Benefits of noise measure in train commuting suburbs: a comparison of Swedish guidelines and WHO recommendations

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In this study, we compare different valuation functions for a noise abatement measure in an exploitive train commuting suburb in Sweden. The benefits are estimated with different functions focusing on Swedish guidelines and recent WHO recommendations. The results show that the willingness-to-pay-based estimates of the Swedish guidelines are much lower than the estimates based on WHO guidelines. The main reason for the higher benefit estimates with WHO recommendations is the discontinuous valuation function that leaps from 0 to about 5000 SEK at 49 dB, whereas the Swedish guidelines does not include any corresponding discontinuity in its valuation function. Furthermore, the WHO recommendations are sensitive to night exposure as the cost of sleep disturbance is dominating. These different results of the monetary benefits illustrate the importance of including only established impact functions and valuation functions, and carefully apply them when noise-abatement benefits are calculated.

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