Future environmental noise impact for road and rail

Invited paper

Arno Eisses


Wednesday 3 june, 2015, 16:20 - 16:40

0.8 Rome (118)

An exploratory study has been performed to put into perspective future impact of road and railway noise until 2050 in The Netherlands, taking into account a number of developments. These include economic and mobility growth, noise policy and legislation, demographic and technological developments, all assessed based on available statistics and national policy data. For each of the main mobility growth scenarios strong, medium and low, estimates were made of average noise levels and numbers of annoyed and sleep disturbed people for typical road and railway situations. Simplified models were used to make these estimates. The effects of policy instruments such as national noise legislation including continued application of noise abatement measures (barriers, quiet roads/tracks and dwelling insulation) , European noise limits for vehicles and technical progress were assessed. It was found that the potential noise impact until 2050 shows a wide range, depending strongly on the growth scenario, policy choices and EU noise legislation. In the strongest mobility growth scenario and with continued noise legislation, an increase in numbers of annoyed and sleep disturbed people is forecast at around 25% in 2050. Significant reductions in numbers of affected people are forecast only if current regulation is continued, vehicle noise levels go down further and mobility and population grows little. An effective noise policy at European level and widespread application of quieter vehicles and infrastructure will be required to achieve this even in the low growth scenario.

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