Noise Pollution

Air pollution and noise pollution are bad for people’s health – particularly children’s health. So our transport policies will make people healthier.

We have promised a major effort to reduce greenhouse gases and we will encourage greener, cleaner vehicles through offering tax incentives and enforcing higher standards. We also need to reduce the rate of road traffic growth. Where its environmental damage is worst, we want to see an absolute reduction in road traffic and a shift to other modes made possible by the improvements and wider choice our policies will bring about. That will produce a better transport system – and it will be good for health.

That’s just one example of the work that John Prescott, Deputy Prime Minister, and his team are doing to make our country cleaner and healthier.

Department of Health


DH contact for noise pollution projects or the non-auditory health effects of noise.

Shahneela Haider

Department of Health
Room 693D, Skipton House
80 London Road, Elephant and Castle

0207 972 5028

0207 972 5166/5167

E mail:


Whole Of The Government Wages War On Health Inequalities
Published: 17/03/1999

Reference number: 1999/0150

Public health is central to the Government’s strategies says Dobson
“The whole of the Government, led by the Prime Minister, is delivering on an ambitious public health strategy – to reverse and reduce the widening inequalities in health that mar our country as we approach the 21st Century” says Frank Dobson, Secretary of State for Health.


Transportation noise

Many people in the United Kingdom are affected by noise from aircraft, road traffic and railways at night. Almost 40% of those who heard road traffic noise objected to it.

Aircraft noise » Road traffic noise » Railway noise
Road traffic noise

Many people who experience traffic noise in their homes or gardens consider it a nuisance. Tyre noise is responsible for the majority of noise from cars at speeds above 50km/hr. The level of tyre noise produced is dependent on the properties of the road surface.

Road vehicles have to comply with noise emission standards. The Police can take action if individual vehicles have defective silencers or are being driven in a manner that creates excessive noise. There are no specific limits on noise from roads, but noise levels may be taken into account when planning to build houses or offices near to roads. Noise barriers or noise insulation (e.g. acoustic double glazing, alternative means of ventilation) may be used to reduce the impact.

If noise from new roads exceeds certain limits at existing houses the householders may be eligible for noise insulation grants through the local highway authority. The Highways Agency has a target to install quieter road surfaces over 60% of the trunk road network by 31 March 2011. The trunk road network includes motorways and the more important ĆA¹ roads.


A better quality of life

People¹s quality of life is fundamentally dependent upon the quality of the environment in which they live. The environmental outcomes we are striving for all contribute to a better quality of life.

Over the next five years

People¹s experience of the environment and their quality of life will be enhanced as a result of our actions, together with partners, on all of our environmental themes outlined in this strategy and in our vision for the environment.

There will be an enhanced environment for wildlife; cleaner air for everyone; improved and protected inland and coastal waters; restored, protected land with healthier soils; a greener business world and wiser, sustainable use of natural resources.

In addition, we will have helped limit and adapt to climate change and managed and limited the risk of floods. If we can achieve our committed progress on all these themes, we will have contributed to people¹s quality of life.

People will become more aware of the environment and the importance of protecting it, enabling everyone to make more positive choices for the environment in their own activities.

People¹s experience of the environment and their quality of life will be enhanced as a result of our open working practices and activity with partners.