Noise and vibration from road and rail

This CIRIA book guide gives reference information and technical guidance on minimizing noise and vibration from road and rail infrastructure.

Noise and vibration from road and rail
Noise and vibration from road and rail

Who wrote this?

  • Trevor Lawrence MSc
  • Julie Dakin BSc, MSc, PhD, CEng, MICE
  • Paul Norris BEng, MEng, DPhil, CEng, MICE and
  • Max Forni BEng, CEng, MIOA

of Mott MacDonald.

Steering group

The research project was carried out under contract to CIRIA by Mott MacDonald, and guided by the CIRIA project steering group comprising:

  • John Lane (chair), Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB)
  • Rukhsana Adam, Capita Symonds
  • Brian Bell, Network Rail
  • Alan Bloomfield, Greater London Authority
  • Colin Cobbing, ARM Acoustics
  • Steve DynesI, SVR (University of Southampton)
  • Colin English, English Cogger LLP
  • Andre Gibbs, Argent plc
  • Drew Hill, Transport Scotland
  • Hugh Hunt, Cambridge University
  • Martin Hunt, Crossrail
  • Chris Jones, ISVR (University of Southampton)
  • Marian Kelly,Transport for London (London Underground Limited)
  • Bernadette McKell, AECOM
  • David Owen, Arup
  • Graham Parry, ACCON
  • Richard Perkins, Parsons Brinkerhoff (for Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs)
  • Charlotte Symonds, Tubelines
  • Richard Stait, Transport Research Laboratory (for Highways Agency)

The project was funded by CIRIA Core members, the Institution of Civil Engineers Research and Development Enabling Fund, the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), Argent plc, and Transport Scotland.


This book was first published in March 2011.


There was feedback that existing noise and vibration criteria were inconsistent and difficult for developers to deal with. CIRIA became aware that those without noise and vibration expertise (including developers, clients and others with responsibility for projects) found the subject difficult. This guidance publication gathers information from a wide range of sources to help informed communication, discussion and decision making by all parties, in particular those with no or little knowledge of noise and vibration from road and rail.

Who should read this?

Anyone involved in the planning and design of new developments next to road or rail, and trying to minimize the noise or vibration impact.


Guidance on the issue of noise and vibration in transport construction is fragmented and is more readily accessed by specialists in particular areas of technical expertise than those who need to reach agreement on the difficult, and sometimes contentious matters involved.

This 122-page book gives:

  • A common source of consolidated, usable, practical reference information
  • Technical guidance reflecting the technical issues and approaches to decision making and execution
  • Clarification on contentious elements of the planning process
  • The legislative context for noise and vibration issues
  • Insights into the issues at each stage and the technical options available
  • Clear guidelines on mitigation measures for developers and infrastructure owners
  • Objective and acceptable criteria for the location of infrastructure near to residential properties
  • Examples of good practice

For more information and questions, please contact

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