Noise pollution is a major environmental health problem that can cause serious mental and physical problems in urban areas. According to the European Environment Agency (EEA), road traffic is the main source of environmental noise in Europe. Around 100 million people are affected by harmful levels of noise, that is more than 55db.

Local and regional authorities can play an important role in reducing noise pollution. By developing and implementing Local Noise Action Plans, they can improve the quality of life and quality of housing in urban areas, increasing their attractiveness both for inhabitants and businesses. Noise abatement measures include the introduction of low-noise road surface, the improvement of traffic flows, the promotion of low-noise vehicles and the introduction of lower speed limits.

POLIS facilitates the exchange between its members on the reduction of noise pollution in urban areas via the Working Group on Health and Transport. Measures and best practices for the reduction of noise generated by freight road transport are discussed within the Working Group on Freight.

POLIS took part in the EU-funded project SILENCE, which contributed to research and develop innovative strategies for action plans on urban transport noise abatement. The Practitioner Handbook for Local Noise Action Plans summarises the best practices and recommendations from the SILENCE project. It is accessible here.