Indicator noise

Traffic noise pollution

Noise is harmful to health, reduces the quality of life in the affected regions and also causes high economic costs. Road traffic is by far the greatest source of noise. Unlike railway and aircraft noise, road noise is not only a problem at the local level, but is also disseminated in the form of a noise carpet.

Assessment of the state
poor poor
Assessment of the trend
impossible to evaluate impossible to evaluate
Night Air traffic: 75000 Night Rail traffic: 87000 Night National roads: 97000 Night Whole road networks: 1000000 Day Air traffic: 24000 Day Rail traffic: 16000 Day National roads: 67000 Day Whole road networks: 1120000
People exposed to harmful or disturbing noise in Switzerland, 2015

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: FOEN: sonBASE
Area beyond influence of central municipalities  Night: 75000 Area beyond influence of central municipalities  Day: 85000 Area under influence of central municipalities  Night: 115000 Area under influence of central municipalities  Day: 125000 Central municipalities Night: 810000 Central municipalities Day: 910000
People exposed to harmful or disturbing noise in Switzerland, 2015

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: FOEN: sonBASE
Comment

– 1 person in 7 (1.1 Mio.) – are exposed to harmful or disturbing levels of traffic noise during the day, while the equivalent figure for nighttime exposure is 1 person in 8 (1 Mio.). Far fewer people are exposed to excessive railway (16,000 during the day and 87,000% at night) and aircraft (24,000 during the day, 75,000 at night) noise. Around 90% of people who are exposed to harmful or disturbing traffic noise live in towns or agglomerations.

In order to provide the degree of protection for the population that is stipulated in the Federal Constitution, noise will have to be combated through measures directly at source to an increasing extent. In the area of road transport, the greatest noise abatement effects can be achieved through the use of low-noise road surfaces and quieter tyres, and by optimising traffic flows and adapting speed limits at the local level. To more effectively reduce railway noise, the federal government is already focusing its funding on measures at source and supporting investment in quieter rolling stock. The anticipated technological progress relating to noise protection measures is likely to be offset by increasing urbanisation, the constantly growing demand for mobility and the trend towards a 24-hour society.

International comparison

Road transport is also by far the greatest source of traffic noise throughout Europe. According to the European Environmental Agency, almost every second person living in an agglomeration is exposed to road noise exceeding 55 dB, and thus to levels above those recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the protection of human health and well-being.

Method

sonBASE is a tool for calculating road noise emissions on the basis of available fundamental data (official geodata, statistics, traffic data, etc.). In the noise calculation module (CadnaA) the degree of dissemination and the resulting ambient noise levels are then calculated with the aid of a digital height model, the available building data, emission data (road noise) and the effective emissions (railway noise). With respect to aircraft noise, the available measurements at civil airports and military airfields are adopted as ambient noise levels. The basis for assessing the number of people exposed to road, rail and aircraft noise is the exposure limit level specified in the Swiss Federal Noise Abatement Ordinance (SR 814.41) in relation to the defined sensitivity levels (SL I to IV).

 
Last updated on: 05.11.2018

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