This is what it's like to live on the noisiest street in Britain

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 11:31 am
Updated Thursday, 19th December 2019, 11:33 am

Meet Emma Healey, the woman who’s barely had a proper night’s sleep in nearly three decades - because she lives minutes away from Heathrow airport.

Emma, 31, lives with her mum Jane and two year old daughter Felicity on Lewin Terrace, one of the noisiest streets in the country - just a stone’s throw from the airport’s Terminal Four.

Emma, who has lived by the airport for 28 years, said, “Even after all this time, I’m not used to the sound. Sometimes I can even hear the planes being filled with fuel - that’s how close they are.

“Christmas is particularly noisy, and you can literally hear an airplane going over every 90 seconds - it’s just become the norm for me. In the summer, it gets so hot in the house that we can’t get the windows open.

“Trying to watch TV is particularly impossible, you have to turn it up so loud you don’t enjoy watching TV any more, blaring in your face.”

“They say the airplanes are supposed to stop at 11pm but they don’t, they still carry on through the night.”

Every year, some 475,000 ‘movements’ - the industry term for arrivals and departures - take place at Heathrow, with a plane taking off or landing on average every 45 seconds.

Emma says the noise from the airport has not only affected her sleep at home, but also her social life.

She says, “Having friends over, I always suggest they can stay over if they have a drink, but they kindly decline because it’s too noisy for them."

We lose two nights worth of sleep every week due to noise

Technology company Huawei conducted research into what sounds Brits love the most, and which ones drive them mad in their homes.

The survey, of 2,000 adults, found rain tapping on a window is the most pleasant sound to reach Brits’ ears. More than four in 10 selected the soothing noise of waves meeting the shore, while a third opted for a crackling log fire.

Other sounds Brits find pleasing include tennis balls going back and forth over a tennis net at Wimbledon, and the pop-and-fizz of a champagne bottle opening.

But one in five Brits regularly hear rubbish trucks rumbling up and down their street, and another tenth are disturbed by the passing of nearby trains.

A quarter polled via OnePoll wish they lived somewhere quieter, and on average, adults lose two nights worth of sleep each week due to noise on their street.

Britain's top 40 favourite sounds

1. Rain on the window2. Waves crashing3. Crackling fire4. Walking on fresh snow5. Birds singing6. Church bells7. Sounds of laughing8. Baby giggling9. The cat purring10. A thunderstorm11. Kettle boiling12. Seagulls13. Someone playing guitar14. Lawnmower15. Sheep baaing16. Sound of Wimbledon - tennis ball going back and forth17. Dinner being served up18. Children chattering19. A running bath20. The cheers as a favourite football team wins the game21. Opening a beer bottle22. Carol singers23. Bagpipes24. Cows mooing25. Horse hooves clicking26. Mail dropping on the door mat27. Food cooking on the hob28. Turning the page on a book29. People milling outside a pub30. EastEnders theme tune31. The radio playing or TV being left on32. Popping bubble wrap33. Mum singing34. The toaster popping35. Someone jumping into water36. The heating clicking on37. Crickets on holiday38. A champagne cork popping39. The front door opening40. Children role playing