The M56 can be quite handy but not perhaps if you live close by.

Which is why Frodsham couple Fred and June Glass, who live less than 80m away from the busy motorway, have become the first in England to benefit from a new free double glazing scheme to reduce noise levels.

The couple have taken advantage of a Highways England initiative which will see the owners of more than 3,000 homes across the country being offered free noise insulation by spring 2020, including around 600 in the north west.

Mr and Mrs Glass moved into their home around two years ago and were contacted by Highways England contractors due to its location close to the motorway.

The stretch of the M56 near their property is used by more than 124,000 vehicles every day meaning they previously had to put up with constant traffic noise at all times of the day and night.

Now, thanks to the scheme, the noise levels in their lounge and bedroom are like a library and ventilation units have also been fitted which allow air into the rooms without the windows needing to be opened.

Funding for the free noise insulation scheme is part of a £39m special fund which Highways England is using to reduce noise levels for people living close to motorways and major A roads.

It also includes installing noise barriers and low-noise road surfaces.

Mr Glass said: “We are delighted to have new double glazed windows and frames installed, free of charge, to help with reducing the noise levels.

“The entire process has been really easy and the communication with Highways England’s contractor, Forrest and the care taken during the installation was superb.

“We’re really satisfied with the end result and have noticed a huge difference in day-to-day noise levels.”

The M56 close to junction 8
The M56 close to junction 8

The scheme will usually involve upgrading windows, bi-folding doors and patio doors in bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms and studies with double glazing as well as installing ventilation units.

Highways England has identified locations where new glazing will be the best solution for reducing noise levels.

The owners of some 3,000 eligible properties will now be contacted over the next few months to be offered free windows and doors.

Ian Holmes, its principal noise advisor, said: “Motorways are vital for connecting the country and supporting the economy but, at a local level, noise from the vehicles using them can affect people’s health and wellbeing.

“We’re committed to tackling traffic noise across the country and I’d urge anyone who receives a letter from us to get in touch.

“The scheme is entirely free from the initial survey to the installation of the new windows and ventilation units.”

He added: “I’m delighted that Mr and Mrs Glass have noticed a significant reduction in the noise levels in their home and look forward to bringing similar benefits to thousands of other residents.”

Darroch Baker, divisional director at Bolton based Forrest, said: “The project is a great opportunity to contribute to improvements in the health and quality of life of the population most exposed to high traffic noise levels.”

More details on the free noise insulation initiative are available at