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City winning fight to keep noise down

Dublin is becoming a more peaceful place to live, according to a new study showing that the number of people exposed to night-time noise levels of 55 decibels or more has fallen.

The figure has dropped from 94pc to 22pc between 2008 and 2012.

And less than 1pc of the 1.27 million population in the region is now exposed to problematic levels – above 70 decibels – while they're trying to sleep. However, cars and trucks are still a nuisance, with 39pc of Dubliners exposed to sound levels from traffic above desirable limits.

The research was carried out as part of the Dublin Agglomeration Environmental Noise Action Plan December 2013 to November 2018.

It showed about 12,600 people have to tolerate noise levels above 75 decibels on an average day, though this figure is down from 24,000 in 2008.

The document says that, based on noise mapping: "It can be seen that there has been reduction in the number of people being exposed to undesirable sound levels, especially at night-time."

document

The factors contributing to the more peaceful environment include lower traffic volumes.

In addition, people have settled in housing developments built in quieter areas, according to the document.

"The number of people being exposed to undesirable night time levels due to Dublin Airport, the Luas and Irish Rail is also low," it added.

The report says low environmental noise contributes "significantly to good health and quality of life".

"Co-ordinated and sustained effort is required to protect areas that have low environmental sound levels and to improve areas deemed to have undesirable high levels."

One of the measures being implemented by Fingal County Council is to "promote appropriate land use patterns" near Dublin Airport.

The council "will strive to restrict housing development" close to the hub "in order to minimise the exposure of residents" to undesirable noise levels, the document states.

A noise map produced as part of the report shows high sound levels match the major traffic routes, with the whole stretch of the M50 the noisiest place in the capital.

comurphy@herald.ie


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