How long will the consultation go for?

This consultation will be open until 13 September 2015.

It follows a first stage of consultation that took place in March and April 2015.

Why are there two stages of consultation?

The objective of the first step was to identify key issues. The feedback we received informed the discussion paper which has now been released for further feedback. The intention of the two stages was to ensure that we received as wide a possible range of community and industry views.

What will VicRoads do with the information they obtain from the community?

The feedback and comments we receive throughout the two stages of community consultation will inform our thinking regarding revisions to the current policy and future directions on the way we manage traffic noise along State roads.

What is the Traffic Noise Reduction Policy?

The VicRoads Traffic Noise Reduction Policy is a document that sets noise levels for Victoria's freeways and some other major roads.  It is used to decide where measures to reduce traffic noise, such as noise walls, should be built.

Where does the Traffic Noise Reduction Policy apply?

The current policy applies to all Victorian freeways (other than CityLink, EastLink and Peninsula Link which are privately operated).  It also applies to arterial roads that were built since 1979 where no road previously existed.

When was the Traffic Noise Reduction Policy developed?

The VicRoads Traffic Noise Reduction Policy originated as part of the Roads Construction Authority Manual of Policy in 1983.  A stand-alone draft noise policy was published in 1989. This was updated in 1997 and 2005.

How was the existing Traffic Noise Reduction Policy developed?

The basis for the current policy was written in 1989. It followed a report by a committee established to review noise on what is now the Monash Freeway.  The committee comprised the Roads Construction Authority, a resident noise action group and representatives from local government, with observers from EPA Victoria and the then Ministry of Transport. Technical advice was provided by an independent acoustic consultant. The policy was subsequently updated in 1997 and 2005.

What are the health effects of traffic noise?

There is evidence from European research that high levels of traffic noise can increase the risk of diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The degree of increased risk is not known with certainty. There has been no conclusive research regarding the heath impact of traffic noise in Australia.

What measures does VicRoads currently use to reduce traffic noise?

VicRoads currently uses noise barriers and low noise pavement to control noise along freeways.  In some rural settings, VicRoads provide noise insulation to individual houses where noise barriers and low noise pavements are not cost effective.

What other measures can be taken to reduce traffic noise?

- Opportunities for noise reduction in existing homes:

Erecting a high front wall with gate (subject to Council regulations), installing heavy laminated glazing or secondary glazing, combined with mechanical ventilation that provides fresh air when the windows are closed.  Sealing gaps around windows and doors, and under eaves.

- Opportunities for noise reduction in new homes:

Locating the home away from busy roads if possible, locating bedrooms away from the road.