This document is also available in pdf format (124k)
The Key Facts
Who we are
Transport Scotland is the national transport agency for
Scotland. Our purpose is to help deliver the Scottish
Government’s vision for transport, making a real difference
for people and businesses using the national rail and road
Transport Scotland’s aim is to ensure road construction
schemes are designed and constructed to minimise the impact of
noise, using high standards of environmental mitigation, wherever
Noise from roads
Noise from the national road network arises from two sources:
firstly from construction or maintenance operations, and secondly,
noise arising from normal road traffic using the network.
Construction noise and vibration is temporary and is assessed
differently to traffic noise. The noise levels generated by
construction activities are regulated by guidelines and subject to
local authority control. Advice is contained within British
Standard BS 5228: 1997 Noise and vibration control on
construction and open sites. Working hours and noise will be
subject to planning requirements imposed by the environmental
health department of the local authority.
Road traffic noise
The Design Manual for Road and Bridges (DMRB), used for
designing roads in Scotland, generally requires that a noise
assessment is undertaken where a change in road traffic flow of 25%
or greater is predicted (this is equivalent to a change in noise of
approximately 1 decibel (dB (A), a low and almost imperceptible
level). Where Transport Scotland propose to construct new roads,
the use of quieter road surfaces, earth mounds, acoustic fencing or
other measures may be considered.
Our plan for the future
Transport Scotland is committed to understanding and controlling
the environmental impact of our network and we recognise that noise
from major roads is a concern.
We have worked closely with the rest of the Scottish Government
to implement the requirements of the EU Environmental Noise
Directive, and will continue to do so in the implementation of our
Transportation Noise Action Plan for the next five years.
Further information — contacts
If you require further information please contact Transport
Scotland on 0141 272 7900 or e-mail
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1) How can I find out more about the effects of a proposed
road scheme on my home?
A1) Information is provided at various stages in the development
of a scheme usually in the form of explanatory leaflets,
exhibitions and maps. You may also obtain additional information by
looking on our website at www.transportscotland.gov.uk
Q2) When are noise assessments carried out?
A2) Transport Scotland may undertake noise assessments during
the development and construction of road schemes, in accordance
with the guidance given in the DMRB. Part of the scheme development
process involves the identification of properties with the
potential to be affected by road traffic noise. Further noise
assessments may be carried out after the scheme is completed, to
consider whether generated road noise is in line with the predicted
Q3) How is noise impact calculated?
A3) Noise at individual properties, or other noise sensitive
locations, is calculated in accordance with the document Calculation of Road Traffic Noise, used widely to assess
noise impacts of road traffic. This document can be purchased from
The Stationery Office at www.tso.co.uk or telephone 0121 236
Q4) How are noise impacts assessments considered in the
Environmental Impact Assessment?
A4) Certain road schemes require the preparation of an
Environmental Impact Assessment and the subsequent publication of
an Environmental Statement. Where it is estimated that noise at a
property will increase, those properties affected are identified in
the Environmental Statement.
Q5) How will I know if I have a right to insulation against
A5) Where a noise assessment under the Noise Insulation
(Scotland) Regulations 1975 indicates that your property meets the
qualifying criteria, you will be contacted by Transport Scotland or
Q6) What can I do if my home is not considered as a
A6) If you believe that your home should be eligible for noise
insulation you can appeal to Transport Scotland for a review of
Q7) Will Transport Scotland provide mitigation measures to
reduce the noise impacts of the scheme on my home?
A7) Transport Scotland’s aim is to minimise any increase
in noise so far as reasonably practicable. This may include some of
the following measures:
- altering the location of the route
- low noise surfacing on the road
- noise barriers and fencing
- and, in some very limited cases, noise insulation installed in
Q8) Am I entitled to any compensation if I sell my home
because of actual or likely effects of construction?
A8) You may be eligible for compensation for ‘Injurious
Affection’ under Part 1 of the Land Compensation (Scotland)
Act 1973. This compensation may be payable to claimants from whom
no land is taken. Compensation would be payable on the depreciation
in a property’s market price that can be demonstrated to be
attributed to one of seven physical factors resulting from the use
of the road: noise; vibration; smell; fumes; smoke; artificial
lighting; and discharge onto the land of solid and liquid
Q9) What can I do if the noise levels near my home increase
during the construction stage?
A9) Limitations on hours of site work and construction noise
levels are determined by the environmental health department of the
local authority. These limits are intended to minimise the impact
to residents adjacent to the proposed scheme. If you consider that
these limits are being exceeded or that noise is considered to be
excessive, you should contact the Transport Scotland site
supervision team. Noise insulation grants may be offered under
exceptional circumstances for qualifying properties under the Noise
Insulation (Scotland) Regulations 1975 for both construction and
operational phases. If you believe this to be the case, you should
contact Transport Scotland.
Q10) If I am eligible for insulation against traffic noise
then what type of insulation will be offered?
A10) Eligible properties may be offered insulation works to
qualifying windows such as secondary glazing with mechanical
ventilation, or a grant towards such works, or a grant towards
installation of thermal units (double glazing).
This document is also available on
the Transport Scotland website: www.transportscotland.gov.uk
Further copies of this document are
available on request, in audio and large print formats and in
community languages. Please contact email@example.com or phone 0141 272 7100.