Noise ‘footprint’ from Heathrow leaves its mark across the capital
Veritas – measured noise levels that ‘dominated the environment’ in south London
and found ‘significant noise’ as far from the airport as Poplar in east London.
The volume of complaints and membership of campaign groups are also rising in
north London and as far west as Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire.
The most likely explanation for recent increases in noise is that air traffic
controllers are using more approach routes because of growing traffic. The biggest
rises were during early mornings and evenings, when people are more likely to
be at home.
Hacan ClearSkies, the anti-airport expansion campaign group which commissioned
the report, said it did so after membership rose rapidly in areas well beyond
the boroughs nearest the airport – albeit from a ‘very low base’ – despite claims
by the airport’s owner, BAA, and by the government that noise levels were falling.
The report was funded by the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone.
The most common complaint is from people being woken up. Some say they are ‘stressed’
by noise, and a handful of families have told Hacan they have moved house to escape
it, said John Stewart, Hacan’s chairman. ‘They can’t relax, they feel more and
more stressed. If people are not used to having the noise, in many ways it’s more
intensive. It’s almost like a noisy elephant in their house they can’t escape.’
(15.7.2007 The Observer)