from 1-6am,” Mr Ashby said, adding that freeway traffic noise from 4-5am is “like an alarm clock going off in your bedroom”.

“VicRoad’s guidelines restrict them from dealing with unique environmental areas, such as the lower section of the peninsula which has more windy days than not and, as such, would clearly register as adverse according to their restrictive guidelines,” he said.

“VicRoads needs to address the issue of traffic noise for the whole of the Mornington Peninsula Freeway and not a piecemeal approach as mentioned at previous meetings.”

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 22 May 2018


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