Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Tuesday, September 15, 1998 Published at 22:41 GMT 23:41 UK


UK

Noise annoys more than ever

Could greater spending on sound insulation be the answer?

More than 170,000 people complained about noise in the UK last year, a record 3% rise according to environmental health officers.


Emma Simpson: Modern life is getting louder all the time
Such is the scale of the problem that in one south London borough, Southwark, a team of local authority noise inspectors receives about 1,000 calls a month.

Val Gibson of the anti-noise campaigners Noise Network said: "I don't think people realise how powerful stereos are.

"They have in effect a lethal weapon in their hands."

Complaints recorded by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health included loud stereos, do-it-yourself experts who constantly use high-powered drills and barking dogs.

However, of those complaints that did end up at town hall departments, a higher number failed to be classified as valid nuisances, suggesting that some members of the public still have unrealistic expectations of their noise environment.

Tolerance

CIEH assistant secretary, Howard Price, said: "The key message is the need for tolerance and consideration of other people's lifestyles.

"These figures suggest that people might be becoming more selective in the type of noise complaint they report.

"If so, then it is good news for local authorities, council tax payers and those with justified complaints. Scarce resources can be directed to where the problem is most acute.

"We can't all be expected to go around on tip-toe, yet every one needs peace and quiet. It is much better to come to a prior understanding or to deal with a disturbance informally than to go straight to the council."

He called for more spending on noise insulation in both new and old housing.





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales
England
Relevant Stories

20 Aug 98 | UK
Shhh! Noisy offices are bad for work





Internet Links

Health and Safety Executive

Chartered Institute of Environmental Health


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online