Home LifestyleArt & Culture London parks: oases of calm ….or noisy and polluted places to avoid?

London parks: oases of calm ….or noisy and polluted places to avoid?

by LLB Reporter
21st May 18 9:16 am

New research shows a third of London’s parks are severely impacted by traffic noise

Campaigners at CPRE London today publish the results of a major new survey of traffic noise in 885 London parks including a table showing which London Boroughs have the noisiest parks and documents for each Borough showing the noise maps for each borough’s parks.

 The report marks the launch of a new campaign called Tranquil London to promote the improvements to London’s green and public spaces for health and wellbeing.

Alice Roberts of CPRE London said: “Our parks are meant to be places for relaxation and recreation, yet nearly a third of London’s parks are severely impacted by traffic noise. In the worst affected borough, Enfield, well over half the parks are severely impacted. Recent research shows parks bring £34 billion of benefits to the UK. But our report shows much greater potential benefits are being lost, because traffic noise puts people off spending time in parks.” 

“Surprisingly, we found South London Boroughs’ parks are much quieter than North London.”

The results show

  • Almost one in three of the 885 London parks surveyed are severely impacted by traffic noise (defined as meaning that 50 per cent to 100 per cent of the park is impacted by traffic noise of 55 decibels or above)
  • Wide-ranging results, with Sutton having the fewest parks severely impacted by traffic noise and Enfield the most
  • South London parks are quieter. All South London Boroughs except one, Lambeth, have a figure below the median for percentage of parks severely impacted by traffic noise 
  • Being an Inner or Outer London borough does not mean and having noisier or quieter parks
  • Fewer than half of the London parks surveyed are completely free from traffic noise
  • Around one in five of the parks surveyed are completely noisy i.e. traffic noise of 55 decibels or above can be heard everywhere in the park
  • A quarter of London’s parks are impacted by particularly loud noise defined as being where at least one quarter of the park is impacted by noise of 60 decibels or above

Alice continued: “Noise in parks matters because people are less likely to use parks when they are noisy, meaning benefits are lost. It also matters because there is strong correlation between noise and air pollution from traffic, so where people are exposed to noise, they are also exposed to air pollution. And because noise contributes towards a range of physical and mental health problems.”

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