Comparison of noise impacts from urban transport

2009-03-16T14:09:30Z (GMT) by Matthew W. Frost Stephen G. Ison
When new transport schemes are considered, a key issue is the potential impact of noise. The reaction of people to noise however is both personal and subjective. Whereas all types of new urban transport scheme have noise evaluations, little work has been undertaken to date to compare the noise generated by the different modes of transport namely, a tram, car, bus and guided bus. The lack of such evaluations has implications for scheme perception when new modes are introduced, and such comparisons frequently form part of the public debate when systems are proposed. This paper outlines the assessment of noise and its measurement, reviews the limited published comparisons between modes and presents the results of an extensive series of noise measurements of in-service trams, buses and cars, (taken mainly within the Greater Nottingham area). The measurements have been made across a range of similar operational circumstances to allow comparison between the relative noise of particular modes. The paper concludes that from measurement across operational circumstances there should be little perceived difference in noise from buses and trams, but that proportionately cars can generate significant emissions.