Noise Action Week 2015 needed – government research shows

NAW Web 2 - Noise Action Week Roadshow May 2013 - ElmbridgeResearch published by the government last week showed that more people than ever are bothered by noise. Nearly half the people surveyed said their home life is spoilt by noise to some extent and one in five reported their sleep is disturbed by noise. This makes Noise Action Week 2015, which aims to raise awareness of noise problems and promote practical solutions to noise, more important than ever this year. The week runs from 18th – 23rd May and we are encouraging everyone involved in dealing with noise problems – or who has experienced noise problems, to com together to find and promote solutions.

Another crucial finding of the Defra Noise Attitude Survey, undertaken in 2012, and compared with a similar survey undertaken in 2000, is that noise has leapt from ninth to fourth place in a table of local environmental problems that affect people. Just over a fifth said they are personally affected – slightly more than reported being affected by air pollution. (Dog poo topped the list, followed by litter and the loss of green belt land).

While the survey showed little change in the number of people hearing noise at around 83% for neighbour and transport noise – those that did hear it reported being more bothered – with over 10% less people than in 2000 saying noise doesn’t bother them.

So, this work shows conclusively that people are more bothered by noise. While understanding the reasons for this would require a whole new research project (and it would likely be years before we see any results) there is plenty that can be done to educate and inform people on noise and work towards reversing the trend. In particular, it shows that people are most bothered by noise from other people. So a campaign that encourages understanding between neighbours and promotes more considerate attitudes is just what we need – and that’s where Noise Action Week comes in. We have lots of common sense information on reducing noise at home .  Also, at the end of last years’ campaign we posted a blog examining the links between community cohesion and noise.

We hope that Noise Action Week acitivities in 2015 will contribute to bringing more understanding in communities – between neighbours, housing providers and tenants. Also we want to promote the important work underaken by local authority teams who tackle anti soical noise problems – to help ensure their services are maintained

Due to low levels of funding in recent years we have only been able to run as a social media campaign and co-ordinate activity. This year we have launched a crowd funding campaign – http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/noise-action-week-2015 – to help us build on existing support for week and encourage wider participation. We hope that you will be able to support Noise Action Week by contributing.

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