The Environment Committee of the European Parliament will vote next week on noise limits for vehicles. The compromise proposal put forward by the lead MEP has been drafted by sports car manufacturer Porsche.
The European Commission is taking legal action against the UK over claims it is exceeding limits on air pollution from traffic. Britain has two months to respond to the case that it breached EU limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions, which cause breathing and other health problems.
An agreement reached yesterday means quieter road vehicles won’t be introduced for another 15 years. Transport & Environment (T&E) believes the deal crafted last night by the Commission, European Parliament and Member States is disgraceful, prioritizing the wishes of the car industry over the health of EU citizens. It means decades of delay for a quieter, healthier Europe.
Traffic noise is the second biggest environmental factor affecting Europe’s health after air pollution. Almost half of EU citizens are regularly exposed to road traffic noise over the level that the World Health Organisation (WHO) considers to pose a serious risk to health. Noise pollution has been linked to 50,000 fatal heart attacks every year in Europe.
The lives of millions of Europeans will be blighted by an increase in road traffic noise for years to come as the European Parliament today voted to weaken current noise limits for sports cars and trucks. Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) and the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) express their disappointment in today's parliamentary vote, and resume calls on Member States to strengthen limits to lead to quieter and, hence, healthier cities in Europe.
After three postponements (1), the Environment Committee of the European Parliament has voted for tighter future noise limits for vehicles. The standards of future noise limit values was accepted in a tight vote defeating an alternative proposal that would have allowed much louder sports cars, buses and trucks onto the road.
After three postponements the Environment Committee of the European Parliament will finally vote next week on noise limits for vehicles. Contrary to industry concerns, a new report published today by Transport & Environment (T&E), Europe’s sustainable transport campaigners, shows that making cars more fuel efficient is fully compatible with making them quieter too.
The European Commission has gone back on a series of commitments to reduce the environmental impacts of road vehicles. T&E says the climbdown carries the fingerprints of lobbying by the automotive industry, but will not help Europe’s car makers in the long term.
Opinion by Nina Renshaw - T&E deputy director
There aren’t many downsides to working at T&E, but if I have to name one, it is that we don’t often have the joy of seeing the fruits of our work in the real world. Mostly you don’t see less energy use or fewer emissions, and you see even fewer economic incentives at work when walking around town. So 1 November will be a rare moment.