Consortium only

European context

Traffic noise has emerged in recent years as an ever present but often underestimated pollutant in our lives. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that around 40% of the European population is exposed to noise from traffic exceeding 55 decibels during the day, which is considered to be seriously annoying.

Significant reductions from individual sources have been and will be achieved thanks to technological progress and to the European legislation fixing maximum sound levels or technical standards on acoustic classification. The noise from individual cars has already been reduced by 85% since 1970 and the noise from lorries by 90%.

Noise reduction is an indispensable measure to ensure the sustainability of surface transport and Europe is paving the way for a sustainable transport system that, among others, deeply entails noise reduction.

The European Commission clearly addresses transport noise through the 2002/49/EC Directive. Its main aim is to provide a common basis for tackling the noise problem across the EU and to encourage environmental noise reduction. Within the END (Environmental Noise Directive) surface transport is one of the main targets.

At the same time a great deal of research aimed at reducing external noise is being done in all European Countries tackling different transport modes through various solutions.