Health impact assessment of road traffic noise in the EU in 2020-2035



The negative health effects of road traffic noise in the EU are analyzed over the period 2020?2035. For a baseline scenario, with autonomous traffic growth and fleet development, it is found that the EU health burden in 2030 is equivalent to the loss of 1.7 million ‘healthy life years’. Various noise abatement scenarios are analyzed, with noise solutions such as quiet road surfaces, quiet tyres, and electric vehicles. The health benefits of the scenarios are calculated as health?burden differences from the baseline scenario. The calculation methodology is based on the noise exposure distributions reported in 2017 by EU member states, for urban agglomerations and for major roads. Changes in noise exposure are calculated with EU model Cnossos for vehicle emission, considering different types of roads (residential streets, main roads, motorways,…). The monetized health benefits are used as input for a cost?benefit analysis of the scenarios over the period 2020-2035. For quiet tyres, for example, high health benefits and low costs are found, resulting in a high cost-to-benefit ratio. This work was part of a study for the European Commision, exploring different options for reducing the EU health burden caused by noise from road, rail, and air traffic.