Modal Comparison of Noise Impacts from Urban Transport in a UK City

When options for new urban transport schemes are investigated one of the main issues raised is that of noise and its impact. The importance given to noise as a modal selection parameter varies depending on transport mode and location. Little work has been undertaken however to compare the noise generated by the different modes of urban transport namely, light rail transit, the automobile, and bus. This lack of such evaluation has implications not least in terms of scheme perception when new modes are being introduced and increasingly such noise comparisons form an important part of the public debate when systems are being proposed. This paper outlines the seriousness placed on noise as an element of traffic-related pollution in urban areas of the UK, based on a national survey which was undertaken relating noise to the other aspects of traffic and environmental degradation. This is then followed with a description of the significance of noise within the modal selection process. It reviews the limited published noise comparisons between modes and presents results from a series of noise measurements of in-service light rail transit, buses, and automobiles. Measurements have been made across a range of similar operational circumstances in order to allow a comparison between the relative noise impacts. The paper concludes that noise is an issue for modal selection and that from measurement, across a range of operational circumstances, there is little perceived difference between light rail transit and buses, whereas proportionately the automobile can generate a significant impact.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 13p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 86th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers CD-ROM

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01043611
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 07-0353
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2007 4:55PM