Lidington: HS2 noise levels may be ‘seriously underestimated’

David Lidington MP
David Lidington MP

The amount of noise expected to be created by HS2 has been challenged by David Lidington.

Aylesbury’s MP has questioned the estimates given by HS2 Ltd, pointing to the fact that the average noise level predicted includes overnight times when no trains will be running.

In a letter to HS2 Ltd chief executive Alison Munro, Mr Lidington said: “The average noise maps for the night time cover the period from 11pm until 7am.

“The average therefore presumably includes the hours between midnight and 5am when no HS2 trains will be running.

“If this is the case, then it suggests that the averages shown in your maps are in fact very serious underestimates of what my constituents are likely to experience between 11pm and midnight and 5am and 7am.”

He also asked for clarity on whether the noise maps refer to someone standing outside or inside a building when the train passes.

HS2 Ltd has not released noise maps for peak noise levels, but Mr Lidington says he believes the company does have these figures available.

He adds that he understands HS2 Ltd’s final environmental statement will include an analysis of ambient – or background – noise levels.

Mr Lidington said: “I would strongly encourage HS2 Ltd to test ambient noise levels in different weather conditions and at different times of day in particular locations.

“As I am sure you will appreciate, the noise levels during travel to work times is likely to be very different from that on a Sunday afternoon.”

The European minister recently upset some constituents by refusing to vote against HS2 in a Commons vote.