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.
Traffic noise is a serious concern for Europeans, and the EU must act quickly to tackle the issue. That is the call from citizens from several European countries in a video clip published today (1) for International Noise Awareness Day.
Future Porsche sports cars could get away with being almost four times noisier than regular cars while high performance versions of the BMW 3 series, Audi A4 and Mini Cooper could become almost twice as loud under German plans for weak international limits on vehicle noise (1). Noise reductions for lorries would also be delayed until 2028 if the proposal from the German transport and environment ministries is accepted. T&E is calling on the EU to set its own stringent noise standards for cars and lorries in a proposal expected later this month.
The EU has reached an agreement on revised road charging rules for lorries (the Eurovignette directive) that would open the door for Member States to charge for air and noise pollution in road tolls but introduces a loophole for lorries under twelve tonnes. The deal was finalised last night in 'trialogue' discussions between the European Commission, Council and Parliament.
Today, in Luxembourg, European Transport Ministers reached an agreement on revised road charging rules for lorries (the Eurovignette directive). Nina Renshaw, deputy director at Transport & Environment (T&E), welcomed the agreement but also stressed that a number of issues remain.
Research by the respected Dutch consultancy CE Delft has shown that carbon dioxide emissions from road transport could be reduced by 30% if motorway speed limits in the Netherlands were set at 80 km/h.
The European Parliament has approved a new energy efficiency, safety and noise labelling scheme for new tyres. Transport & Environment says the label is a step forward but much will now depend on national authorities being strict on implementing the scheme.