Londoners exposed to the second most road traffic noise in Europe

According to a new study, 2,647,600 Londoners are exposed to traffic noise, the second highest number in any major European study.

New research from examined the number of residents exposed to 55 dB or higher in road noise, with Paris taking the top slot with more than 5.5 million people experiencing noise pollution. 

London was the second noisiest city, followed by Vienna, Rome and Madrid.

Other British cities, including Birmingham and Manchester were also within the top ten. 

More than half a million Londoners are also exposed to railway traffic noise, compared to just over 15,000 in Liverpool, 55,000 in Birmingham and 54,000 in Manchester. 

The study also looked at the Mimi noise pollution score for each city. 

Mimi is a hearing technology company that created the The World Hearing Index 2021 to measure global hearing loss from more than 1.5 million hearing tests.

London’s Mimi score was 0.95 which was higher than Brimingham but lower than Manchester.  

Research in 2018 from Mimi found there was a 64% correlation between hearing loss and noise pollution. 

The World Health Organization calculated in 2018 that at least 1m healthy life-years are lost annually in western Europe due to environmental noise. 

High levels of noise have also been linked to mental health problems and behavioral issues in young children.

Leonie Cooper, Labour London Assembly Member for Merton & Wandsworth said: “We have become accustomed to so much noise that during the first lockdown people were shocked when they heard the birds singing, for the first time for many years. 

Noise pollution, like light pollution, needs to be addressed – but we have tended to ignore it up to now. 

But to hear the birds, or see the stars, we need to start taking action.”

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