This paper is submitted within the framework of the European Commission public consultation on rail noise abatement measures, and elaborates on T&E’s response to the online questionnaire in preparation for the European Commission Communication on railway noise.
T&E welcomes the European Commission’s recognition of the severity and widespread nature of the rail noise problem throughout Europe, as outlined in the consultation document of May 2007.
With the primary objective to reduce the number of people (dwellings) exposed to levels of noise potentially damaging to health, progress should be demonstrated – and communicated to the public – by means of noise maps. The target should be visible improvement on the 2012 maps, and substantial reduction of exposure to potentially harmful levels of noise by 2017 at the latest.
In accordance with the Treaty, action should be based on the precautionary, preventive and polluter-pays principles, and the problem should be primarily addressed directly at the source to maximise cost-effectiveness.