Dáil Éireann - Volume 536 - 16 May, 2001

Written Answers - Traffic Regulations.

204. Mr. Currie asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government if there is a noise limit for traffic on roads adjacent to dwellings under EU regulations; if so, the limits specified; if any form of testing is conducted while roads are at the planning stage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14274/01]

Minister for the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Dempsey): There are no EU regulations in relation to noise limits for traffic on roads adjacent to dwellings. Section 77 of the Roads Act, 1993, provides power to make regulations, in consultation with the Environmental Protection Agency, requiring works to be carried out on newly constructed or improved roads to mitigate the effects of road traffic noise. However, this issue is at present dealt with on a case by case basis through environmental impact assessment.

Forecast of road noise levels are included in all environmental impact statements for major road schemes. Objections can be made on a wide range of grounds to proposed road developments, including the impact of increased noise, and objectors may raise their concerns at a public inquiry. The approval process for road projects, now operated by An Bord Pleanála, can require modifications to be made to the scheme in relation, inter alia, to noise mitigation, and such modifications have been imposed as required.