HC Deb 25 February 1970 vol 796 cc1197-8
52. Mr. Rankin

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in future legislation on noise nuisance, he will take account of the fact that 54 per cent. of a representative sample of people suffer annoyance from the noise coming from motor-cycles and lorries, 13 per cent. from aircraft flying and 3 per cent. from aircraft landing.

Mr. Goronwy Roberts

Yes, Sir. But my responsibility in this field is related to aircraft noise, on which I shall continue to take all practicable measures to reduce disturbance.

Mr. Rankin

Will my right hon. Friend take note of these figures, because they indicate that a great deal of the condemnation of aircraft as being noisy creatures is not verified by the statistics available? Will he, in association with his right hon. Friend concerned in this matter, take these figures into account when the Government come to deal seriously with the problem of noise?

Mr. Roberts

These figures do not minimise the seriousness of the impact of aircraft noise on very large numbers of people in many areas of the country. I am bound to take note of the seriousness of that matter.

Mr. Hordern

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that this representative sample would have been more impressive if it had been taken in the vicinity of Gatwick or Heathrow? Is not the root cause of the problem the fact that the same Minister is responsible for both civil aviation and aircraft noise? Does not the right hon. Gentleman also agree that the essential factor in solving the problem is to separate these two functions?

Mr. Roberts

They are effectively separated already in the sense that my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport and I have special responsibilities for them. What I stress is the serious nature of aircraft noise as a form of environmental pollution, even though the statistics may show that in percentage terms it is below that of other forms of noise.