Outside of your home, where do you go to find peace and quiet in London?
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I would love to find peace and quiet in my house-I live on a supposedly quiet residential street,but noise from rat runners bombing up and down our street wakes us up in the morning,prevents us from using our living room during the day and affects our enjoyment of our garden.
Would love to see more quiet streets for people to live on and a clamp down on rat running.
Can we do something about the use of powered leaf blowers ? I see them even in cemeteries, and all they do is blow the leaves (and harmful dust no doubt) around. I never see them used to vacuum.
They are of course noisy but actually my bigger concern is CO2 and climate change.
Some cities are stopping them.
Can one review the volume level of sirens for police cars, ambulances etc Do they really need to be set at such high level? Are there alternatives? It's the number one reason I get woken up at night or startled during the day.
Sadiq khan says pollution causes 9000 premature deaths each year in London well according to this there are far more stabbings in London 9666 !! -what you gonna do about that, tax them £12.50 a day too like you want to in the ULEZ ? What a joke man ...https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/revealed-londons-worst-areas-for-k...
Toilets are most quiet places.
I love my local park and the other green spaces near to my home - Clissold Park, Stoke Newington reservoirs, Finsbury Park, Waltham Marshes, the Lea Navigation. I pretty much plan my life around these lovely spaces, and having access to such spaces was one of the key considerations for us when moving house (we couldn't afford our own garden, and I'm okay with that). If it wasn't for the parks, I genuinely don't think I could live in London because I would go bonkers without the space, the sunshine and the greenery. It's also a wonderful way of experiencing your local community because you see people going about their daily business - walking dogs, playing cricket, slack-lining, having birthday parties, all sorts. Massive shoutout to the wonderful parks workers who keep these spaces nice for us all to enjoy.
I know I am very lucky to have these excellent places - especially after reading the other comments here - and I really don't think that the importance of local parks and green spaces can be overemphasised. I would support anything that the Mayor can do to support the development and maintenance of local parks; they can appear a 'nice to have' and as such I imagine it's easy to think that their funding could be cut... but I think this would be a real mistake.
I like the idea of getting local people to help out with their parks - I reckon that the key consideration will be making this simple and convenient for people to fit into their lives, as well as selling the benefits (perhaps give people points or prizes :)). I'd suggest you look at the parkrun model - they are run by groups of local volunteers, with some central funding, and are a great initiative. Or goodgym, they have a good model too. Or perhaps you could look at working with local schools and other community centres to ensure a 'stock' of regular contributors?
London is probably the music capital of the world and seriously good musicians travel from all over the world just to play here, often in small venues like bars and the backs of pubs. (And it's also an important attraction for millions of tourists).
What I really object to is when established music venues have their live music licences refused because someone's built a block of flats nearby and the new residents - who have chosen to move there in the full knowledge that they would be living next to a live music venue - then try to complain. There's a large clubhouse behind my house which often holds parties with music into the early hours. If I don't like that, I shouldn't have moved here, and I certainly shouldn't try to stop others having their fun, even if it does keep me awake on occasions.
This is London. If people are sensitive to the noise they should get better sound insulation, maybe buy themselves some earplugs, or think a bit more about where they would really like to live. And there are plenty of quiet places to live in Greater London if you look for them.
I run a project called Tranquil City that encourages the exploration of calm in London. We're crowdsourcing tranquil spaces to share them with all. Check out our map here to discover tranquil spaces near you and help contribute to the map www.tranquilcity.co.uk.
We've had lot of interest in the project from the public, sharing their quiet locations and talking about how they could be improved. I believe that peace and quiet can be found in lots of location around the city, and there is a lot of potential for more spaces to be created and maintained.
We've even created a quiet map of the city, called the Tranquil Pavement, enabling us to find quiet and tranquil routes around London, which also means that we can reduce our exposure to air pollution (strong correlation between traffic noise and high air pollution).
This is a difficult issue.
I understand entirely why Ambulance and Police vehicles need emergency access to facilitate emergencies.
The particular alarms in the UK create a lot of impact on individuals. The signal tone seems to be too harsh.
Other countries seem to manage a signal tone that indicates an emergency but seems less damaging on
the population at large. It does create a lot of stress, especially when operating in a continual way by being trapped in traffic unable to move out of the way.
It can only be damaging to hearing, especially to babies and those in strollers at traffic level.
The biggest difficulty I find with experiencing peace and quiet is usually due to other people. Car stereos. People shouting on mobile phones. People shouting in the street in general. House stereos. Even when asking politely for people to turn down their car stereos when they are parked right outside my window I have experienced general rudeness and disregard for other people. Additionally some neighbors feel it is appropriate to play their music really loudly in their homes so the whole street can hear late into the night. There is no support for people dealing with these issues. The council doesn't do anything nor do the police.
Local green spaces, like common land and wild areas, full of birdsong, on the edges of Blackheath, or Greenwich Park and Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park, for example, offer some escape from noise pollution and some peace.
Negatives are traffic and the constant helicopter flights low over the area, circling every few minutes at peak times. This is including the London Helicopter which originates in Battersea, which is making lots of money by disturbing the peace for thousands of locals and visitors to Greenwich Park and the surrounding neighbourhood.
The increase in paid-for music events is another negative, such as the big ticket-only music festival that has recently started every September on public land in Blackheath. The noise itself lasts for 2 days and carries for miles and there's nothing anyone can do to get them to reduce it. The public land is occupied by them for 2 weeks in total, during which ordinary people cannot use that green space, a real shame. Very sad to see public green space fenced off for private profit.
More needs to be done to protect Londoners from unnecessary noise, especially when it is a small minority making profits at the expense of everyone else. Noise pollution affects stress levels and concentration, as well as quality of life. Thank you for looking into this issue.
I would like to see the Mayor's commitment to tackling pollution in terms of traffic/air, be extended to include noise too. I live close to Abbey Wood Stn where Xrail is being constructed over the past 4 years. Apart from the sheer scale of construction site noise, the existing stn has been move 30' closer to our properties after demolition of 2 homes in our terrace of 6, to make way for Xrail. There has been wholly inadequate consideration and zero consultation with neighbouring residents who are seriously blighted now from constant loudspeaker announcements now that 66 speakers have been installed and running parallel/adjacent to our properties and gardens, something that wasnt the case before Xrail. In addition, the operating times were extended, without warning, and commencing at 630am -10pm. In addition, light pollution from the platforms now flood homes and the immediate area. All this, despite assurances from xrail/network rail that 'there would not be any additional noise disturbance' and their claim that station lighting will emit downwards with no overspill. Greenwich council have been lackluster in action/willingness to help mitigate these pollutions to local residents and claim Xrail have 'carte blanc' in all they do and implement. Over the past 4 years, and thankfully works will cease end of Oct, residents have suffered overnight disturbances, flooding, structural damage, vehicle damage
apologies - not quite finished this item so please bear with me
Generally the only place to find peace and quiet outside of the home is in another building e.g. museum, art gallery etc. There is no peace and quiet in any built up area of London due to traffic noise, construction noise, aircraft noise, helicopter noise and worse of all, sirens used by emergency vehicles which use a completely unnecessary level of high volume to the point they must damage the hearing of pedestrians and cyclists when they drive past. Not only are they too loud, they are used when there isnt an emergency just to beat a target time imposed on them. I have also seen two or more vehicles travelling together, both with their siren on - completely unnecessary and so is using them when there is NO traffic e.g. at night. Go travel on the continent and you wont find this problem because they seem to care more about their environment than we do in London and the UK.
As long as the Mayor allows and protects off-shore (=careless and non-locals) to own property, nothing will change:
This has been reported in the press for many years. Please, Mr Khan, take these careless companies "to town".
I am lucky having a quiet garden SW London but live nearer a hospital and as soon as I step on the main road it is the sirens that I find truly stressful. I suppose they must be loud and high and piecing to overcome the loud music many drivers will have inside their cars, but it really is a nightmare when shopping or walking in the main road and wish there was some solution.
There is not much peace and quiet where I live, except late at night. But with the 24 hour city we will lose this, and there will be no chance of getting even on good night's sleep per week. The Mayor and the road transport lobby want to lift the restrictions on deliveries through the night. Our residential street is also a deliveries bay for Oxford Street stores, so we will have hours of deliveries keeping us awake night after night. But where to go for peace and quiet? The parks are too noisy and polluted with traffic fumes. There are no more relaxed quiet cafes that would not mind someone sitting for a longer period, reading or working on a laptop - they are all crowded, noisy and wanting a high and fast turnover of customers.
Hi everyone and thank you for sharing your experiences.
Many of you struggle to find peace and quiet in London.
What do you think the solution is – are there any?
CLOSE LONDON CITY AIRPORT NOT EXPAND IT.
If you are serious about noise and pollution CLOSE LONDON CITY AIRPORT not expand it.
Stop putting out meaningless surveys contrived to get the results to impose punitive charges on all of us.
One of the main causes of noise problems for me was not in your survey and has been mentioned here a few times - i.e. The poor quality of housing and hearing neighbours. I live beneath a very nice family - nevertheless their baby crying and other children running about over my head disturbs both my sleep and my concentration (since I work from home). A huge part of the solution for me is building regulations particularly around flooring and noise insulation ( i live in a housing association owned property)
Well one solution to part of the problem would be for the Mayor to call together the chiefs running London's Ambulance, Fire and Police and say to them "look, we are getting increasing complaints from London's residents about the unnecessary use of vehicle sirens and their volume. Noise in London is having a detrimental effect on the quality of life affecting people's sleep amongst other things. Drivers of your vehicles turn them on at times when there is no traffic around. Also It is irresponsible for sirens to be used on all vehicles if they are travelling together in close proximity. That is a common occurrence. The types and volumes of sirens needs to be reduced or otherwise adjusted to account for the time of day, traffic conditions and built up residential areas. They do it on the continent where they take quality of life for city and townspeople seriously. Can you please do something about it as a matter of priority?"
So there is a solution. How seriously does the Mayor want to resolve this problem?
No where and not even in my home with noise from neighbours.
Far too overcrowded and all our council want to do is build thousands more homes- congestion everywhere
Difficult to find 'peace & quiet' as such as all the local area is affected by planes - even Richmond Park to some extent and the buzz of traffic outside the park. However, I am probably luckier than many and can get a fair amount of relief along the Thames & in the park. Wimbledon Common, longer stretches of the Thames & Grand Union Canal within cycling range
I do live next to a road (A316). Whilst average speed cameras have been installed on the 40 mph sections, the 30 mph sections (e.g. Manors to Chalker's Corner) have not, which can often sound like a race track with the inside lane used as an overtaking lane. Any chance of some camera's please?
Any road incidents/works/diversions can be a nightmare as they are not properly managed/policed? Traffic is left to do its own thing - jump lights, block yellow boxes/keep clear areas - so block other roads. One particular time, traffic doing this on the A205 caused traffic to back up all day on the A316 for a fortnight - constant drum of engines and taste of fuel from early morning until late evening. official reply - we are monitoring the situation (i.e we are sat on our backsides doing nothing). What was required was someone stopping the last couple of vehicles blocking the A316.
Another - a diversion at Manors - drivers ignoring keep clear areas, tempers fraying, hooters going - 4 police sat in a car a few yards away ignoring it.
Where are the old traffic bobbies that were excellent at sorting these things out.
Planes can be a pain but they have got quieter over the years and are a bit higher where I am - so could be a lot worse (especially if they add another runway and increase night flights etc.)
It is very difficult to find peace and quiet where I live in Angel. The few green spaces are very small making it difficult to get away from traffic noise or children playing noisily. The canal used to be peaceful but has seen an explosion in use over recent years from a significant expansion of people living on boats and the increasing number of cafes and pubs using the towpath as an outdoor extension. But the biggest noise intrusions into my home have been roadworks and construction during the day and police helicopters at night.
I would do anything to be able to find a place where I could hear little other than the sound of birds chirping.
I live in a part of London where little importance is put upon peace and quiet.
Housing estates are built to a poor standard with little or no noise insulation and people move in with their irritating children who run around which invades my home and deprives me of the peace and quiet I desire.
I will end by saying that anyone who wants to live somewhere they can enjoy peace and quiet
don't come to Wembley park because you will be disappointed and will certainly regret the day you decided to move into this haven of neglect deprivation and never ending the torment.
Trust me because I have lived in this area for almost 30 years and every day I feel miserable and frustrated for want of quality and peace.