Traffic noise pollution

Noisy trafficEnvironmental” or “ambient” noise is unwanted or harmful outdoor sound created by human activities, including road, rail, aircraft and industrial noise.

We would like your views on how environmental noise affects you so you can influence how the Noise Action Plan is implemented in Bristol.

  • Are you annoyed by traffic noise where you live? (please say where in the city you live)
  • What do you think could be done about excessive levels of traffic noise?
  • Why not also visit to add your favourite quiet place to an interactive map?
  • The council has mapped environmental noise in Bristol, which can be viewed at

    We will be giving you more opportunities to influence the implementation of the Noise Action Plan during 2009 as part of an EU funded project called Citizenscape.

    Cllr Jon Rogers the Cabinet Member for Transport and Sustainability and Ward councillor for Ashley has read the comments here and is interested in the outcome of the discussion. See him comment on the issue of noise pollution here:

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    Ask Bristol from Bristol City Council provides a range of e-participation tools to make it easier for citizens to get involved in local democracy and raise issues with the council. Ask Bristol includes: webcasting; a consultation finder listing all the council's consultation in one place on the web; a wordpress-powered discussion site and online polling and surveys

    6 thoughts on “Traffic noise pollution

    1. Late-night traffic noise on Whiteladies Rd/Cotham Hill has become a problem for us since licensed premises have been allowed to open later. Surely a return to a midnight (or better 11.30pm) curfew on pubs, clubs, bars and fast-food outlets in residential areas from Sunday to Thursday is not too much to ask? When are we supposed to sleep?!!

    2. How about the noise from “sports” exhausts? I’m not talking about cars that were manufactured with powerful engines, these usually run at an acceptable level, but vehicles with modified exhausts designed to emit a rasping noise. We’ve all heard ’em. The car owners enjoy just making a noise & these vehicles are often far noisier than large goods vehicles.

      I understand that it’s an offence of some sort to make a vehicle noisier than the manufacturer intended. Maybe it’s a ” minor offence” in the eyes of the law but it’s certainly an assault on the ears – paricularly late pm / early am – and becoming more commonplace.

      Can anything be done?

      • Yes this is a cause for concern, but the powers to deal with this issue lie solely with the police as far as I am aware. It might be possible to raise the issue through PACT (Partners and Community Together) meetings, but I would imagine that there would have to be sufficient support from a number of people to make this into a policing priority.

    3. Fiona is right. I live on the Fishponds side of Stapleton, fairly high up the side of the Frome valley, and have constant noise from the M32. It is a very rare occasion when the wind takes the noise away. The proposed P&R would only worsen this situation.
      A good way to guage the effect of traffic noise on quality of life is the ability to have a conversation with a small child (one not anywhere near eye level) when outdoors. It’s completely impossible in many parts of the city because of the cacophony from the traffic.

      • It is almost impossible to have a conversation with a small (and not so small) child whilst walking next to most roads in Bristol with any degree of traffic (I live on Staple Hill Road and it applies there). The road surface seems to make a difference, as does the design of many modern cars with wider tyres – the major noise is not from the engines but is a hiss from the tyres/air under the vehicles. Speed is also of major importance, the faster a vehicle is going the greater the hiss – hence the racket from the M32. An enforced 20mph limit would greatly reduce the noise.

    4. The M32 is audible right up into Fishponds and beyond when the wind is blowing in some directions.

      I am concerned that a park and ride at Stapleton will make this worse and also impact on the quiet spaces along the Frome Valley from Eastville to Frenchay.

      The new destination park at Oldbury Court should bring more visitors to this very special area so please protect it from additional noise.

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