Introduction Background

As part of the European Noise Directive 2002/49/EC, commonly referred to as the Environmental Noise Directive or END, Strategic Noise mapping is required to be carried out by Noise Mapping Bodies (NMB’s). The aim of the END Directive is:

“to define a common approach intended to avoid, prevent or reduce on a prioritised basis the harmful effects, including annoyance, due to exposure to environmental noise”.

The END Directive requires Member States to produce strategic noise maps for the main sources of environmental noise i.e. major roads, major railways, major airports and agglomerations with a population of more than 100,000 persons in 2012.

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18.07.2010 Report submitted to EC (European Commission) by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) designating competent bodies for strategic noise maps, action plans and data collection
30.06.2012 Strategic Noise Maps to be reported to the EPA by the NMBs (Noise Mapping Bodies)
31.07.2012 Information on Strategic Noise Maps to be made available to the public
31.12.2012 Strategic Noise Maps to be reported to the EC by the EPA in respect of 2011
18/07/2013 Noise Action Plan to be published

Table 1 Timetable for END implementation

What does all this mean?

Cork County & City Council are designated as the NMB’s for the agglomeration of Cork while Cork County Council is designated the NMB for Regional Major Roads outside the agglomeration boundary. Thresholds amended and introduced under the Environmental Noise Regulations 2006, S.I. No. 140 of 2006 dictate whether noise mapping is to be carried out. These thresholds are as follows:

Agglomeration Areas Populations >100,000
Major Roads Section of National or Regional Roads with a flow of 3,000,000 vehicle passages per year
Major Rail Sections of rail route above a flow threshold of 30,000 train passages per year
Major Airports Airports which have more than 50,000 movements per year (a movement being a take-off or a landing)

Table 2 Thresholds for Noise Mapping

Figure 2 Cork Agglomeration Area

Note 1: Cork agglomeration boundary is defined by Air Pollution Act 1987 (Marketing Sale and Distribution of Fuels) Regulations 1998 (S.I. No. 118 of 1998)

Note 2: Within the agglomeration there is no major rail or airport (as defined by the above threshold figures), however as rail infrastructure and an airport are located within the agglomeration area these were required to be mapped for the Cork Agglomeration.

The maps can be seen by clicking the following link

For more detailed information on any of the items mentioned above please refer to

EU –

Ireland  –

Should you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact the national roads office at


The strategic noise mapping requires that drawings outlining predicted noise levels are produced for two specific time periods

  • Lden
  • Lnight

Lden– is the A-weighted long-term average sound level as defined in ISO 1996-2: 1987, determined over all the day, evening and night periods of a year

Lnight – is the A-weighted long-term average sound level as defined in ISO 1996-2:1987, determined over all the night periods of a year

The time periods defined for each time period is given in Table 3

Lday 07:00 to 19.00
Levening 19:00 to 23:00
Lnight 23:00 to 07:00

Table 3 Relevant time periods

Noise Action Plans 2013 to 2018

Cork County Council has prepared two Noise Action Plans for the Cork area

The purpose of the Noise Action Plans is to act as a means of managing environmental noise, and to meet the aims of the European Noise Directive (END) of preventing, and reducing where necessary, environmental noise through the adoption of the Plans.

Draft Noise Action Plan 2018 – 2023

Comhairle Contae Chorcaí Cork County Council