Noise pollution from roads

One of the main sources of environmental noise in the Netherlands is road traffic. That is why there are statutory limits for road traffic noise. The authorities take measures to reduce this form of noise pollution.

Noise standards for roads

If you are bothered by road noise, please get in touch with the responsible roads authority. The national roads authority is obliged to ensure that national roads comply with the prevailing noise emission ceiling and to take noise abatement measures, such as installing a noise barrier, if necessary.

Measures to reduce road traffic noise

Ways to reduce road traffic noise:

  • quieter vehicles;
  • quieter tyres;
  • quieter road surfaces;
  • traffic measures (e.g. speed reduction);
  • noise barriers;
  • home insulation.

Reducing noise exposure when noise standards are exceeded

The Noise Pollution Act lays down rules for the reduction and prevention of traffic noise. Road noise is officially reassessed whenever:

  • a new road is built;
  • new homes are built;
  • an existing road is altered;
  • the amount of traffic on a road increases.

If the reassessment reveals that the noise standard has been exceeded, the responsible roads authority must take abatement measures such as installing noise barriers.

Lodging a complaint about road noise

If you are bothered by road noise from a local road, please get in touch with your local authority. It will check if any noise standards are exceeded, suggest a possible solution or report the problem to the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. The ministry can give the local authority a grant to tackle the noise. The grant scheme is implemented by the Traffic Noise Abatement Office (BSV).

If you experience noise from a national highway (information in Dutch) you can get in touch with Rijkswaterstaat. They will check if any noise standards are exceeded. If you don’t agree with the assessment made by Rijkswaterstaat, you can contact the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT). ILT will examine whether the assessment by Rijkswaterstaat is correct.