O'Rourke to chair new Athlone bypass noise mitigation group

A new group has been established to represent Athlone residents affected by noise from traffic on the town's N6 relief road.

Residents from up to eight estates along the relief road, in various parts of Athlone, are represented on the group which will be chaired by Cllr Aengus O'Rourke.

"For those living in close proximity to the Athlone Relief Road there has always been a problem with noise. However, in recent years, the problem has gotten substantially worse," Cllr O'Rourke stated.

"Increased size and capacity of transportation and goods vehicles, along with an increased volume of overall traffic on the bypass, has added greatly to the noise nuisance coming from the road.

"People who do not have this problem will not appreciate the extent to which the noise impacts on the lives and well-being of those living with the daily and nightly non-stop nature of the noise.

"In recent years, traffic volumes right throughout the night have been increasing in a very noticeable way," he added.

"Last year, I was pleased to secure an undertaking from Westmeath County Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), to carry out a full acoustic assessment at all of the affected areas along the Westmeath stretch of the Athlone bypass.

"Consultants will be appointed by Westmeath County Council in the coming months to carry out this work.

"Our goal, as a representative group, is to participate constructively with the consultants, with the council, and with TII, to make sure that the very best solutions are found to help us deal with the noise.

"For example, road surface treatment, slower speed limits, noise/acoustic barriers etc, can all be effective ways to reduce the impact of noise on homes - but let's see what the consultants' report tells us and we can go from there.

"We will feed in to the process at all stages and we are confident that by working together with the various agencies involved, we will achieve the best possible outcomes for all concerned.

Cllr O'Rourke concluded, "I would urge any residents affected by noise from the Athlone Bypass and who is willing to participate in our bypass Noise Mitigation Group to please get in touch by emailing: athlonebypassnoise@gmail.com "