Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Noise Study Gets an Ear-Bashing

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Noise Study Gets an Ear-Bashing

Article excerpt

Byline: By Chloe Griffiths

Claims Newcastle is the nosiest place in Britain have met with uproar in the city.

Bosses at Newcastle City Council have reacted angrily to a study which ranks the city as top of the table of noisy destinations ( and rates the Tyne Bridge as the loudest spot in the country.

The report measured the levels of traffic noise in 41 urban areas across the country during rush-hour ( and Newcastle topped the charts at an ear-splitting 80.4 decibels.

This would make Newcastle 100 times nosier than tranquil Torquay which came bottom of the survey, according to the logarithmic index which records decibels.

It also ensures the North-East takes the dubious title ahead of bustling centres such as London and Birmingham.

Council and tourism chiefs yesterday hit back at the study, conducted by Professor Deepak Prasher, of the Ear Institute at University College London in conjunction with hearing aid manufacturer Widex.

They insist the report, carried out during last October and November, is misleading and paints a negative picture of the city.

They say the levels given in the survey are far from representative ( especially as they were taken in the echoey underpass on the A167 Central Motorway leading to the Tyne Bridge.

This is despite claims by the author that locations were chosen to give a "snapshot" of the noise levels in each destination in spots where people come into close proximity with traffic.

A council spokeswoman said: "We are very cross ( to say Newcastle is the noisiest place in the UK is just crazy and it really sends out the wrong image."

She added: "The survey measurement was carried out at rush hour beside the underpass on the Central Motorway before reaching the Tyne Bridge ( a location which is hardly typical of the noise levels found in the rest of the city and not a pedestrian or residential area.

"The survey is misleading to say that this one isolated and atypical reading makes Newcastle the noisiest place in Britain. …

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