Dublin, 15 December, 2005 In the vibrant centre of Dublin city, noise is a growing source of annoyance and concern for residents. Traffic, entertainment facilities, restaurants and pubs, construction sites, commercial enterprises or just the neighbours next door, they all make noise.

While current evidence suggests that noise is not, generally, a life and death issue, it has a major impact on people's quality of life and can cause misery and anxiety.  As such, the Department of Transport Engineering at the Dublin Institute of Technology is leading a major Innovation Partnership to tackle one such cause of unwanted sound - that of the noise generated by deliveries made at night.

Funded by Enterprise Ireland and a Consortium of Irish companies, this two year programme, will focus on applied research into developing "Low Noise Solutions for Night Deliveries".  Consisting of Irish based suppliers of automotive products and of acoustic materials and major logistics companies, the Consortium will provide a forum for the suppliers to interact with their potential customers as well as to explore new innovative solutions for the logistics and distribution industry. It will aim to bring to market a range of low noise, low cost new products and materials for heavy goods vehicles, ancillaries and for architectural logistics sites. It is anticipated that the collaborative research will also grow new business relationships between the partners and the wider logistics industry as well as developing acoustic solutions that will stimulate international markets.

Welcoming the initiative, Brian McManus of Dublin City Council, stated that "sustainable transport solutions are vital in enhancing city living". Dublin City Council is faced with having to cope with the unexpected new rhythms and patterns affecting city freight transport and delivery while ensuring an acceptable quality of life for residents. Increasing complaints and litigation by residents, a move back to city centre living, combined with the requirements of an EC noise directive (Directive 2002/49/EC) are driving many municipal authorities to promote more sustainable solutions for managing traffic.

Tom Coffey, CEO of Dublin City Business Association added that "for managing success in the city that will continue to grow to around 3 million people, the capacity and systems must be developed and implemented to ensure economic success as well as an improvement in the quality of life of the citizens."

The Consortium comprises Arnotts, DAF Distributors Ireland Ltd., General Paints Group, Fitzgerald's Vehicle Body Builders Cork Ltd., Moffett Engineering Ltd., Musgrave Supervalu Centra, Sturdy Products Ltd., TDG, Thermo King Galway and TSS (Technical Support Services) Ltd., and Ventac Group. Other Partners include CREST (DIT Centre for Research and Engineering Surface Technology), Polymer Development Centre Athlone IT, Dublin City Business Association, Dublin City Council and relevant government departments and agencies (including Enterprise Ireland) are also represented.

The programme is being directed by Tom Corrigan, Head of the Department of Transport Engineering, DIT and is being managed by Roisin Byrne, DIT with Hugh Finlay, DIT as the lead researcher.

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