News Apr 30, 2022

Jacobs and Atkins Steer UK Department for Transport Vehicle Noise Camera Project

Integrated team leads trial of innovative noise camera technology to support the U.K. Government crackdown on excessive vehicle noise.

U.K. Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps sitting on blue car on test track

U.K. Secretary of State for Transport, The Rt Hon Grant Shapps. Photo: U.K. Department for Transport

The U.K. Government has responded to concerns about increasingly noisy cars, and their health impact on communities from the noise pollution, by developing a national vehicle noise camera project. The planned network of noise cameras will enable authorities to more easily enforce against drivers breaking the law when they rev engines unnecessarily or use illegal modifications.

The U.K. Government has invested over a quarter of a million pounds (approximately $315,000) to prove the technology through trial and evaluation. The trial will be led by the Atkins-Jacobs Joint Venture (JV), previously formed to provide technical consultancy expertise, design and asset management to government clients.

The trial will see cameras with audio sensors and automated number plate recognition technology rolled out to automatically detect illegal noisy vehicles and capture evidence to support enforcement by police and local authorities. 

Ahead of the full trial being rolled out, this week Transport Secretary Grant Shapps took part in a test track session in Bedford, U.K.,  to see the noise camera technology in action. Grant Shapps has invited Members of Parliament to submit applications to run the trials in their local area and four locations across the country will be selected initially. 

“We want all those in Britain’s noisiest streets, who are kept up at night by unbearable revving engines, to come forward to test this innovative technology," said Grant Shapps.

“For too long, rowdy drivers have been able to get away with disturbing our communities with illegal noisy vehicles. It’s time we clamp down on this nuisance, banish the boy racer and restore peace and quiet to local streets.” 

“This scheme is a critical development for people living in areas affected by anti-social driving,”  explains Atkins-Jacobs JV Practice Director Andrew Pearce. “It demonstrates how we can use technology to take a highly targeted approach to solving these problems.”

“Testing different noise measurement technologies with a range of vehicles in this controlled environment means we can ensure tickets are only sent to drivers with illegal and anti-social cars or bikes. Highway authorities will be able to automate noise enforcement and get on top of the problem without using up valuable police resources.”

“Excessively noisy vehicles cause unnecessary disturbance, stress and anxiety to many, and in some cases physical pain. They disrupt the environment and people’s peaceful enjoyment of their homes and public places," said Noise Abatement Society Chief Executive Gloria Elliott OBE. “Communities across the UK are increasingly suffering from this entirely avoidable blight. The Noise Abatement Society applauds rigorous, evidence-based solutions to address this issue and protect the public.”    


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