The rise of noise pollution complaints during lockdowns
As the UK national lockdown has ended and we’re seeing the impact of what a ‘new normal’ looks like, it has become clear that the shift back to the hustle and bustle has become all too much for many. With UK local councils reporting a significant increase in noise complaints due to the general public (BBC states out of 51 councils, 44 reported an increase in noise complaints) becoming use to the serenity of lockdown, it’s become clear that more needs to be done to manage the noise pollution situation going forward on both a local and national level to tackle this major challenge.
From an increase in busy roads again with more traffic, trains, garbage trucks, delivery drivers, working environments, fireworks, barbecues, whatever it is, there are lots of situations out there that can cause an excessive and unhealthy amount of noise disturbance. This increase in noise can be harmful and traffic noise is ranked the second biggest environmental threat to public health after air pollution (as conducted by research by World Health Organization). Excessive noise can negatively impact our social behaviour by disturbing sleep, causing panic attacks, cardiovascular issues and impact the mental wellbeing of humans. Consistent excessive noise has also scientifically shown to cause damage to the health of humans as referred to in this article on noise pollution.
EMSOL has been helping out many clients such as local councils to help overcome their own noise pollution challenges and impact. We are going beyond passive pollution monitoring, fusing data from air and noise quality monitors with vehicle location data to quickly and accurately identify the source of pollution. This insight driven approach makes it much easier for you to know how to best sustain and manage your businesses without causing excessive noise or air pollution. By making small consistent and meaningful changes, you can make a difference and make targeted cost-effective actions. We recently wrote more about noise pollution – what are the dangers and risks to health and how to reduce it.
Local councils and organisations are likely to continue to see a rise of noise complaints as people work from home but are impacted by nearby construction sites. How this is handled and combated going forward is crucial to the health and wellbeing of local communities, whilst also not preventing ‘business as normal’ and further development. Whilst the rise of online delivery has been a big convenience to us all throughout lockdown, it has also caused issues with noise disturbances outside of normal hours into early mornings or late nights.
Excessive or irritating noise, from traffic or delivery, can be managed much easier with a tool like EMSOL by monitoring and measuring noise across all levels of the business in real-time and to pinpoint problem areas. We’ve also been partnering with organisation like Cross River Partnership to ensure businesses can monitor noise pollution for deliveries to track any incidents so they can be investigated and resolved. This way we can help local authorities, corporations and businesses to do what’s best for local communities and to take social responsibility for their own noise pollution without diminishing any business activity.