Quieter Roads


A wide range of bodies have helped devise a new standard aimed at quieter roads.

The group includes the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Transport, New Zealand Acoustical Society and the New Zealand Institute of Environmental Health.

As a result, Standards New Zealand has just published a new standard aims to reduce traffic noise from new and altered roads.

It applies noise criteria to address the adverse effects of road traffic noise on people.

It will be used mainly by local authorities and road controlling authorities to manage road traffic noise on new or altered roads, as well as developers who are constructing or altering roads as part of a subdivision or land use development.

Rail level crossings are also being made better for cars too cross

The Environment Court and Boards of Inquiry are also likely to take this new acoustics standard into account when considering applications for major transport projects.

NZTA has already made a resolution to apply the standard to all relevant state highway projects.




  1. Richard says:

    Two simple things that would help a great deal

    1) Ban the use of chip seal, noise would not be the only benefit of this action, for example it would save the country millions for less tyre wear. I had an Italian car with a set of Italian Firestone tyres made for modern roads. I drive carefully and wore them out in 20,000 kms.
    The replacement tyres were the same type but made by Firestone Christchurch and lasted 49,000 kms. because they had a special composition for our dreadful surfaces. It’s no longer possible to buy NZ tyres.

    2) Strictly enforce exhaust noise levels at WOF (plus pollutant check) and check for the same in roadside checkpoints. My car has a warning to keep the car tuned because this can happen, but of course in clean and green NZ we don’t do those sorts of things!!!

  2. ingolfson says:

    And chip seal is also crappy for cyclists, so discouraging for alternative modes.

  3. Richard says:

    I agree about cycling too……it takes chunks out of you if you fall off. One day recently I rode through Dairy Flat north of Albany on the old State Highway and some new seal was so chunky the battering was worse than Belgian cobbles. When I came back my bum was so bruised I had to stop at Albany and dismount to let the pain subside before I rode the last 10kms home!!!

    (My tyres were at the bottom of the recommended pressure range)

  4. Jon C says:

    @Richard Ouch. It’s amazing how sore it can be.

  5. Joshua says:

    I don’t agree 100%, Chip seal is used almost on every roead construction, however is then covered up with asphalt, the main problem is cost, with the amount of money we are spending on local roads for maintanaince and so forth we may see a even greater reduction, resulting in poorer alterial routes etc. Now thats not great for cycling either.

    However they could also end up taking the extra funds out of Public Transport if they don’t believe that maintanaince can be scraficed, now this would be tragic. I just hope they have considered these points.

    Also disagree on reducing exhaust noise, if we lower it anymore from what they are we will need to start banning some of the supercars from the road, effectively taking away our freedom of choice. Not to mention the beautiful sound that some of these machines make. I have to admit I’m bais as I like the sound of well tuned cars. The point is you are taken away peoples choices on what is already very restrictive.

  6. Matt L says:

    Joshua - Part of the problem is we build roads cheaply that need lots of maintenance rather than build them right. If we spent a little bit more upfront we wouldn’t need as many repairs and they would have a better surface. Over the long run we would actually save money.

  7. Jeremy Harris says:

    I’m pretty sure the best way to lower road noise from cars is to have less cars on them…


Leave a Comment


XHTML: You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>