Defra noise maps of England

May 18, 2008 at 12:11 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Dear friends in Europe, Japan and America,

Unless you ring/call me, or have visited us in Windsor during the past 2 years, you will have no appreciation of the ambient aircraft noise levels in our region around Heathrow airport.

Aircraft are particularly noticeable on a sunny day when doors and windows are open to let the fresh air in, or when enjoying a walk around town or in Windsor Great Park.  A conversation on mobile/cellphone is not without constant interruptions due to overhead aircraft, especially if you take a stroll along The Long Walk from Windsor Castle to the Copper Horse.

SInce you and I often and regularly communicate by silent email and chats, many of you will have no awareness of my audio surroundings, beyond the fact that you seem to get great entertainment from watching titles of my iTunes tracks going by on iChat and Skype 😉

You will, of course, have no idea that the government noise maps that were published yesterday appear to be an attempt at a bad joke rather than a true representation of the deterioriating sound environment we tolerate.

The Guardian has a good roundup of the situation today:

As you can see from that last map (PDF), we live under a large black inksplat of noise from Heathrow airport, curiously shaped like an aeroplane/airplane.  Look:

Defra Noise Maps of England in The Guardian 17 May 2008

You will be hearing more about this, as soon as I have figured out what the red ‘First Round Agglomeration‘ blotches on these noise maps for London and Reading actually indicate (click images to reach PDFs on Defra Noise Mapping England site):

Defra Noise Map London First Round Agglomeration 16 May 2008

Defra Noise Map Reading First Round Agglomeration 16 May 2008

Bottom line: if the Government can ignore a simple, obvious, ever-present and immediate environmental problem such as noise, how on Earth can that same Government begin to deal with our complex, invisible, long-term climate and energy challenges?

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2 Comments »

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  1. How come that since I moved to Twickenham 7 years ago I wake up most mornings between 5 and 7, something I never did before. I don’t actually HEAR the first plane because by the time i am compos mentis, it has moved on, but I hear the next one and the next zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  2. Funny you should say that, Pam, as I used to sleep until my alarm woke me up at 6:55am, but now it seems an hour or two before the alarm I wake up and hear more than a territorial robin singing his heart out near my double-glazed bedroom window!


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