the London road traffic noise map
The London Road Traffic Noise Map is just one element of the Government’s much wider national ambient noise strategy. It will provide information on the levels of road traffic noise across the whole of the Greater London Authority’s area. Other types of noise will be covered by projects that are being planned or progressed at present.
Although road traffic noise is only one type of noise that affects people, it is a concern for more Londoners than any other individual source of noise. In the London Household Survey undertaken by the GLA in 2002, 13 % of Londoners said that road traffic noise was a serious problem, compared with 6 % who said that aircraft noise was a serious problem and 4 % who considered that noisy neighbours were a serious problem. At the same time, there is a need to protect existing areas of tranquillity from erosion.
Noise maps will help to establish the existing baseline so that we will be able to measure the effectiveness of future initiatives to control noise. They will also let us see in an understandable and visual way how noise spreads from roads and into residential areas. They will help us to see how different types of building layout can affect the spread of noise, the havens of quiet that already exist within the city, and how careful planning could create more of them.
Noise maps will help non-specialists develop a more intuitive feel for how noise behaves, which will allow more people to appreciate the importance of planning and designing against noise and to let them become involved in the process. They will also give experts the tools to refine designs for maximum benefit at affordable cost.
The London Noise Map is the first detailed noise map of the whole of London and is necessarily limited by the availability of some types of information. But at the same time, it is forming a focus for gathering together the huge body of information already available into a coherent set of data. The map is a live resource that can answer many of the questions which will arise as people continue to look for measures to better manage the noise we create.