City Hall

Keeping the noise down

Like all great cities, London can get pretty noisy, as well over 7 million Londoners and commuters and visitors go about their lives. For most of the time and for most people, this is part and parcel of what makes our city such a vibrant buzzy place to be. However, there are times and places when the sounds of the city are unwelcome and can become just too noisy. This is what we're committed to cutting down.

Cutting down ambient noise

Sounder City sets out a long-term plan for dealing with noise from transport (including road traffic, rail traffic, aircraft and water transport) and fixed industrial sources, which are the main long-term, predictable, sources of 'ambient noise' (also called 'environmental noise'). Published in 2004 by the previous administration, Sounder City remains the Mayor's ambient noise strategy for London.

The strategy involves better management of transport systems, better town planning and better design of buildings. Roads, for example, can be made quieter by using quieter vehicles, keeping streets in better repair, and using low-noise road surfaces, and also by encouraging car users to drive more smoothly and quietly.

The Mayor's Transport Strategy and London Plan set out further detail about the Mayor's policies for ambient noise in the capital, as do publications such as A New Airport for London.

Noisy neighbour?

If you have a noisy neighbour, or if a nearby business disturbs you with its noise, it is best to try to talk to them about it. If this doesn't work, you may want to consider mediation, where an independent third party will listen to your and the noise producer's views, helping you reach an agreement.

For further details and to locate local services contact Mediation UK on 0117 9046661. If these two approaches fail, DEFRA has a guide to taking formal action.

Leaflets addressing the problem of unwanted noise are available from the DEFRA website.

Noisy traffic?

You can find out the level of noise pollution caused by road traffic in your current or future neighbourhood by taking a look at DEFRA's Noise Mapping.