Category: Uncategorized

Best Practical Means of Controlling Noise & Vibration

Noise is a harmful pollutant. The  World Health Organisation have been publishing detailed reports and issuing warnings on the public health consequences for 35yrs. Vibration, closely related to noise, is in itself a health problem, damages infrastructure, and is the root cause of much noise pollution. As products to monitor, mitigate and reduce noise and vibration become increasingly available, we are looking at what they can do, who supplies these solutions and situations in which they really ought to be used.

Solutions or Best Practical Means, BPM

Categories we are interested in:

  • Noise and/or Vibration prevention
  • Noise and/or Vibration monitoring,  logging and data publication
  • Noise/vibration mitigation and insulation
  • Public health monitoring and awareness such as wearable monitoring for blood pressure, pulse, stress.
  • Legislation enactment. Ensuring that the public are actually made aware of the protection afforded by the relevant laws and when these apply.

If You Have a Noise Pollution Solution…

Contact NVAG at

2015 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,000 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 50 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Stirling Council Press Release on Enforcement Action Against Railway Noise and Vibration

Press Release issued  by Danny Gibson Environment Convener, Stirling Council


For immediate release

Stirling Council officers are now taking further action to implement the instruction from Council that there is to be further engagement with and enforcement action against Network Rail and freight operators who use the Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine (SAK) railway line.  The Council instructed this action in response to long-running concerns about disruption raised by local residents.

The notice which will be served relates to the noise and vibration caused particularly by freight trains using it during night time hours.

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Noise Pollution Manifesto

by Noise Vibration Action Group

1 It is a fundamental human right of individuals, communities, cities and nations that they be able to live without the blight of noise pollution.

2 Noise pollution must be controlled to levels that:
•Do not harm health
•That allow normal functioning, well being and development
•That allow adequate duration and quality of sleep (8 hrs adult , 10-12 hrs children)

3 The ‘polluter pays principle’ should be upheld at all times, ie those responsible for creating or who benefit from the process that generates the pollution should bear the cost of taking measures to address it.

4 The ‘precautionary principle’ should be upheld, ie where there is reason to believe that noise or vibration might be harmful, the onus is on those who generate such emissions to prove, with independent verification, that the levels are not harmful or detrimental to health, well-being or sleep.

5 The public should be made aware of the risks from noise pollution through public health bodies and health and well being media outlets.

6 Medical professionals and environmental regulators should be educated on the risks, symptoms and illnesses that result from noise pollution and of the exposure levels at which these occur.

7 Bodies responsible for environmental standards
or quality of life should act in an effective and timeous manner to ensure these are achieved.

8 Inadequate resources such as insufficient staffing, funding or legislative powers may result in an organization or individual being unable to fulfill their role in regulating or addressing issues of noise pollution or vibration. Where this is the case, all persons responsible must formally notify pertinent senior persons or bodies, including the government and health organizations, of their inability to act effectively and the consequences for the affected population.

9 Legal action must be taken wherever possible against individuals or organizations whose actions or failure to act (such as neglect of duty to monitor or regulate), result in the emission of noise pollution that is prejudicial to health, undermine well-being or breach human rights.

10 Vested interests such as persons whose activities, membership, employment are related to the generation of noise pollution should not have any representation on committees, boards or advisory groups whose role is to maintain health, protect the environment or represent the interests of the community who may be subjected to the noise pollution.

11 Impartiality of data and advice or other expertise is essential. This necessitates that consultants or experts who act in the interests of clients who produce noise pollution are not at any point employed in the regulation or assessment of noise pollution, or the development of standards or policies.¹


Why this manifesto?Noise pollution has a highly negative impact on humans and other organisms and causes significant harm to the natural and social environment. Those against it are asked to distribute this manifesto and, wherever possible, to raise awareness, take action or make representation to reduce or eliminate this pollution both for themselves and for others

Definition: Noise pollution is any noise or vibration, audible or inaudible (eg infra sound) , that is introduced by artificial means into the environment that causes harm, discomfort, .

Background: Noise pollution is widespread and increasing and is being generated in the name of ‘progress’ and to serve commercial priorities. The impact includes heart disease, high blood pressure, tinnitus, stress-related illnesses, developmental problems in children and, through sleep deprivation, lower immunity, obesity, inflammation of joints, aggression, deterioration in judgement, coordination and reaction time, inability to memorize, increased susceptibility to accidents. Advised limits, including exposure-dose response relationships have been documented in World Health Organization publications in 1995, 1999, 2005, 2009, 2011. These are based on peer-reviewed studies and give increasingly adamant warnings of the need for controlling this pollution.

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BBC Reports on Freight Train Misery

BBC Reports on UK Rail Problem

BBC Scotland has reported on the issue of the SAK railway line and the six year problem of getting a decent night’s sleep. Broadcast on BBC’s evening news on the 12th Feb 2015, it includes footage of DB Shenker (DB Bahn) freight, accounts of the experience of lineside residents, actions being taken by the Council, statements from Network Rail shots along the line, a line whose mitigation was advised by global Consultants AECOM. Link to news item: Freight . . . by Day and by Night

Network Rail was quoted as saying:


However, typical noise levels at bedroom windows based on the official 2009 Noise Assessment were


This is 20dB higher and four times louder than the 60dB night noise maximum advised by the World Health Organization.

Network Rail’s CEO, Mark Carne, is invited to respond to three questions later in this post. In a further post we intend to ask the global consultants AECOM about their involvement in the non-allocation of night noise mitigation.

Network Rail also stated in the BBC news item that:

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BBC Want to Report on Stirling Alloa Kincardine Rail Issue

Email from BBC:

I’m working on a TV report for BBC Scotland News on the noise problems faced by people living alongside the SAK route and I was wondering if you could put me in touch with someone please? Ideally it would be someone willing to do a TV interview at home explaining the problems caused by the freight noise at night, if they would be willing to record the noise on a phone for us that would be really helpful. If you know of anyone who would be interested in doing this please let me know and I’ll talk it through with them in greater detail.
All the best
Yana Thandrayen |Producer

BBC Scotland News

Anyone interested please contact us via our contact page

Noise – Decision – ‘Statutory Nuisance’

Rail Pollution-Legal Action?
In a report commissioned by Stirling Council,  Noise and Vibration Consultants, Sandy Brown Associates, reported that night noise levels were, in their opinion, a ‘statutory nuisance’. A Statutory nuisance is a legal term for pollution that is judged to be a ‘nuisance’ or ‘prejudicial to health’. Once classified as a ‘statutory nuisance’, UK environmental law says abatement orders should be served (EPA1990,sec79,80).
Link to railway noise vibration report


Night noise well over 60dBlamax

How Bad Is It?
Noise at four out of five sample residential locations was

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