It's Official - A4 is one Britain's noisiest roads

A report recently published by the United Kingdom Noise Association has placed the A4/M4 as the third noisiest road in Britain

Since launching their competition to find Britainís noisiest in February, they have been inundated with applications and have traveled the length and breadth of the country listening to noisy roads.
The criteria was not measured in decibels but by the level of intrusion into the surrounding residentís lives as well as the duration of noise and the number of people affected.

Unsurprisingly London roads featured prominently in the final placings. Inevitable, perhaps, given the sheer level of traffic in the capital and the close proximity of Heathrow Airport.
Roads featured in the top five were :

M25 and the motorways of the UK - Fifth spot was awarded to the UK's motorways. The decibel levels of the traffic noise on motorways like the M25 are higher than any other road. But there were surprisingly few nominations for motorways - maybe because, generally, properties tend not to be situated right beside the roads.

Dockwell Close, Heathrow - Inevitably, there were a number of nominations for roads in the Heathrow area, but the best case was made for Dockwell Close, near Hatton Cross "It lies at the end of the Southern Runway of Heathrow Airport and suffers from both take off and landing noise. Residents suffer both acute and chronic noise ranging from Concorde taking off at full throttle to aircraft engine ground testing at night." A researcher said, "At first sight, Dockwell Close seems like a pleasant suburban street. But within 90 seconds it all changes as the roar of a jet overhead shatters any illusion of peace and quiet. Dockwell Close was nominated by John Jones, Head of Neighbourhood Enforcement, London Borough of Hounslow.

A4 in West London - This road has the characteristics of a motorway, but with little of the protection afforded by motorways. Thousands of people live within yards of this London road. To make matters worse, sections of the A4 are under the Heathrow flight path. The A4 was also nominated by John Jones, Head of Neighbourhood Enforcement, London Borough of Hounslow

Finally, the undesirable title of Ďthe Noisest Road in Britainí was awarded to the North Circular. Nothing the researchers experienced matched its thunderous roar, a researcher likened the experience to "being assaulted by a torrent of noise." It is a motorway in all but name however, it is a 'motorway' that roars through residential areas. Thousands of people live within yards of the North Circular and many of them have no protection from the unremitting noise.

Based on the findings of this latest report, it certainly would appear that Londonís Mayor and his ambient noise study group has its work cut out. It also shows that Grove Parkís anti noise campaigners are in respectable and extensive company.

April 9, 2003

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