Newcastle 'noisiest' place in England
Newcastle beat London and Birmingham to become the noisiest place
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Friday, 02, Feb 2007 11:35
Newcastle has been named the noisiest place in England due to traffic sounds, according to a new report.
The north-east city registered an "ear-splitting 80.4 decibels (dB) at rush hour, a noise equivalent to a loud alarm clock constantly ringing in your ear".
Researchers measured traffic noise by taking several readings at locations nationwide and working out an average. Birmingham and London were named the second and third noisiest places respectively.
However smaller towns such as Darlington and Gillingham surprisingly beat the large, bustling cities of Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds to the top of the noise report rankings.
The report, compiled by hearing aid manufacturing Widex and the Ear Institute at the University College London, warns that continued exposure to loud noise could lead to hearing problems.
Lead author Professor Deepak Prasher said: "Noise pollution in our towns and cities is a growing problem and can have a serious long-term impact on our health and wellbeing."
He added: "Noise not only annoys but also can raise our stress levels and associated hormone levels. It can disturb sleep and increase the risk of heart disease and if the noise is loud enough it can lead to permanent hearing impairment and tinnitus."
Responding to the report, a spokesman for Newcastle city council denied that the north-east city was noisier than others.
"I can't believe it at all," he told the BBC.
"Traffic is busy everywhere and I think the same measurements could have been obtained in any big city next to a motorway."
Residents of the seaside resort of Torquay are the least at risk from such dangers as the costal town was named the quietest place in England with the average level of traffic noise at rush hour recorded as 60.2 dB.