Dominic Lawson in The Daily Mail
"We read constantly about the risk to our health from pollution (whether in the form of physical waste or gases), but noise pollution is what makes our daily lives increasingly stressful.
And, as we know, stress has profoundly damaging effects on our health, not just our moods. The World Health Organisation has asserted that ‘at least 1 million healthy life-years’ are lost each year in Western European countries because of environmental noise, with cardiovascular disease the overwhelming cause — notably linked to high blood pressure. Loud or sudden noise triggers the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which over time damages our blood vessels.
This phenomenon is worst in big cities, but if, like me, you are chiefly a country dweller, you will know how the peace is regularly shattered by a plague of motorcyclists who have deliberately disabled the silencers which the law requires them to attach to their bikes’ exhausts. Yet the only MP who seems to take seriously his constituents’ concerns about this is the member for East Devon, Sir Hugo Swire.
He campaigns alone in the Commons on the matter, pointing out that while barely three per cent of registered vehicles on the road are motorbikes, they make up more than 20 per cent of those failing their MoT on grounds of ‘excessive noise’. As Sir Hugo points out, such motorcycle noise represents nothing less than ‘an assault on rural communities’.
When in cities, we accept that traffic noise is an inescapable part of life. But even when we move away from the roads into shops or restaurants, we are still assaulted by noise".
Daily Mail, "I'm WITH the PC students who've banned clapping - but oh, the irony they don't know the racist origins of 'jazz hands'", 8 October 2018