Top 5 Loudest Places in London

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London is noisy. Of course, it is after all, it’s one of the busiest and most vibrant cities in the world. But there are times when the balance can tip from an exciting place to be into a cacophony of noise which can be dangerously loud for human ears. Noise monitoring can demonstrate when an environment is too loud to live with and in, with safe limits reached and exceeded.

There will be moments of extreme noise which are fleeting – an English home crowd at Wembley or the O2 rocking out at full capacity – but there are hotspots in London which are consistently too loud and noisy for our own good, with a UN report released in February 2022 declaring London the noisiest city in Europe.

Up, Up And Away

Unsurprisingly, Heathrow comes out top in terms of noise pollution. Aircraft land and take off close to large residential areas, with aircraft engine noise controlling the local air space from early morning until late at night. Although there are no-fly hours at the night, the planes will always be ready for take-off again in the morning.

Order, Order

The City of Westminster can count on large levels of noise, with a concentration of volume that follows the path of the River Thames, from the edge of the City of London all the way through to Chelsea Embankment. With many of the main Thames crossing points in this part of the capital, alongside the Houses of Parliament and Waterloo station, this is a busy area for both pedestrians and vehicular transport.

Going Underground

As well to the overground noise, things can get very loud beneath the streets of London. A pre-pandemic study recorded 10 Tube lines that are so loud, they could permanently damage your hearing. Some parts of the network are so loud, they’ve been compared to standing next to a helicopter taking flight. Parts of some lines within Zones 1 and 2 exceed 105 decibels, with the Victoria Line claiming the top spot. Lines between Liverpool Street and Bethnal Green, Camden Town to Euston are especially noisy.

Va Va Vroom

In addition to the noise caused by Heathrow’s busy flight schedule, much of the noise pollution in London is caused by road traffic, with the Government estimating the social cost of road traffic noise pollution at between £7bn and £10bn per year. Not only does the noise impact hearing, health and wellbeing, but it also affects the environment around us which amplifies any negative impact caused even further.

Noise levels in London are also at their highest around stretches of the M25, particularly in the Edgeware and Upminster areas.

Overly loud in Enfield

Perched at the top of London’s outlying areas, Enfield’s M25 corridor is one of the noisiest places in all of London. An often-congested part of the road this part of the motorway takes in traffic from the nearby M1 and M11, which boosts its sound levels even further.