Exposure to and annoyance by traffic noise

Indicator Specification
Indicator codes: TERM 005
Created 28 Nov 2014 Published 12 Dec 2014 Last modified 28 Nov 2016, 03:49 PM
Topics: ,
Number of people exposed to noise for 2007 and 2012, L den and L night periods. Noise Sources included are Airports, Railways and Roads within agglomerations (bigger than 250 thousand inhabitants and bigger than 100 thousand inhabitants respectively) and Major Airports, Major Railways and Major Roads, outside agglomerations.

Assessment versions

Published (reviewed and quality assured)

Rationale

Justification for indicator selection

Road transport noise is the most damaging source in terms of levels of dB concerning area and periods of time covered. Considering that no effective measures have been taken yet to decrease substantially the impact of this source of noise in the population, further efforts should be applied in order to fulfill the objective of reduction in the number of people exposed to this noise source.

 

Scientific references

  • No rationale references available

Indicator definition

Number of people exposed to noise for 2007 and 2012, Lden and Lnight periods. Noise Sources included are Airports, Railways and Roads within agglomerations (bigger than 250 thousand inhabitants and bigger than 100 thousand inhabitants respectively) and Major Airports, Major Railways and Major Roads, outside agglomerations.

Units

Number of people exposed.

Policy context and targets

Context description

At the time of publication of the Green Paper on Future Noise Policy (COM (96) 540), it was estimated that about 80 million people (20% of the European Union's population), suffered from unacceptable noise levels (in so-called “black areas”, where 65dB were exceeded). Such figure was considered by scientists and health experts as unacceptable. Additionally, 170 million lived in “grey areas”, where noise levels ranged from 55 to 65 dB.

The Environmental Noise Directive (END) 2002/49/EC entered into force in 2002 in order to provide a response to this problem, becoming one of the main instruments to identify noise pollution levels and to trigger the necessary action both at Member State and at EU level.

No later than 31 December 2007, Member States were obliged to report strategic noise maps to the European Commission showing the situation in the preceding calendar year for all agglomerations with more than 250 000 inhabitants and for all major roads which have more than six million vehicle passages a year, major railways which have more than 60 000 train passages per year and major airports with more than 50 000 movements per year within their territories.

 Data required to be supplied after having produced the noise contour maps include the number of people exposed to environmental noise from one of the four particular noise sources inside agglomerations (road noise, rail noise, aircraft noise and industrial noise) and the number of people exposed to the main transport sources outside agglomerations. This information is divided in several classes of noise exposure. For Lden, the number of exposed citizens should be supplied rounded to the nearest hundred and expressed in hundreds, in exposure classes of 5 dB from 55 dB Lden up to over 75 dB Lden. For Lnight, the data should cover noise exposure classes from 50 dB Lnight upward until 70 dB Lnight, again in 5 dB classes.

No later than 31 December 2012, and thereafter every five years, strategic noise maps showing the situation in the preceding calendar year should be made and delivered to the European Commission in due time. This time, member countries were requested to report a major number of sources, including all agglomerations with more than 100 000 inhabitants and all major roads with more than 3 million vehicle a year, all major railways with more than 30 000 train passages per year and major airports within their territories.

Targets

The Environmental Noise Directive does not provide any specific target. However, the aim is to reduce the number of people exposed to, and annoyed by, noise levels that endanger health and quality of life (EC 2002/49/EC). The WHO recommends night noise levels not higher than 40 dB Lnight in order to protect public health.

However, presented here are the values higher than 50 dB Lnight, which is the lower limit of assessment according to Directive 2002/49/EC. In other words, assessments have not yet been made to the WHO recommended level.

Related policy documents

No related policy documents have been specified

Key policy question

How many people are exposed to traffic noise in Europe?

Methodology

Methodology for indicator calculation

People exposed from different noise sources is reported by EEA member states in each reporting period, first implementation round in 2007, and second implementation round in 2012. Data received include all environmental noise sources inside and outside agglomerations by Lden and Lnight periods. Data is aggregated at European level and the total is displayed by source for each dB range: 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74 and >75 Lden, and 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69 and >70 Lnight.

Methodology for gap filling

not available

Methodology references

No methodology references available.

Data specifications

EEA data references

  • No datasets have been specified here.

Data sources in latest figures

Uncertainties

Methodology uncertainty

not available

Data sets uncertainty

not available

Rationale uncertainty

not available

Further work

Short term work

Work specified here requires to be completed within 1 year from now.

Long term work

Work specified here will require more than 1 year (from now) to be completed.

General metadata

Responsibility and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Alfredo Sanchez Vicente

Ownership

European Environment Agency (EEA)

Identification

Indicator code
TERM 005
Specification
Version id: 1
Primary theme: Transport Transport

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled every 3 years

Classification

DPSIR: Impact
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100