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Consuming Mobility: A Practice Approach to Sustainable by Jorrit O. Nijhuis

By Jorrit O. Nijhuis

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Overall noise levels are on the rise since the increase in transport volume outweighs the decrease in the noise level per unit of transport. Especially in densely populated areas exposure to noise can be a serious problem. Gradually, the influence of traffic noise on the quality of human and natural life is becoming manifest and acknowledged. Exposure to noise levels can lead to nuisance, sleep deterioration, and on the long-term to a raised chance of cardiovascular diseases, and diminished cognitive functioning (MNP, 2007).

The only EU obligation is to measure traffic noise and to develop action plans to reduce exposure to noise. EU member states do have their own national norms and policies. However, these norms are generally not strict enough to sufficiently negate the negative effects of transport noise. Furthermore, transport noise policies are mostly focused on reducing the effects of noise, not on prevention them. 8. Acoustic load for houses due to road transport in the Netherlands in 2005 (MNP, 2007). 11 Environmental noise above 40-50 dBA is likely to lead to significant annoyance.

The scheme for charging road use was also made possible by new developments in information and communication technology. According to Peters a discourse coalition had emerged between the storylines of ‘employment’, ‘economic growth’, ‘accessibility’, ‘infrastructure’, ‘market function’ and ‘technology’ (Peters, 2003, p. 58). The discourse analysis of Peters ends in 2001, nevertheless it is safe to say that the main storylines in Dutch transport policy were strongly present until at least 2006. In 2004 a new traffic and transport policy plan was presented, the much debated ‘Nota Mobiliteit’ (Memorandum on Mobility).

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