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The BBC's Rory Maclean
"It's the top nuisance for neighbours"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 7 June, 2000, 01:16 GMT 02:16 UK
Campaigners say 'stop the noise'

Anti-noise pollution campaigners are calling on the government to draw up a strategy to tackle a rising number of noise-related complaints.

Loud music, barking dogs, lack of sound insulation in flats and houses, traffic and aircraft have contributed to the problem, they said.

The United Kingdom Noise Association (UKNA), the National Society for Clean Air and Environmental Protection (NSCA) and the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) are raising the issue on National Noise Action Day.

Motorists' most hated noises
Road surfaces
Diesel engines
Ice cream vans
Delivery vans
Car horns
John Stewart, chair of UKNA, said: "We will be seeking a meeting with environment minister Michael Meacher to urge him to redouble his efforts to persuade the government to introduce a comprehensive noise strategy."

Richard Mills, NSCA secretary general, said a national noise strategy would "enable us to work towards a more acceptable noise climate for everyone and prevent further erosion of the UK's remaining tranquil areas".

New research from the NSCA shows that complaints about amplified music and dogs continue to rise.

Other findings showed:

  • informal resolutions such as mediation are more effective than law in tackling noise disputes

  • three-quarters of local authority officers believe that education on noise issues is needed to improve community relations

  • local councils would like the Government to produce a national noise strategy.

    The CPRE wants government action to protect rural tranquillity with recognition of this in the forthcoming Rural White Paper.

    Noise on the roads

    London mayor Ken Livingstone said: "Urban life can be extremely noisy and we are constantly bombarded with a cacophony of sound.

    "As mayor of London, I will explore the use of my powers to find a way of reducing some of the unnecessary noise that can blight the quality of life in cities like London."

    A survey published by the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) Foundation on National Noise Action Day found car stereos to be the most hated source of noise among motorists.

    Ice cream van
    Ice cream vans' tunes cause some people offence
    The RAC study on noise on the road claimed booming in-car music could even trigger "road-rage".

    The report found other nuisances, which included road surfaces, diesel vehicles, motorcycles, ice cream vans, car horns and delivery vans.

    "The sound of silence is increasingly rare on modern-day roads," said the RAC Foundation's executive director Edmund King.

    He went on: "Thumping car stereos, tooting horns and irritating ice cream vans give many people jangled nerves in their daily lives."

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