Lewisham’s “quietest” street complains about noise

Fossil Road, Lewisham. Pic: Google Maps

Fossil Road, Lewisham. Pic: Google Maps

Residents of Lewisham’s Fossil Road, a road which was recently included in a survey of “London’s Top 10 most peaceful roads,” have slated the findings.

A number of the street’s residents have disagreed with the findings of Acoustic 24, the acoustic consultancy company who created the list.

According to tenants, the image of ‘peacefulness’ that the survey suggests does not represent their experiences.

Paul Livings, a resident of Fossil Road for 18 years said:  “Whoever conducted this survey is either deaf or certainly didn’t ask any of the residents what they thought of the noise pollution on the street.”

Residents say that low flying aeroplanes, noisy neighbours and traffic make the road unworthy of its placement on the list.

Liz McKenna who has lived on Fossil Road for over a decade said: “This used to be a quiet road, but that was about 15 years ago sadly.”

As part of the study, only roads outside the 57-decibel noise exposure contours of Heathrow and London Airport Acoustic 24 roads were shortlisted.

However, residents say they are being awoken by planes flying over their houses between the hours of 4:30am and 7am.

McKenna said: “We have aircraft noise which starts around 4:30-5:00am each morning and the regular police helicopter rounds which fly low and last for hours, rattling the windows.”

Fossil Road, near Hilly Fields Park and Lewisham Shopping Centre. Pic: Google Maps

Fossil Road, near Hilly Fields Park and Lewisham Shopping Centre. Pic: Google Maps

Elise Parkin founder of Brockley Noise, a group that has been campaigning to lower the level of aeroplane noise in the Brockley area said “there is definitely a problem in Brockley and surrounding areas” with aeroplane noise and the group is “working closely with BAA and other organisations to try and help the situation.”

In addition to the plane noise, residents say that noisy neighbours and the high level of traffic add to the road’s noise pollution.

Maggie McVitie who has lived on the street for 16 years said: “The Street is generally really quiet, but we do have a lot of cars coming down this road.”

Livings added: ‘The recent refurbishment of Ladywell High Street, which over-ran massively, meant that many vehicles were using Fossil Road as a cut through to avoid the re-routed 284 and 484 buses.”

McKenna wrote in an email to East London Lines that she “had to laugh at the decision, as at the time of writing this email, two dogs from a neighbouring garden are barking continuously. This is practically an everyday occurrence.”

In response to the comments by tenants on Fossil, Steve Gosling, an engineer for Acoustic 24, said: “Our initial decisions on selecting places were based on information on aeroplane noise from the Civil Aviation Authority. These are usually measured between the hours of 7 am and 11 pm, and this could explain the reason why the planes over Fossil Road may have been missed.”

“If you ask 20 different people they may all come up with different perceptions on the level of noise in an area.”

He added that neighbourhood noise was not considered in the study because of the difficulty in measuring it.

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