Prepared over two years for England's second city, the Birmingham noise map follows similar initiatives taken in other EU cities, especially in Germany, but was described by the environment ministry as the "most complete" to be compiled to date.
Mr Meacher said the Birmingham data was a first step towards creating a national noise map. He noted that a forthcoming national urban policy paper would also work on improving quality of life in cities. According to the 1996 EU green paper on noise pollution, up to 12m people in the UK suffer from unacceptable levels of noise pollution.
The Birmingham map comprises colour coded elements showing road, rail and aircraft noise throughout the city. The exercise has shown that it is technically feasible for local authorities throughout the UK to produce similar "state of the art" noise maps in future.
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