Roads could soon see solar barriers

Coun Dale Heenan at  the A419

Coun Dale Heenan at the A419

First published in News Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , @Michael_Benke

SOLAR barriers could soon become a common sight on Swindon’s roads if a business plan being drawn up concludes they are a benefit to the town.

It has been proposed that a solar sound barrier should be constructed along the A419 as a way of generating renewable energy and reducing the impact of noise created by traffic along the A419.

If this is given the thumbs up then other schemes around the town may also be looked at. One other possible area being considered is along the M4 between junctions 15 and 16, most notably close to the Wichelstowe development.

A case over whether it is a viable scheme or not is being put together, the results of which are expected in around three months time.

It is understood that Honda is involved in the process, which includes looking at the parts of the road where the barrier will be suitable. The length of road being examined stretches from the Blunsdon exit down to junction 15.

The overall cost of the scheme is estimated at between £1m and £2m, which would be recouped by selling the power generated. Both sides of the A419 would be covered, with the arrays on the west carriage way facing upwards to get more of the sun.

Talks are also being carried out with the Highways Agency as some of the land is in its control.

Other factors being considered is access to the solar arrays for maintenance, highway safety and general visual impact.

Coun Dale Heenan (Con, Covingham and Dorcan) said: “Work is well under way to look at the design and cost of the solar sound barrier. If it is found to be a viable scheme then we can use it as a model for other roads in the town. The M4 is one road we are looking at.”

A motion is set to go before tomorrow night’s planning committee which, if passed, could see planning requirements relaxed to make it much easier to build roadside solar arrays.

Council officers would consider introducing a town-wide Local Development Order, which would mean that schemes would not have to go through a normal planning application.

Instead, as long as it was subject to certain conditions, the scheme would pass almost straight away.

Coun Heenan said: “If the solar barriers are seen to be workable then they will also be subject to consultation. They will have the combined effect of reducing the noise for residents, not just in the Covingham area but all along the A419, with the economic benefit that solar power brings.”

Comments (16)

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8:25am Mon 10 Mar 14

house on the hill says...

""Both sides of the A419 would be covered, with the arrays on the west carriage way facing upwards to get more of the sun.""

so why doesn't someone invent a controller that tracks the sun? it may use a little power but offset against full capacity during daylight hours would that not make more money and capture more energy? Just a thought.
""Both sides of the A419 would be covered, with the arrays on the west carriage way facing upwards to get more of the sun."" so why doesn't someone invent a controller that tracks the sun? it may use a little power but offset against full capacity during daylight hours would that not make more money and capture more energy? Just a thought. house on the hill
  • Score: 5

8:56am Mon 10 Mar 14

PaulD says...

house on the hill wrote:
""Both sides of the A419 would be covered, with the arrays on the west carriage way facing upwards to get more of the sun."" so why doesn't someone invent a controller that tracks the sun? it may use a little power but offset against full capacity during daylight hours would that not make more money and capture more energy? Just a thought.
probably due to the added cost including maintenance

http://en.wikipedia.
org/wiki/Solar_track
er
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: ""Both sides of the A419 would be covered, with the arrays on the west carriage way facing upwards to get more of the sun."" so why doesn't someone invent a controller that tracks the sun? it may use a little power but offset against full capacity during daylight hours would that not make more money and capture more energy? Just a thought.[/p][/quote]probably due to the added cost including maintenance http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Solar_track er PaulD
  • Score: 1

9:06am Mon 10 Mar 14

Oik1 says...

Another financial balls up if it goes ahead, the general visual impact will be truly awful and all this funded by the towns council tax payers, just how long will it take to recoup the £1 - £2 million ? How much are the estimated maintenance costs during the recouping of the initial outlay?
Honda's involved simply because it will help their case for a major solar farm on the car plant, nothing more.
Another financial balls up if it goes ahead, the general visual impact will be truly awful and all this funded by the towns council tax payers, just how long will it take to recoup the £1 - £2 million ? How much are the estimated maintenance costs during the recouping of the initial outlay? Honda's involved simply because it will help their case for a major solar farm on the car plant, nothing more. Oik1
  • Score: 0

10:05am Mon 10 Mar 14

Hmmmf says...

Heenan's "vision". He's obsessed with spending other people's money on 'renewables' scams to buy his ticket to Westminster. More green taxes on our energy bills, more free money for the suppliers, another 'first' for Swindon and more greeny kudos for Heenan, all at our expense.

http://goo.gl/G63aT8
Heenan's "vision". He's obsessed with spending other people's money on 'renewables' scams to buy his ticket to Westminster. More green taxes on our energy bills, more free money for the suppliers, another 'first' for Swindon and more greeny kudos for Heenan, all at our expense. http://goo.gl/G63aT8 Hmmmf
  • Score: 13

11:06am Mon 10 Mar 14

DiDiDI says...

Any chance we could have all the pot-holes round the town filled in first?Thought not...
Any chance we could have all the pot-holes round the town filled in first?Thought not... DiDiDI
  • Score: 15

11:18am Mon 10 Mar 14

stratton man says...

Heenan knows this scheme is a dud.Its just another opportunity to get his gurning mug in the Adver.
Heenan knows this scheme is a dud.Its just another opportunity to get his gurning mug in the Adver. stratton man
  • Score: 2

12:07pm Mon 10 Mar 14

Dick-Turpin says...

Nice pic Cllr, but where is your hi viz, aren't you on a splitter adjacent the A419 which is a 70mph road maintained by RMS. As a councillor and given your Committee appoint list is that is appalling! Shame on you.
Nice pic Cllr, but where is your hi viz, aren't you on a splitter adjacent the A419 which is a 70mph road maintained by RMS. As a councillor and given your Committee appoint list is that is appalling! Shame on you. Dick-Turpin
  • Score: 5

1:07pm Mon 10 Mar 14

house on the hill says...

DiDiDI wrote:
Any chance we could have all the pot-holes round the town filled in first?Thought not...
With the reflection of the sun in your eyes from the solar farms you wont be able to see all the potholes anyway!
[quote][p][bold]DiDiDI[/bold] wrote: Any chance we could have all the pot-holes round the town filled in first?Thought not...[/p][/quote]With the reflection of the sun in your eyes from the solar farms you wont be able to see all the potholes anyway! house on the hill
  • Score: 10

1:08pm Mon 10 Mar 14

house on the hill says...

Dick-Turpin wrote:
Nice pic Cllr, but where is your hi viz, aren't you on a splitter adjacent the A419 which is a 70mph road maintained by RMS. As a councillor and given your Committee appoint list is that is appalling! Shame on you.
Councillors are above the law and can get away with anything, its in the job description!
[quote][p][bold]Dick-Turpin[/bold] wrote: Nice pic Cllr, but where is your hi viz, aren't you on a splitter adjacent the A419 which is a 70mph road maintained by RMS. As a councillor and given your Committee appoint list is that is appalling! Shame on you.[/p][/quote]Councillors are above the law and can get away with anything, its in the job description! house on the hill
  • Score: 5

1:47pm Mon 10 Mar 14

Phantom Poster says...

Dick-Turpin wrote:
Nice pic Cllr, but where is your hi viz, aren't you on a splitter adjacent the A419 which is a 70mph road maintained by RMS. As a councillor and given your Committee appoint list is that is appalling! Shame on you.
Oh please get a life! No doubt if he had done so you would be complaining about "health and safety gone mad"
[quote][p][bold]Dick-Turpin[/bold] wrote: Nice pic Cllr, but where is your hi viz, aren't you on a splitter adjacent the A419 which is a 70mph road maintained by RMS. As a councillor and given your Committee appoint list is that is appalling! Shame on you.[/p][/quote]Oh please get a life! No doubt if he had done so you would be complaining about "health and safety gone mad" Phantom Poster
  • Score: -7

2:43pm Mon 10 Mar 14

trolley dolley says...

How long would it be before the panels and any other bits of equipment start to go missing.

I bet there are a few rogues out there who would love to have a free supply of solar panels, they are not cheap.
How long would it be before the panels and any other bits of equipment start to go missing. I bet there are a few rogues out there who would love to have a free supply of solar panels, they are not cheap. trolley dolley
  • Score: 9

3:19pm Mon 10 Mar 14

toyota777 says...

Sounds as though Heenan needs a job,if that's the sort of trash he comes up with.
Sounds as though Heenan needs a job,if that's the sort of trash he comes up with. toyota777
  • Score: -1

4:40pm Mon 10 Mar 14

trustnopolitician says...

If it was anyone other than Heenan it might ,just might, be worth following up -with H involved = no chance of sucess.
If it was anyone other than Heenan it might ,just might, be worth following up -with H involved = no chance of sucess. trustnopolitician
  • Score: 0

12:22am Tue 11 Mar 14

greenpacer says...

With all the crazy schemes we already have destroying the look of this town we certainly don't need this one !!!
With all the crazy schemes we already have destroying the look of this town we certainly don't need this one !!! greenpacer
  • Score: 1

9:51am Tue 11 Mar 14

Futura says...

"Solar barriers could soon become a common sight on Swindon’s roads if a business plan being drawn up concludes they are a benefit to the town."

....and probably if it doesn't.
"Solar barriers could soon become a common sight on Swindon’s roads if a business plan being drawn up concludes they are a benefit to the town." ....and probably if it doesn't. Futura
  • Score: 3

4:49pm Wed 12 Mar 14

Even Angrier Monkey says...

I like the idea.

And as for the visual impact: This is the area right next to the A419, right? Its not well known for being an area of outstanding natural beauty is it?
I like the idea. And as for the visual impact: This is the area right next to the A419, right? Its not well known for being an area of outstanding natural beauty is it? Even Angrier Monkey
  • Score: 0

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