The government has released a series of maps for 23 UK cities and towns showing urban noise levels. Residents will be able to interactively access the maps via a government website
At the time of launch this morning the site collapsed due to unprecedented demand.
Users can search for their town by postcode, and will then be able to monitor noise levels in cities including London and Manchester. Other areas included in the project are Blackpool, Brighton, Coventry, Hull, Leicester, Nottingham, Portsmouth, Teesside, Tyneside and West Yorkshire.
The project is aimed at monitoring noise levels caused by factories, planes and cars and signals the most thorough attempt by the government to tackle the problem of noise pollution, a problem linked to serious illness and educational difficulties.
The maps will only monitor ambient noise and won’t include noise pollution form sources such as noisy neighbours.
The project was set up to meet an EU directive between the department of transport, the highways agency, network rail and the environment agency. It will aim to help cut noise in the worst effected areas of the country, covering 50,000 miles of roads, 3,000 miles of railway as well as industrial site and airports.
“They will provide a springboard to go forward and tackle unnecessary and unreasonable noise pollution,” – environment minister Jonathan Shaw.
The maps will be used to draw action plans on where best to tackle noise pollution across the UK which could include the provision and protection of quiet zones. Where roads are concerned quieter surfacing materials on new motorways and trunk roads might be suggested, as well as noise barriers at a number of locations where traffic noise has been considered problem.
“Factors like transport and industry are a necessary part of modern life. But we need to look at what further practical steps we can take to make people’s lives more tranquil.” -environment minister Jonathan Shaw.
Back in February of this year the a European Commission funded study of those living around airport concluded that the noise from plane engines instantly raised blood pressure which can in turn lead to a stoke, heart failure, heart attack and kidney failure.