Aberdeen agglomeration: noise action plan

This plan is one in a suite of six noise action plans produced under the terms of the Environmental Noise Directive (END).

2. Scope of the Noise Action Plan

1.1 What it includes

This Aberdeen Agglomeration Noise Action Plan is one of a set of Noise Action Plans. The Scottish Noise Action Plans describe how the Scottish Government and its partners will deliver their obligations under the Environmental Noise Directive ( END). Other areas for which Noise Action Plans are being developed are;

  • The Dundee Agglomeration Noise Action Plan
  • The Edinburgh Agglomeration Noise Action Plan
  • The Glasgow Agglomeration Noise Action Plan
  • The Transportation Noise Action Plan
  • The Aberdeen Airport Noise Action Plan
  • The Edinburgh Airport Noise Action Plan
  • The Glasgow Airport Noise Action Plan

1.2 Definition of 'Environmental Noise'

For the purposes of the Directive, the definition of 'environmental noise is given as "unwanted or harmful outdoor sound created by human activities, including noise emitted by means of transport, road traffic, rail traffic, air traffic, and from sites of industrial activity.

It should be noted that the END does not apply to noise that is caused by the person exposed to the noise, noise from domestic activities, noise created by neighbours, noise at work places, or noise inside means of transport or due to military activities in military areas.

1.3 Industrial noise

No attempt has been made to address industrial noise as part of the action planning process other than what is set out below. This is because this type of noise is at present adequately provided for in the Scottish legislative framework for the control of noise from industrial sources.

Industrial noise for Part A process (as defined within the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2000) is controlled through The Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2000 (the PPC Regulations). These regulations designate the Scottish Environment Protection Agency ( SEPA) as the 'Regulator' responsible for enforcing the regime. As part of its role as regulator, SEPA produces guidance for use in enforcing the PPC Regulations. SEPA has produced guidance on the control of noise at PPC installations, which will be used when considering applications for, and inspections of PPC installations. For non Part A processes the control of noise is exercised by the relevant local authority under the Statutory Nuisance regime under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

In view of this and following consultation with SEPA and the local authorities it was agreed that industrial noise sources and/or areas would not be included in the action planning process other than at the request of the regulatory authority.

1.4 Strategic Noise Mapping and Action Planning

Strategic noise maps [2] for END Round 2 (for 2012) were produced on behalf of the Scottish Government and for the agglomerations by AECOM consultants. The selection criteria for the determination of which noise sources should be mapped is outlined in Table 1.

Utilising the latest available data, population exposure levels derived from the maps were submitted by the Scottish Government to Europe on the 20 December 2012. Noise maps were produced by a computer based prediction methodology and can be found on the Scottish Noise Mapping website at www.scottishnoisemapping.org .

Table 1 - Differences between Round 1 and Round 2 of the END with respect to transportation. Note that Airport transportation noise is covered in a specific Airports Noise Action Plan. Round 2 will cover corridors across the Scottish Trunk Road Network [3] , Rail Network [4] and local authority networks [5]

Stage of END Round 1 of END Round 2 of END
Major roads > 6,000,000 vehicle passages per year > 3,000,000 vehicle passages per year
Railways > 60,000 train passages per year > 30,000 train passages per year
Agglomerations > 250,000 population > 100,000 population
Airports* > 50,000 air traffic movements per year and airports within agglomerations > 50,000 air traffic movements per year and airports within agglomerations

1.5 Aberdeen Agglomeration Population Exposure

Based on the results of the noise mapping process, Tables 2a and 2b show the estimated number of people exposed to noise for Round 1 mapping. Aberdeen was not modelled as part of END Round 1 mapping.

Table 2a - Population exposure from roads within the Aberdeen agglomeration as mapped for END

L den ( dB) L night ( dB)
> = 55 > = 65 > = 75 > = 50 > = 60 > = 70
END Round 2 63900 13000 0 54400 4700 0

Table 2b - Population exposure from rail within Aberdeen agglomeration as mapped for END

L den ( dB) L night ( dB)
> = 55 > = 65 > = 75 > = 50 > = 60 > = 70
END Round 2 7700 1900 200 2100 500 0

As the published noise contours give a strategic level representation of the modelled noise climate for the areas mapped in Scotland, the resulting Action Plans are also strategic in nature, and comply with the requirements of END Annex 5. The noise maps cannot be used to determine the noise level at any specific property. With this point in mind, it is essential to note the following points:

  • A noise map is analogous to a weather map in that it maps strategic noise levels in terms of coloured contour bands at 5 dB noise contour bands.
  • The strategic noise levels show annual average noise levels.
  • The noise contours are not receptor-specific levels experienced on the ground. Rather, the noise levels are calculated on the basis of a 10m grid at a height of 4m above ground level. They do not represent levels at ground, or typical human ear level.

Initial analysis of the noise maps for road and rail sources, using the Prioritisation Matrix (see Section 5), provides a focus for deriving actions to reduce noise by identifying Candidate Noise Management Area ( CNMA) (as described in Section 5). The CNMAs may subsequently progress into a Noise Management Area ( NMA) status (as described in Section 5). During the time period between 2013 and 2018, the NMAs have been/will be a primary consideration when formulating environmental noise management actions/policy following the actions listed in this Aberdeen Noise Action Plan (in line with PAN 1/2011).

The prioritisation process follows the Technical Guidance published by the Scottish Government during END Round 1 [6] .



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