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Monday, 29 April, 2002, 00:47 GMT 01:47 UK
North Circular roars into first place
London's North Circular
North Circular: "Thunderous"
London's North Circular has been named the UK's noisiest road by the UK Noise Association.

The north London route was a motorway in all but name and produced a "thunderous roar" it said.

The survey, which looked at sites nominated by local people across the UK, measured levels of annoyance and intrusion into nearby residents' lives.

Researchers said the 15-mile long North Circular gave residents "no protection from the unremitting noise".


We chose the North Circular because nowhere in the country do so many people live so close to such a thunderous roar

John Stewart, UK Noise Association

The North Circular was nominated by Desmond Gregory, who lives in Neasden, north-west London.

His son David said the family moved to the area in 1961.

"Back then it only had two lanes and there were trees alongside it.

"But in the mid-1970s they cut down the trees and made it three lanes and that's when it really turned into a motorway."

John Stewart, chairman of the UK Noise Association, said the competition confirmed what a noisy place the UK had become.

"Coming up with a winner was very difficult," he said.

"How do you compare life under a flight path with Brands Hatch?

"But we chose the North Circular because nowhere in the country do so many people live so close to such a thunderous roar."

Quieter surfaces

The survey showed Londoners put up with the most noise as the Parkfield Road/Lewisham Road junction in south-east London came second.

The A4 in west London and the A102 at the Blackwall Tunnel shared third spot with the M77 in Glasgow.

The Association is now calling on the government to press ahead with its programme to introduce quieter road surfaces and to reduce speed limits in problem areas.

Britain's top 10 noisiest roads:

  • North Circular, London

  • Parkfield Road/Lewisham Way, south-east London

  • A4, west London, A102 (Blackwall Tunnel northern approach), east London and M77, Glasgow

  • Dockwell Close, Heathrow

  • M25 and other UK motorways, including the M6 and M3

  • Stockport Road/Manchester Road, Manchester

  • Hever Avenue, Brands Hatch, Kent

  • Headingly Lane/Otley Road, Leeds

  • Bawtry Road, Sheffield

  • Haydn Terrace, Merthyr Tydfil, south Wales

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See also:

10 Jul 01 | UK Politics
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