Media Releases

Going Dutch at the House of Commons

Last night, at a prestigious ceremony in London, the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the Noise Abatement Society (NAS) presented the European Soundscape Award for the first time to raise awareness and recognise initiatives that help reduce noise levels.

Noise pollution affects many Europeans, and for some, it is not only a nuisance – it can also trigger serious diseases. Across Europe, at least 100 million people are exposed to damaging levels of noise just from road traffic. Exposure to unwanted noise can cause stress and interfere with sleep, rest and study. Moreover, prolonged exposure can also trigger serious illnesses such as hypertension and heart disease.

The EEA and NAS have teamed up to raise awareness about the impacts of noise and to reward European initiatives in the field of noise control or soundscape management.

Gloria Elliott, Chief Executive of the Noise Abatement Society, said

“The European Soundscape Award recognises important initiatives undertaken anywhere in Europe, to improve the aural environment for the benefit of all. It serves to encourage and disseminate good practices that can assist other European countries embarking on aural improvement programmes, especially in urban environments.”

Colin Nugent, Project Manager for Noise at the European Environment Agency, added

“The EEA and NAS received 16 entries from 12 countries, covering a wide range of noise-related topics. Bringing to the fore products, campaigns, innovations and schemes from across Europe that offer creative solutions to the problem of noise, this award is a beacon for innovation and commitment within the noise mitigation community.”

Winner: The Dutch province of Gelderland and the municipality of Wijchen

The Dutch province of Gelderland and the municipality of Wijchen won the European Soundscape Award 2011 for its sustainable and integrated traffic noise reduction solution in the village Alverna. The winning project has combined a range of innovative measures to reduce noise levels. The measures consist of:

Moving and reducing the number of traffic lanes

  • Sinking the road by 0.5m
  • Constructing low-level sound barriers of 1m on each side of the road
  • Using special ‘quiet’ asphalt 
  • Reducing the speed limit from 80 to 50 km/h in Alverna

These measures meant planners were able to achieve the same effect as installing the usual unattractive, 4m-high noise barriers.The project also included a tree planting scheme to create attractive pedestrianised areas. In addition to the noise benefits, the full package of measures also increased road safety, reduced fuel use, helped improve the air quality and the quality of life in the village.

Highly Commended: NSG’s – the Dutch Noise Abatement Society – Electric Heroes Campaign the to encourage the uptake of electric scooters in The Hague and Zaanstad

NSG, the Dutch Noise Abatement Society wanted to tackle one of the top three most complained about noise in Holland – scooters and mopeds. They launched a campaign targeted at 16-24 year old to entice them to switch to electric scooters, with the “Electric Heroes – Go smart, Go electric” initiative. The E-scooter hardly produces any noise and is far cheaper to run than traditional petrol/diesel ones. Young people were encouraged to sign up for the 2 day e-scooter test-drive, produce a movie of the experience, upload it, and be in with a chance of winning an e-scooter if the public voted their video the best. The NSG is continuing to raise awareness of e-scooters and the residual benefits to city dwellers. ‘Electric Heroes – Go smart, go electric’ campaign

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Local Authorities Sweep the Board at Awards

Local Authorities demonstrated their innovative side last night at the 11th annual John Connell Awards, dubbed the ‘Noise Oscars’.

The awards, held by the Noise Abatement Society, are named in honour of the Society’s founder, John Connell OBE, who successfully lobbied the Noise Abatement Act through Parliament in 1960 when noise became a statutory nuisance for the first time in the UK.

The awards were hosted at the House of Commons by Mike Weatherly MP for Hove and Portslade on behalf of the Noise Abatement Society (NAS) Trustees, and are designed to recognise and promote innovative ideas and initiatives from Local Authorities that have made a positive impact on the reduction of excessive noise in the community, helping to improve the aural environment.

Gloria Elliott, chief executive of the Noise Abatement Society, said:

“It was very difficult to judge the winner from the very high standard of entries that we received, but the overall winners of the John Connell awards demonstrated the successful creation and implementation of practical solutions. These solutions, together with the resulting partnerships that evolved have significantly helped to reduce noise pollution, enabling us all to benefit from a more harmonious environment.”

Speaking about the award, Paula Bateman, Rockwool’s Corporate Affairs Director said: “We are passionate about supporting the NAS and Local Authorities in their work to alleviate issues of noise. We are delighted to be sponsoring this distinctive award which recognizes the innovative schemes to reduce the impacts of noise on our busy lives.”

John Connell Local Authority Award 2011 sponsored by Rockwool, celebrates initiatives, campaigns and schemes concerning noise that are shining examples of co-operation, raising awareness and creative solutions for improving quality of life in the community.

The award was presented last night by Bob Neill MP, Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and the ceremony was attended by representatives from DEFRA, Department for Transport, Olympic Delivery Authority and Transport for London, among others.

The Local Authorities winners were revealed as:

Winner: Westminster City Council, London: Developing a Noise Strategy through public consultation which enables effective mitigation, whilst building enhanced soundscapes

Westminster City Council have been developing and working within a detailed and comprehensive Noise Strategy since 2008. The objectives of the strategy are to manage noise from commercial premises and events, tackle transport noise, ensure sound-aware planning and building design, control noise from construction and utilities work, protect people from health-damaging noise, enhance the soundscape, encourage positive sound and minimize neighbourhood noise.

Westminster has responded to the challenge of understanding the noise environment by building detailed evidence base. This has been achieved through noise attitudinal surveys, noise measurement studies, analysis of noise complaints data, open-space noise study and aircraft study.

The Noise Strategy has been seen to promote the issues of noise and endorse the action required from partners to get results.

Highly Commended: Gloucester City Council – A holistic and sustainable approach to dealing with Neighbourhood Noise complaints

Gloucester City Council has streamlined the noise complaint system with the aim to mitigate the source of the noise more efficiently, and minimize its effects on residents.

The environmental protection team has abandoned the use of Noise Log Sheets and aims to dispatch an officer upon receiving a complaint in order to witness the noise as it is occurring.

Working collaboratively with Gloucester Constabulary, the team has aimed to better signpost its noise service amongst other partner agencies such as Project SOLACE, a joint Police and city council funded Anti-Social Behaviour Team, Gloucester City Homes and Police Safer Communities Teams, so that they can draw on the City Council’s experience and resources, avoiding replication of data and procedures across partnership agencies.

Highly Commended: Worcestershire Regulatory Services – redesigning principles of workflow and direct action to enhance effectiveness

Worcestershire Regulatory services is a new shared service formed in June 2010, bringing Environmental Health & Licensing services from 6 Districts (Bromsgrove, Malvern, Redditch, Worcester, Wychavon and Wyre Forest) together with Trading Standards at Worcester County Council. This amalgamation has led to a major transformation in management systems – assessing workflow, establishing the purpose of the service and challenging current logics to redesign the process.

The Noise Nuisance team, using “System Thinking” has since become a more customer-centric service, defining and agreeing with the complainant the next course of action, taking direct action to deal more efficiently and effectively with noise issues, and doing away with lengthy noise log sheets and largely ineffectual warning letters.

Local Authorities were also recognized for the following award:

European SoundScape Award, sponsored by Environment Agency (EEA) and Brigade Electronics – this new award recognises important initiatives undertaken in Europe to improve the aural environment for the benefit of all. It aims to encourage and disseminate good practices that can assist other European countries embarking on aural improvement programmes, especially in urban environments.

Winner: The Dutch Municipality of Wijchen and the Province of Gelderland

The Graafseweg reconstruction project represented a unique combination of measures to produce an innovative, atttractive and sustainable solution to traffic noise reduction. To appease residents and reduce noise along a busy road, five basic measures were adopted which, together, would prove to be as effective as the previously suggested four meter high sound barriers which would divide the town. By moving and reducing the number of lanes of traffic, partly sinking the road, installing low-level sound barriers, using special ‘quiet’ asphalt and reducing the maximum speed through Alverna, a reduction in noise levels of more than 10 dB could be achieved.

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Technology Award Finalists Announced

In anticipation of the prestigious 11th annual John Connell Awards – dubbed the ‘Noise Oscars’ – finalists for the John Connell Technology Award 2011 have been announced.

The Institute of Acoustics John Connell Technology Award, established in 2010, recognises and encourages the development of new or enhanced products demonstrating significant technological advancement, and organisations demonstrating a history of sustained innovation across product lines to resolve noise pollution problems.

Speaking about the award, Trevor Cox, President of the Institute of Acoustics, said “We are delighted to once again be sponsors of the John Connell Technology Award. Industry plays a critical role in reducing noise pollution. Developing new, innovative low noise products and solutions is essential if we are to protect the public and the environment from the cacophony of human activity.”

The finalists have been announced as:

Polypipe, Supertube Duct Silencers with Microban protection – The Domus Silencers provide a simple, cost-effective solution to reduce noise from central ventilation systems. They absorb sound over a range of audible frequencies, including traffic noise, noise from the ventilation fan and room to room cross talk, reducing noise levels by as much as 50dB

Limitear AdaptEar – sets new standards in hearing protection by ensuring that professional earpiece users are always protected from excessive noise. The AdaptEar small unit connects between private mobile radios and sensitive earpieces. It helps users to protect their hearing, providing the appropriate attenuation for specific earpieces and the intended listening duration.

Echo Barrier, H1 and suite of products - The H1 acoustic barrier literally soaks up sound around it rather than reflecting it, attenuating noise by up to 30dB. Designed for quick and easy installation on standard Heras fencing or similar, It is aimed at sites where it is important to reduce noise levels and maintain good community relations, such as in residential and public locations.

Linde BOC, Frostcruise quiet cryogenic system - Is an efficient, economical, indirect cryogenic replacement for mechanical, diesel-powered truck refrigeration systems. It provides an eco-friendly solution for the transportation of perishable chilled and frozen. The innovative technology eliminates the mechanical motor, the compressor and harmful refrigerants used by other systems making it significantly quieter and more environmentally friendly than traditional solutions.

 The awards are named in honour of the Society’s founder, John Connell OBE, who successfully lobbied the Noise Abatement Act through Parliament in 1960 when noise became a statutory nuisance for the first time in the UK.

 

The ceremony will take place at the Palace of Westminster, on the evening of Tuesday 8th November 2011 and will be hosted by Mike Weatherley MP for Hove and Portslade on behalf of the Noise Abatement Society (NAS) Trustees, and are designed to recognise and promote innovative ideas and initiatives that have made a positive impact on the reduction of excessive noise in the community, helping to improve the aural environment.

The John Connell Technology Award is sponsored by The Institute of Acoustics, and has a judging panel, comprised of:

·         John Hinton OBE, Chair of Judging Panel, past President of The Institute of Acoustics (2008-2010), on behalf of the IoA

·         Gloria Elliott, Chief Executive, the Noise Abatement Society

·         Max Dixon, Town planner and urbanist specialising in noise and soundscape management, formerly of the Greater London

·         Stephen Crosher, consultant and technology expert, Fleet Renewables

·         Alan Blissett, Environmental Health practitioner, Southwark Council

Gloria Elliott, Chief Executive, the Noise Abatement Society said, “We are thrilled to welcome the Institute of Acoustics as generous sponsors for the second year of the John Connell Technology Award. By working together in this way with industry, trade associations, government, local government and public bodies we can help to further the uptake of quiet alternatives to traditionally noisy solutions thereby protecting the public and reducing noise pollution.”

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Finalists Announced for ‘Noise Oscars’

Local Authority finalists for the 11th annual John Connell Awards, dubbed the ‘Noise Oscars’, have been announced today by the Noise Abatement Society (NAS), and award sponsors, Rockwool.

The John Connell Local Authority awards are the only one of their kind to recognise and promote innovative ideas and initiatives from Local Authorities that have made a positive impact on the reduction of excessive noise in the community, helping to improve the aural environment.

Speaking about the award, Paula Bateman, Rockwool’s Corporate Affairs Director said: “We are passionate about supporting the NAS and Local Authorities in their work to alleviate issues of noise. We are delighted to be sponsoring this distinctive award which recognizes the innovative schemes to reduce the impacts of noise on our busy lives.”

The awards are named in honour of the Society’s founder, John Connell OBE, who successfully lobbied the Noise Abatement Act through Parliament in 1960 when noise became a statutory nuisance for the first time in the UK.

The finalists are invited to the prestigious ceremony, hosted by Mike Weatherly MP for Hove and Portslade on behalf of the NAS Trustees, which will take place at the Palace of Westminster, on the evening of Tuesday 8th November 2011.

Gloria Elliott, chief executive of the NAS, said: “John Connell called noise the ‘forgotten pollutant’ as many people are unaware of the destructive effect it can have on health, learning, productivity and quality of life.

“The finalists of the local authority awards have created practical solutions to reduce noise pollution whilst operating within diminished budgets. Working collaboratively across agencies we are seeing Local Authorities dealing effectively and ingeniously for the benefit of their residents and businesses. It has been inspiring to consider their work and solutions.”

John Connell Local Authority Award 2011 sponsored by Rockwool, celebrates initiatives, campaigns and schemes concerning noise that are shining examples of co-operation, raising awareness and creative solutions for improving quality of life in the community.

The award will be presented on 8th November at the House of Commons by Bob Neill MP, Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

The finalists for the 2011 Award have been announced as:

 Elmbridge Borough Council – Empowering local residents and businesses to deal with noise 24/7 – a web solution and campaign

Elmbridge Borough Council’s Noise Team has been developing a comprehensive website that offers advice and support to residents and businesses “Bothered by Noise”. The team has worked collaboratively with social housing providers, mediation services and the Police.

Faced with the loss of their out of hours noise service in April this year the team’s solution was to develop “Deal with noise, your online Toolkit”. The Online Toolkit is full of innovations and seeks to empower residents and businesses to deal with noise 24/7. The development of this interactive website allows audio/visual evidence to be simply uploaded along with a complaint of noise as well as providing a quick guide for what to do out of hours.

 Strong visual branding has been a key feature of the Toolkit and has added to its success with the local community and partner agencies.

 Gloucester City Council – A holistic and sustainable approach to dealing with Neighbourhood Noise complaints

Gloucester City Council has streamlined the noise complaint system with the aim to mitigate the source of the noise more efficiently, and minimize its effects on residents.

The environmental protection team has abandoned the use of Noise Log Sheets and aims to dispatch an officer upon receiving a complaint in order to witness the noise as it is occurring.

Working collaboratively with Gloucester Constabulary, the team has aimed to better signpost its noise service amongst other partner agencies such as Project SOLACE, a joint Police and city council funded Anti-Social Behaviour Team,  Gloucester City Homes and Police Safer Communities Teams, so that they can draw on the City Council’s experience and resources, avoiding replication of data and procedures across partnership agencies.

Maidstone Borough Council – Partnership approach to “Dealing with neighbour noise” – setting up expectations and solutions

The Maidstone Environmental Enforcement Team consulted with Safer Maidstone Partnership on tackling the issue of neighbour noise and providing effective support to a growing problem.

From this collaboration clear, pragmatic guidelines were drawn with the aim to improve solutions and limit the need for external agency involvement. 

The team produced a comprehensive leaflet, “Too Loud is not Allowed – Dealing with Neighbour Noise” clearly explaining the different steps of noise mitigation and what the complainant can expect from contacting the different partnership agencies. Information also provides residents with a simple step by step guide to solving or escalating the problem, and supports community partners with a better understanding of how to deal effectively with noise issues.

Promotion of the service, through publicity of enforcement actions, has lead to an increase in demand for the service, greater sharing of information, and a significant increase in customer satisfaction.

Swale Borough Council – Collaboration with Partnership Agencies and Proactive Public Engagement

A joint noise response service, trialled with the local constabulary force, has initiated closer partnership with the police and better sharing of resources across agencies.

Working proactively with Safer School Partnership, the Environment Response Team continues to extend its reach by raising awareness amongst students on the impact of noise, and how to be a responsible resident. As part of this education initiative, Swale also partners with Kent Fire and Rescue service to target young drivers, focusing on car stereo sound levels, and the impact of excessive noise inside, and emitted from, cars. Swale is also active in the community, creatively communicating the role of positive sounds and enhanced listening.

Westminster City Council, London: Developing a Noise Strategy through public consultation which enables effective mitigation, whilst building enhanced soundscapes

Westminster City Council have been developing and working within a detailed and comprehensive Noise Strategy since 2008. The objectives of the strategy are to manage noise from commercial premises and events, tackle transport noise, ensure sound-aware planning and building design, control noise from construction and utilities work, protect people from health-damaging noise, enhance the soundscape, encourage positive sound and minimize neighbourhood noise.

Westminsterhas responded to the challenge of understanding the noise environment by building detailed evidence base. This has been achieved through noise attitudinal surveys, noise measurement studies, analysis of noise complaints data, open-space noise study and aircraft study.

The Noise Strategy has been seen to promote the issues of noise and endorse the action required from partners to get results.

 

Worcestershire Regulatory Services – redesigning principles of workflow and direct action to enhance effectiveness

Worcestershire Regulatory services is a new shared service formed in June 2010, bringing Environmental Health & Licensing services from 6 Districts (Bromsgrove, Malvern, Redditch, Worcester, Wychavon and Wyre Forest) together with Trading Standards at Worcester County Council. This amalgamation has led to a major transformation in management systems – assessing workflow, establishing the purpose of the service and challenging current logics to redesign the process.

The Noise Nuisance team, using “System Thinking” has since become a more customer-centric service, defining and agreeing with the complainant the next course of action, taking direct action to deal more efficiently and effectively with noise issues, and doing away with lengthy noise log sheets and largely ineffectual warning letters.

Several Local Authorities have also been considered for the following awards, with winners being announced on the night:

Innovation Award – aims to encourage the development of new solutions to resolve noise pollution problems, using a pioneering approach that addresses this issue from a unique standpoint. The winner of this award is nominated by the Noise Abatement Society and will be announced on the night.

Silent Approach™ Award sponsored by Brigade Electronics – encourages development in the area of reducing noise in logistics and delivery to the benefit of the community whilst enhancing the environment. The winner of this award is nominated by the Noise Abatement Society and will be announced on the night.

 

Winners of the John Connell Awards will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on 8th November at the Houses of Parliament, which will also be attended by representatives from DEFRA, Department for Transport, Olympic Delivery Authority and Transport for London, among others.

 

For more information on the Awards or to see the list of finalists, visit www.noiseabatementsociety.com

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CALL FOR ENTRIES for ‘Noise Oscars’

John Connell Technology Award, sponsored by the IoA

In anticipation of the prestigious 11th annual John Connell Awards – dubbed the ‘Noise Oscars’ – providers of quiet technologies are now being invited to submit applications to the Noise Abatement Society.

The Institute of Acoustics John Connell Technology Award, established in 2010, recognises and encourages the development of new or enhanced products demonstrating significant technological advancement, and organisations demonstrating a history of sustained innovation across product lines to resolve noise pollution problems.

To meet the strict judging criteria, submissions for the Technology Award should describe:

1. The degree of innovation, technological advancement and sustained commitment to reducing noise pollution through product development

2. Evidence of overall solutions and impact including – target and desired goals and outcomes – measurement against agreed standards – effectiveness in the mitigation of noise pollution

3. Placement of the product(s) in the business context: how it helps to achieve sustainability targets (lowering noise pollution)

4. Any additional environmental benefits achieved

 All submissions should be sent to johnconnellawards@noise-abatement.com with Technology Award’ noted in the subject line. Closing date for submissions is 5.00pm on Thursday 27th October 2011.

Speaking about the award, Trevor Cox, President of the Institute of Acoustics, said “We are delighted to once again be sponsors of the John Connell Technology Award. Industry plays a critical role in reducing noise pollution. Developing new, innovative low noise products and solutions is essential if we are to protect the public and the environment from the cacophony of human activity.”

The awards are named in honour of the Society’s founder, John Connell OBE, who successfully lobbied the Noise Abatement Act through Parliament in 1960 when noise became a statutory nuisance for the first time in the UK.

The ceremony will take place at the Palace of Westminster, on the evening of Tuesday 8th November 2011 and will be hosted by Mike Weatherly MP for Hove and Portslade on behalf of the Noise Abatement Society (NAS) Trustees, and are designed to recognise and promote innovative ideas and initiatives that have made a positive impact on the reduction of excessive noise in the community, helping to improve the aural environment.

The John Connell Technology Award is sponsored by The Institute of Acoustics, and has a judging panel, comprised of:

• John Hinton OBE, Chair of Judging Panel, past President of The Institute of Acoustics (2008-2010), on behalf of the IoA

• Gloria Elliott, Chief Executive, the Noise Abatement Society

• Max Dixon, Town planner and urbanist specialising in noise and soundscape management, formerly of the Greater London

• Stephen Crosher, consultant and technology expert, Fleet Renewables

• Alan Blissett, Environmental Health practitioner, Southwark Council

Gloria Elliott, Chief Executive, the Noise Abatement Society said, “We are thrilled to welcome the Institute of Acoustics as generous sponsors for the second year of the John Connell Technology Award. By working together in this way with industry, trade associations, government, local government and public bodies we can help to further the uptake of quiet alternatives to traditionally noisy solutions thereby protecting the public and reducing noise pollution.”

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SOUNDING BRIGHTON Innovative Sonic Experiments at Brighton & Hove’s White Night

SOUNDING BRIGHTON, supported by the European funded COST Action, is a co-commission with the Noise Abatement Society for Brighton & Hove White Night. A series of sonic artworks, produced especially for the occasion, will challenge notions of sound in public spaces. The works will extend the Noise Abatement Society’s pioneering initiative, Sounding Brighton: they will provoke debate and initiate innovative explorations to help solve noise disturbance in urban environments. This project is part of White Night’s commitment to ‘new work’ and ‘new approaches’.

The artists and experts who have been chosen for the White Night project all have a gift for public engagement and an accessible message/medium through which to communicate it. The work created for White Night will be of particular interest to sound artists, designers and acoustic ecologists – as well as the participating public.

 CONTEXT
In modern life, we are continually bombarded by noises, and listening has, for many of us, become a Cinderella sense. However, we can develop new ways of listening – and take more control of our listening.

Those in charge of the design, management and use of cities must take more responsibility for the sonic implications of their actions. We need to take as much care of our soundscapes as of townscapes and landscapes. Practical approaches towards better soundscapes can be explored by engaging audiences in new ways of experiencing the richness and creative power of sound – and demonstrating how it can be viewed as a valuable ‘resource’.

Within the White Night Festival’s theme of Utopia, Sounding Brighton will present innovative, participatory installations aimed at encouraging members of the community to expand their creative engagement with sound. It will raise awareness of new possibilities for quality soundscapes through immersive sonic experiences, using artistic and musical interpretations. There will also be a programme of interactive lectures.

THE PROGRAMME

WEST STREET STORY

a 3D outdoor soundscape installation, transforming the atmosphere and ambience in the heart of Brighton’s cacophonous clubbing area

The installation is being created by Martyn Ware of The Illustrious Company. Martyn, a founder member of The Human League and Heaven 17, is a musician committed to helping the public understand positive soundscaping. Situated in part of West Street, in the heart of Brighton’s night life, his installation will consist of two rows of speakers creating a 3D soundscape, through which people can walk. Martyn will present a combination of both recorded and live sounds from a kiosk at the side of the street. His soundscapes will present a contrast to the raucous disharmony so frequently heard in lively areas at night, and will be designed to connect with visitors to the area and residents, as well as those exiting the clubs.

COME TOGETHER

a special event exploring ‘sound and rapport’,

 in Brighton University’s Sallis Benney Theatre, Grand Parade Campus

Audio from West Street Story, and live film footage of the crowds in the West Street area, will be broadcast by Driftwood Productions at Come Together. Here, psychobiologist and communications expert Dr Harry Witchel will facilitate three entertaining, interactive, masterclasses about Body Language, Music and Social Territory. These will enable participants to analyse the effects of the soundscape on the body language and behaviour of people in general, as well as those filmed during White Night. Dr Witchel, from Brighton and Sussex Medical School, is also well known as a media personality and body language commentator for Big Brother. He is author of You Are What You Hear.  

In the adjoining gallery, Brighton University is staging Sounding out the Museum – Peter Vogel Retrospective Exhibition, the first exhibition in the UK of Vogel’s pioneering and influential sound sculptures, which are activated by the movement, gestures and sound emanating from audiences as they enter the space.

INTERACTIVE LECTURES IN BRIGHTON’S INDEPENDENT COFFEE HOUSES

Julian Treasure and Dr John Drever, both sound experts, will run discussions, as part of a wider programme for White Night involving independent minded thinkers. They will demonstrate how certain sounds, which are fitting in one space, are disturbances in another.  

Julian Treasure of The Sound Agency will discuss Utopia Sounds: In our louder and louder world, he asks “Are we are losing our listening?” Julian will share ways to re-tune our ears for conscious listening – to other people and the world around us.

In Creation Power, Dr John Drever from Goldsmiths, University of London will illustrate how designers of gadgets and machines, and the individuals using them, should be aware of the impact of sounds associated with these products and the ways in which they affect people – and spaces.

BRIGHTON REMIXED: Soundscape installation, Imperial Arcade

Esther Springett, sound artist and facilitator, is working with Dv8 Training Brighton, who run innovative, creative and media based training for young people. Esther is helping a group of 16-18 year olds to explore their own soundscapes, listen in new ways and learn practical, technical skills, which will open up new opportunities for them in the creative industries. Their White Night soundscape installation, the culmination of this vocational based learning project, will feature their recordings ‘remixing the sounds of Brighton’, presented through an audiovisual display.

*          *          *          *          *

Do Something Different in the Middle of the Night

Brighton & Hove White Night: dusk to dawn, marking the end of British Summer Time

6.00pm Saturday 29 October to 10.00am Sunday 30 October, 2011

A contemporary, all night, free arts festival

Unique in the UK, attracting over 40,000 participants

Throughout Brighton & Hove: in the city’s cultural venues, cafes, parks, squares, streets,

‘pop up’ spaces, sporting facilities – even on smart phones and iPods

Brighton & Hove White Night 2011 celebrates the theme of ‘Utopia’, featuring more than 60 indoor and outdoor cultural events, all created especially for the night.

White Night is a “cultural reclaiming of the streets”. Venues, artists, programmers and curators create new work, and experiment with new approaches for new audiences. This is a microcosm of the city’s creativity, all in one night

The Noise Abatement Society is a UK Registerd Charity whose remit is to find solutions to noise pollution problems. Sounding Brighton is its pioneering initiative working with local stakeholders, the COST Action TD0804 Soundscapes of European Cities and Landscapes and ISO Working Group 54 on Perceptual assessment of soundscape quality to explore using soundscape approaches to help solve noise disturbance in urban environments.

Brighton & Hove White Night is led by Brighton & Hove Arts Commission. It is supported by Brighton & Hove City Council; ACE (SE); funded by Interreg IV A France (Channel) England; co-financed by ERDF, and is sister festival to Nuit Blanche Amiens. It is inspired by the all night arts festivals in major European cities, particularly Nuits Blanches Paris, Madrid, Brussels & Riga.

For further press information, please contact: Lianne Jarrett Associates, info@lja.uk.com, (+44) 01273 674692

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Denmark picks up the baton for night-time deliveries

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) met with a delegation including its Danish equivalent, International Transport Denmark (ITD), and representatives from the bread company Lantmännen Schulstad and the Danish Transport Authority in London this week to discuss the introduction of night-time deliveries toDenmark.  Along with the Noise Abatement Society, the Department for Transport, Transport and Travel Research (TTR) and Sainsbury’s, FTA shared the results of the recently completed Quiet Deliveries Demonstration Scheme (QDDS) which took place in England and gave the visitors an insight into the practicalities, benefits and challenges of delivering goods out-of-hours.

Natalie Chapman, FTA’s Head of Policy for London, said:

“There is a strong appetite among the Danes to introduce night-time delivery trials similar to those which we completed earlier this year.  The demonstrable environmental, economic and road safety benefits of delivering goods out-of-hours are hard to ignore and we look forward to working with them more closely to help them develop a robust methodology that works for them.”

Earlier this year, Transport Minister Mike Penning gave his backing to night-time deliveries as a ‘win-win’ for the environment and business, stating that if done correctly, delivering out-of-hours need not represent a nuisance to residents.

Mogens Therkelsen, owner of the transport company H P Therkelsen and ITD’s chairman, said:

“We were impressed by the rigorous and scientific nature of the QDDS trials and it was invaluable to learn first-hand how FTA, NAS and the Department for Transport worked together to create fair and meaningful trials.  We hope to apply these experiences carefully as we look to do the same in Denmark.”

Four of the six QDDS trials (which were project managed by TTR) were fully completed, while two were delayed by factors and planning restrictions beyond the QDDS’s control.  Encouragingly, as well as evidence of improved fuel consumption, no residential complaints were logged in two of the completed trials and where nominal complaints were raised in the remainder, swift remedial action was found to be entirely satisfactory.

Morag White, Sainsbury’s Environment Manager for Logistics, said:

“As a responsible retailer we are always looking to improve our logistics operations and ensure that we use innovation to support deliveries.  Our meeting with ITD was encouraging and it’s key that we continue to engage with the industry and stakeholders to share our best practice.”

Managing director of the Noise Abatement Society, Lisa Lavia said:

“Interest in the QDDS trials is growing, with several countries seeking to adapt the scheme locally.  We know that if best practice is shared and strict guidelines to protect the rights of residents are adhered to, then night-time deliveries are an efficient and pragmatic solution to a growing problem.”

FTA backs night-time deliveries as a key to mitigating some of the expected disruption to the supply chain caused by the Olympics next year, when there will be more freight to deliver and less time to deliver it in.

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Sound Annoyance – the online research study

The NAS supports an important online research study to measure sound annoyance – the way we hear it and interpret it

Leading researchers investigating “sound annoyance” at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, are calling for better legislation to protect the health and lives of noise pollution sufferers.
 
The Noise Abatement Society is supporting an important online survey to help researchers better determine the characteristics of sound annoyance: how it is experienced and why. The research is being conducted by field leaders Professor Tjeerd Andringa and Jolie Lanser and is aimed at those who are experiencing sound annoyance in their day-to-day lives. The survey can be found at www.soundannoyance.com

Andringa and Lanser are convinced that we do not yet fully understand the causes of sound annoyance and Lanser has developed a questionnaire to investigate how severe annoyance can be caused by particular sources. “We are looking for common histories between people who are annoyed by sound, and how sound sources effect their daily lives. Of course there are important differences between individuals, but there are also many commonalities: for example there are only a few sound sources that really annoy people. The results of the online questionnaire will go a long way to help us better understand what properties make particular sources so annoying.”

Gloria Elliott, chief executive of the Noise Abatement Society, agrees. “It is important that we learn to manage our soundscapes responsibly and sensitively in collaboration with community stakeholders. It is not just the levels of noise that annoy people, but their quality, duration and the context in which they are heard. We look forward with anticipation to the results of this survey and would encourage participation by as many people as possible.”

 -END-

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Government Backed Trials Show Quiet Night-Time Deliveries Work

The realisation of the environmental, economic and road safety benefits of delivering goods out-of-hours has taken a significant step forward with the results of the Quiet Delivery Demonstration Scheme (QDDS) trials, announced today at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health in London at a conference attended by Transport Minister Mike Penning.

Developed by the Freight Transport Association (FTA), the Noise Abatement Society (NAS) and the Department for Transport, and managed by Transport and Travel Research (TTR), the QDDS saw six trials take place at retail outlets across England in 2010. Stores in Dorset, West Sussex, Staffordshire, Walsall, London and Berkshire looked to illustrate the potential benefits from curfew relaxations for quiet deliveries, while still protecting local residents’ right to a good night’s sleep.

Retailers were asked to adopt a consistent methodology, which included engaging with both local authorities and residents, installing noise monitoring equipment, introducing a ‘driver charter’ and a rigorous site assessment to reduce noise, and to compare and analyse the results before and after each trial.

Four of the six trials were fully completed, while two have been delayed by factors and planning restrictions beyond the QDDS’s control. Encouragingly, as well as evidence of improved fuel consumption, no residential complaints were logged in two of the completed trials and where nominal complaints were raised in the remainder, swift, remedial action was found to be entirely satisfactory.

Transport Minister Mike Penning said:

“This shows that by following proven methodology shop owners and supermarkets can receive deliveries out-of-hours without being a nuisance to residents.  Less congestion, better air quality and safer roads means a win-win situation.  I look forward to seeing more examples of retailers and local authorities working together to explore the mutual benefits of quiet deliveries.” 

FTA backs night-time deliveries as a key to mitigating some of the expected disruption to the supply chain caused by the Olympics next year, when there will be more freight to deliver and less time to deliver it in. 

Natalie Chapman, FTA’s Head of Policy for London, said:

”These six case studies are invaluable in the future development of a framework through which quiet night-time deliveries can be rolled out successfully and on a case-by-case basis. These trials really show the essential role retailers must play in engaging with their local authorities and residents to demonstrate the benefits of out-of-hours deliveries.

“Retailers don’t want to disturb residents, who are also their customers too, and by providing real solutions we have come up with more than just a compromise – we have shown that journey times, fuel economy and air quality, as well as stock turnaround, can be improved without affecting local residents’ right to a good night’s sleep.”

 Gloria Elliott, Chief Executive of the Noise Abatement Society, said:

“The QDDS trials are a significant landmark on the journey to achieving the ultimate goal of out-of-hours delivery without disturbance. Protecting the rights of local residents is of paramount importance. Given the significant health and environmental gains to be made, it is critical to establish feasible and sustainable quiet out-of-hours delivery practices with increased investment from industry and positive co-ordinated input from Local Authorities. Doing so will also lessen day-time disturbance and enable quieter deliveries to become accepted as the norm. Introducing quiet delivery practices now, under strict guidelines and independent monitoring, ensures that the public will be protected throughout.’’

The view or download a copy of the full results visit http://www.dft.gov.uk/publications/quiet-deliveries-demonstration-scheme

Notes for editors

Background to Curfew Relaxation for Quiet Deliveries

HGV movements in urban areas are often constrained during night-time and/or weekend periods by local regulations put in place to avoid noise impacts. Restrictions are imposed by local authorities to protect residents from noise and other nuisance during the late evening and early morning.

However, they have the effect of increasing the number of deliveries that have to be scheduled during peak traffic conditions, thereby increasing traffic congestion and carbon emissions, and reducing air quality in the areas concerned. The restrictions also increase the road safety risks for vulnerable groups such as schoolchildren and cyclists by concentrating freight traffic into the hours when such users are competing for road space.

Delivery restrictions can also create particular difficulties for retailers who need early morning deliveries, for example to ensure that fresh produce is available on the shelves in time for store opening hours. If such night-time or out-of-hours delivery restrictions could be relaxed or removed where appropriate, there are significant potential benefits for society, primarily from reduced congestion. To realise these benefits, retailers need to work in close co-operation with local authorities to agree the conditions under which the authorities would be prepared to relax or remove delivery restrictions.

Local authorities would need to ensure no adverse noise impacts prior to relaxing or changing regulations, to establish a clear trigger for the reversal of any relaxation, and to provide for independent verification that the agreed conditions were being respected.

It is envisaged that curfew relaxation would apply only to retailers respecting agreed working practices developed in partnership with the local authority and only within a prescribed area and/or delivery site governed by the local authority.

If successfully embedded, the main long-term benefits of curfew relaxations for the retail sector and wider society in England would be: reduced congestion and better journey time reliability; noise reduction through vehicle technology and improved working practices; lower CO2 emissions (lower fuel consumption through reduced congestion); improved air quality through reduced emissions (through reduced congestion), and; improved local road safety (through the removal of HGVs at peak periods of use by vulnerable groups)

Freight Transport Association

FTA represents the transport needs of UK industry. Its membership is comprised of manufacturers, retailers, logistic companies, hauliers and organisations in the public and private sectors. The Association’s interests are multi-modal and in addition to consigning 90 per cent of freight carried on rail and over 70 per cent of sea and air freight its members operate in excess of 200,000 goods vehicles, approximately half the UK fleet of commercial vehicles.

FTA’s 14,000-plus members operate across all modes of transport – road, rail, air and sea. FTA is one of the largest and leading trade associations in the UK.

For further information please contact FTA’s media team on 01892 552255/01892 552253 or, out of hours, or 07818 450425.

Noise Abatement Society

The objective of the Noise Abatement Society, UK registered charity number 272040, is to raise awareness of, and find solutions to, noise and related pollutants for example light disturbance and air pollution. Our work helps to relieve the physical and mental distress and ill health which noise and related pollutants cause and which profoundly affect public health, productivity, the quality of life and marine and wildlife. The Society was established in 1959 by John Connell OBE who successfully lobbied the Noise Abatement Act through Parliament in 1960, establishing noise as a statutory nuisance for the first time in the UK. For further information please contact: Noise Abatement Society’s press office on 01273 823850 or email at press@noise-abatement.org or visit www.noiseabatementsociety.org

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EEA – Searching for Noise Solutions on Awareness Day

To mark the International Noise Awareness Day on 27 April, the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the Noise Abatement Society (NAS) seek submissions for the new European Soundscape Award which will recognise innovative solutions to noise problems.

Exposure to unwanted noise can cause stress and interfere with basic activities such as sleep, rest and study. Prolonged exposure can also trigger illnesses as serious as hypertension and cardiovascular disease. This has recently been documented in the report ‘Burden of disease from environmental noise’ from the World Health Organisation (WHO), which estimates that each year Europeans lose at least one million healthy life years due to noise from road traffic alone. 

The EEA is teaming up with the Noise Abatement Society to raise awareness about the health impacts of noise and to reward European initiatives that can help reduce excessive noise. Any product, campaign, innovation or scheme offering a creative solution to a noise problem can be nominated for the Award. The Award will be presented for the first time at a prestigious ceremony in London in November 2011.

For more information on how to submit an application, visit the European Soundscape Award webpage. The closing date for applications is 2 September 2011.

About the International Noise Awareness Day 

The Centre for Hearing and Communication founded International Noise Awareness Day to promote awareness of the dangers of long-term exposure to noise. This year, the event is taking place on 27 April.

Related content 

Good practice guide on noise exposure and potential health effects

Turn down the noise – softening the impact of excess transport noise

Noise Observation and Information Service for Europe

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