Swiss noise pollution bill runs into billions of $



© BartCo - iStock

The cost of dealing with noise pollution in Switzerland runs into billions of dollars, according to a survey by the country's Federal Office for the Environment published this February.

One in seven people in Switzerland, which has a population of 8.5 million, has to put up with excessive noise pollution, particularly from road traffic, the report revealed, but the sting of the estimate is in the finances of tackling the noise.

The total cost of reducing noise pollution in Switzerland is estimated at CHF6 billion ($6.2 billion). Over CHF4.3 billion has already been invested or will be invested in the short term. Around two-thirds of the clean-up bill goes on upgrading main roads by laying noise-reducing asphalt and by introducing traffic and speed reduction measures.

Around five percent is for barriers along roads and motorways, while the installation of special double-glazing represents almost 40% of all cantonal and communal expenditure on noise reduction.

The good news, however, is that benefits come from the spend. Since improvements were started in 2008, 270,000 Swiss residents have benefited from protection measures. From 2013, the annual number of people receiving protection measures rose from 5,000 to 20,000, and resulted in lower annual costs per person.

The Swiss League Against Noise welcomed the new federal report, while urging the authorities to press on with direct protection measures close to the source of harmful noise. It urged federal subsidies to be withheld from cantons that slow to implement measures – such as Zurich, Bern, Thurgau and Appenzell.

Source: Swiss Info