London’s full of all kinds of strange noises. The city is soundtracked by the annoying sounds of nee-nawing ambulances, tube station buskers, drunk people shouting, and then there’s the mysterious South London Hum. If you want to know where exactly is the noisiest place in the capital, there’s a new map showing the loudest (and quietest) places to live in London.
The interactive map, made by climate charity Possible, lets users explore the noise intensity in different spots around the city. The loudest places, shown in dark purple on the map, were not surprisingly around busy roads. Areas close to the M25 motorway showed the highest levels of noise pollution. And traffic-dense areas like Soho, Covent Garden and Westminster also recorded pretty high noise levels of around 70dB, which is about the same noise level as a washing machine. Unsurprisingly, places around parks were the quietest. People who live near Battersea Park, Hyde Park and along the Thames will have the safest ears, as they recorded levels between 40 and 55dB.
The majority of London’s noise pollution comes from traffic. Hirra Khan Adeogun, head of the Car Free Cities campaign run by Possible, said: ‘It’s well known how mass private car ownership damages the climate and contributes to toxic air. But the damage London’s traffic noise is having on the health of its residents has been overlooked for too long, with the last noise pollution strategy in London being 2004.’
AC/DC were right when they sang ‘rock ’n’ roll ain’t noise pollution’. It’s actually cars.