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Issue:- 19 May 2009 / 20 May 2009

Is Traffic Noise Driving Millions Mad?

A new survey1 on attitudes to road traffic noise, published this week by Environmental Protection UK2 to mark Noise Action Week3, finds that nearly a third (32%) of us say traffic noise causes stress, while nearly a fifth (19%) of us are woken by it. An overwhelming nine out of ten people are in favour of protecting the quiet areas that provide sanctuary in our increasingly busy cities. at a time when 59% of us think traffic noise has increased in the last five years.

Noise on major traffic routes has now been mapped across the UK and work is underway developing noise action plans4. These aim to manage transport noise impact in our most populated urban areas, and protect our existing areas of urban quiet.

Other findings:-

* Motorbikes/scooters, loud car stereos, heavy vehicles and engine noise annoy people most when at home.  Motorbikes are most annoying in Yorkshire and Humberside and car stereos in Eastern England.

* A fifth of those in the West Midlands and London are disturbed by traffic noise when outdoors, and more suffer from sleep disruption in these areas

* The younger 18 to 34 are the age group most who frequently seek quiet areas

* Parks are the most popular place to seek quiet, with the 18 to 24 group being the most likely to seek quiet in a church yard

"It is vital the government presses on with work on traffic noise action planning and identifying and protecting quiet areas to preserve our quality of life and health. Our survey finds one in three people currently suffer stress as a result of traffic noise and a fifth of us are woken up, and previous research has established a link between high levels of traffic noise and risk of heart attack5."
said Philip Mulligan, CEO of Environmental Protection UK,

Many measures are available to reduce traffic noise impact – ranging from traffic management, sound insulation and noise barriers to reducing noise at source. Better performing tyres have the potential to halve noise from road traffic at minimal cost. Our survey also found that half of car users surveyed were aware that quieter tyres are available, and that two fifths would buy quieter tyres.

"Quieter tyres are already on the market, and we have successfully lobbied the EU6 for more stringent regulation on tyre noise. Pending regulation should drive the tyre industry to give motorists the information they need to help them reduce their environmental impact. We urge manufacturers to act now to provide information that will allow drivers and fleet operators to make choices that support noise reduction."
said Philip Mulligan.

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MERSEYSIDE Police are appealing for witnesses following an assault in Liverpool City Centre that happened in the early hours of the morning of Saturday, 16 May 2009.

Officers were called to Church Street, close to the Virgin Media store, following reports that a man had been assaulted during an altercation.

The victim, an 17 year old man from the Garston area, suffered a cut eye and forehead and a suspected fractured cheek after being punched to the ground by another man.

The victim fell to the ground where he was kicked in the stomach by a second offender.

He was taken to hospital with serious internal injuries and underwent surgery. His condition is described as stable.

Detectives are viewing CCTV taken at the time of the incident to try and identify the two offenders. They are particularly keen to speak to a woman who left the scene with the two offenders. She is described as white with long dark hair and wearing a multi-coloured top or dress over dark leggings.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any other information is urged to contact St Anne Street CID on:- 0151 777 4067 or 4070 or, alternatively you can free phone phone Crimestoppers anonymously on:- 0800 555 111.

Bear Grylls appointed new Chief Scout in the UK

THE Scout Association is delighted to announce Bear Grylls is the tenth and youngest Chief Scout of the United Kingdom and Overseas Territories. Scouting has adventure at its core and Bear is one of the UK’s great outdoor adventurers;  he is also a strong supporter of young people as seen via his work with international children’s charity, Global Angels. As Chief Scout, a position he will hold for five years, Bear will be the volunteer Leader of the largest co-educational youth Movement in the country: Scouting has around half a million Members including some 90,000 adult Leaders.

During his term, Bear aims to inspire more and more adults to volunteer for Scouting and is committed to reinforcing Scouting’s role as the place to offer adventure based activities to young people. Bear’s commitment to massively increasing the number of adult Leaders in the Scout Movement comes at a time when waiting lists to join Scout Groups across the UK remain at an all-time high: currently more than 33,000 young people aged between six and 25 are waiting to join Scouting in the UK and 500 of those are based on Merseyside. However, for every new adult that volunteers five more young people will have the chance to participate in Scouting. So we only need 6,600 adults, which equates to just 0.01% of the UK’s adult population, signing up to completely wipe out our current waiting list.

Bear was appointed yesterday by The Council of the Scout Movement at a special meeting in London. In the role of Chief Scout, Bear is tasked with promoting the policies and benefits of Scouting, and encouraging new adults to join the Movement.

Previously, as one of the youngest ever climbers to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, Bear is now the youngest person ever to become Chief Scout. He will be invested at a handover ceremony with outgoing Chief Scout Peter Duncan later in the year.

Newly appointed Chief Scout Bear Grylls said:- “I feel hugely honoured to be asked to take up this role as Chief Scout - it really is a dream come true. I have always loved helping young people live their dreams and to taste real adventure… as well as getting caked in mud! I also hope I can use this post to encourage masses of adults in the UK to volunteer as leaders. The young people in this country need them like never before, and we have more people wanting to join than there are places available. But by volunteering, adults can actively make a difference to young people’s lives in their community, and there is no better way to be part of an adventure and have loads of fun, than with the Scouts. The Scout Movement is a world-wide force for good and at heart it says that young people have the right to an adventure. And I for one am so proud to be part of that.”

Outgoing Chief Scout Peter Duncan said:- “I have gained enormously from my experience as volunteer Chief Scout over the past five years. I have particularly connected to the grass roots and have enjoyed seeing the adventurous and environmental awareness aspects of scouting increase during my time as leader. I have learnt so much being part of a large organisation, honing the skills of presentation, thinking on my feet and discovering how to communicate an inspirational message for young people. As a working actor I think Bear Grylls is the most brilliant piece of recasting I have ever been involved in. I wish him great success.”

In addition to Bear Grylls being appointed as the new Chief Scout, Wayne Bulpitt has been appointed as the first ever UK Chief Commissioner. This role will strengthen the day-to-day volunteer leadership functions within the Movement. Wayne will focus on managing and leading all volunteers within the Movement and will also be responsible for building relationships with political parties, Association ambassadors, and other charities and organisations.

New UK Chief Commissioner Wayne Bulpitt said:- “I am delighted to have been invited to take on the new role and to lead our Movement at such an exciting time. The successes of the last few years mean that we are well placed to capitalise on our external high standing and profile and to fulfill our vision of providing inspiration, personal development and exciting opportunities to increasing numbers of young people. I know that we can only do this through increased support to those volunteers running our sections and units without whom there would be no Scouting. We now have a great opportunity to attract more adults to take on leadership roles in the Movement.”


THE Liverpool Coroner's Office are appealing for the next of kin of Richard Jones, 47, who died at his home in Cabbage Hall on Friday, 15 May 2009. There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding Mr Jones's death. Any next of kin, or anyone who knows of his next of kin, is asked to contact Liverpool City Coroner's Office on 0151 233 4710.

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