Freeway noise

Freeway near CrafersSE Freeway from the Crafers overpass.

Growing concerns over traffic noise along the freeway have highlighted an inequity between SA’s road policies and those interstate.
Over the past few years, the level of noise emanating from the arterial route has reached levels that nearby communities say is unacceptable.
And with Mt Barker set to double in size and development also underway in other parts of the Hills, it is a problem which is only going to get worse.
The thoroughfare – the main road connecting Adelaide to Melbourne – was opened in the late 1960s at a time when there was not the same recognition of the damaging health impacts of constant environmental noise and not nearly the same amount of traffic traversing the route.
But traffic – and the associated noise – has increased exponentially since then in part from the construction of the Heysen Tunnels and the rezoning of Mt Barker – both government decisions.
There’s no doubt that if the freeway was being built now, noise mitigation infrastructure would be a key part of the design.
With a growing body of evidence indicating links between traffic noise and health implications, lessening the impacts of road noise is a challenge facing State Governments across the nation.
But while almost every other state has a policy addressing noise mitigation along existing roads that have suffered from a gradual increase in traffic noise, SA’s policy remains silent on the issue.
The transport department says it has fulfilled its duty according to SA law.
But while its policies may meet its basic requirements under legislation, they clearly fall short of the standards set by most other Australian jurisdictions and the expectations of affected communities.
Reform is obviously needed, either at a departmental policy level, or, more likely, at a legislative level.
It is a shame, therefore, that the area’s local MP, Josh Teague, does not appear to have taken the issue up with any sort of enthusiasm.
Perhaps forthright representation of the issues facing communities in Crafers and Stirling from within the ranks of Government could see the ever-increasing problem resolved.

1 Comment on "Freeway noise"

  1. Yes I can see a cause for concern, but to me there are far more pressing issues to review about the freeway at this time. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we couldn’t hear those trucks, well actually I found the noises of buses on a suburban road far more intrusive. I would much rather they spend money addressing the major problems caused by cars who cannot deal with trucks overtaking trucks on the climbs near Mt Barker and Bridgewater.
    The number of crashes is unacceptable and surely safety should be addressed before comfort? Crashes at Stirling on ramp has lead to a third lane being added, why is this different to the regular crashes causing traffic jams just out of Bridgewater? Just my feeling. – Martin Blanchard

Comments are closed.