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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 July, 2003, 18:25 GMT 19:25 UK
Work begins on London's noise map
Denmark Hill road
Denmark Hill is the busiest road in Southwark
A taskforce is to draw up a road by road map of London in a bid to help reduce rising noise levels.

The government has commissioned the map in a bid to meet strict European Union targets on noise pollution.

The report could lead to more speed restrictions and quieter road surfaces, as used on motorways.

The Department for Environment, food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has just completed a survey of the south London borough of Southwark, where Denmark Hill is the busiest road.

The team studied noise made from engines, tyres and car stereos.

It found it had noise levels four times those considered reasonable by the World Health Organisation.

Roger Thompsett of map consultants Atkins, said: "It's going to be useful not only in traffic planning but also for planning buildings and developments, and so on.

Noise blight

"One of the things the map shows is you can actually screen areas by putting buildings in and create new areas of tranquillity."

But some fear areas will be blighted if the new map shows they are too noisy.

But Colin Lowman of Andrews & Robertson estate agents told BBC London some home buyers would be attracted to noisy areas.

"They would put up with the noise because they've found somewhere they can afford to buy", he said. The map will also be used to help decide where to build new housing and amenities in London.

Councils can use the map to look at road closures, traffic calming measures in residential areas and places where newer, quieter surfaces would be the solution.

Most of Britain's towns and cities are seeing a fall in noise pollution but London is bucking that trend.

BBC London's Andrew Winstanley
"The morning rush hour on Denmark Hill sounds like the start of a grand prix

Birmingham maps out noise
17 Feb 00  |  UK News

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