London-related findings from UK-wide environmental noise studies
BRE used data from the National Noise Incidence Study (NIS) and National Noise Attitude Survey (NAS) to carry out a separate analysis of London related information. This analysis is being used to help develop noise policy in London.
Data were collected in seven outer London boroughs. A total of 140 noise measurements, each of 24 hours duration, were made outside dwellings in London as part of NIS, and approximately 350 interviews were carried out in London as part of NAS.

As well as analysing the data from Greater London, the findings were compared with the national pictures of noise levels and attitudes. In the case of the NIS, comparisons were also made between 1990 and 2000 within Greater London. The findings have been used by the Greater London Authority to inform the development of The Mayor's Draft London Ambient Noise Strategy.













Key findings
Noise Incidence Study
• Noise levels in Greater London were significantly higher than the average for England and Wales.
• The drop in noise levels in the evening occurs later in Greater London than the average for England and Wales.
• The rise in noise levels in the morning occurs at the same time in Greater London as the England and Wales average.
• Noise levels increased slightly in Greater London between 1990 and 2000.
• There are fewer sites with extremely low noise levels in Greater London than in England and Wales.

Noise Attitude Survey
• Within Greater London, the most commonly heard categories of environmental noise were: road traffic (heard by 93% of respondents); neighbours and/or other people nearby (88%); aircraft/airports/airfields (71%); and building, construction, demolition, renovation or road works (63%).
• Both road traffic noise and noise from building, construction, demolition, renovation or road works were heard by a significantly higher proportion of respondents in Greater London than over the UK as a whole.
• 24% of respondents in Greater London reported that noise spoilt their home life to some extent, with 10% reporting that their home life was spoilt either quite a lot or totally.
• When categories of environmental noise are ranked according to the proportion of respondents reporting being moderately, very or extremely bothered, annoyed or disturbed, the order is seen to be different within Greater London than nationally. In Greater London, after road traffic noise and noise from neighbours and/or other people nearby, the next highest is noise from building, construction, demolition, renovation or road works, followed by noise from aircraft/airports/airfields. Over the UK as a whole, the rankings of the last two categories are reversed.

This analysis could potentially be extended to make it more representative of Greater London by the addition of further measurements and/or interviews in other London boroughs. If these were carried out in a compatible way (e.g. using the same sampling strategy, measurement instrumentation and questionnaires), new data could be merged or compared with that from the existing studies.

Further information on the NIS and NAS can be found here.

Information about noise mapping in London can be found here.

For more information, contact Colin Grimwood on 01923-664300, e-mail environment@bre.co.uk.


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