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Number of inhabitants exposed to noise from the busiest roads and railways assessed

Published 14.9.2022 9.00

The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency has prepared noise assessments that examined exposure to noise in the vicinity of the busiest roads and railways. The number of inhabitants exposed to noise was estimated and noise maps were prepared in connection with the assessments.

The assessments concerned major roads located outside the largest cities that have more than three million vehicle passages a year and major railways that have more than 30,000 train passages a year.

According to the assessments, 160,390 inhabitants in total are exposed to over 55 dB of noise (Lden) from major roads outside the largest cities. 33,640 inhabitants in total are exposed to over 55 dB of noise (Lden) from major railways.

At the same time, the largest cities have produced their own noise assessments that also included assessing the exposure to road and railway noise within the cities. Comprehensive knowledge of the overall noise situation helps to guide planning so that the health impacts of noise can also be reduced. Noise is often perceived as annoying or disturbing, and it may have an impact on health.

Regular assessments support planning

The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency prepares noise assessments regularly every five years, and they are used as a starting point when preparing and updating action plans for noise abatement.

Action plans for noise abatement are also prepared regularly every five years, and the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency's action plans for noise abatement on roads and railways are expected to be completed in July 2023. They define the policies for noise abatement and the measures for improving the noise situation in the vicinity of routes. Both noise assessments and action plans for noise abatement are available on the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency's website.

The noise assessment has been prepared as part of the fourth noise assessment cycle of the EU Environmental Noise Directive. The objective of the Environmental Noise Directive is to obtain comparable information on the noise situation in EU Member States and to specify a common operations model for the community for avoiding, preventing or reducing annoyance and disturbance from exposure to environmental noise. The data from noise assessments will also be used to develop the European Community's noise policy, especially the emission regulations concerning noise sources.

Further information:

Road Traffic Noise Assessment 2022
Rail Traffic Noise Assessment 2022
More information on noise assessments in Finnish

Taiju Virtanen, Specialist, Noise and Environment tel. +358 29 5343 312, [email protected]