Traffic Noise

Traffic noise is a major problem in all large cities, but the Government has adopted various measures to tackle the problem in Hong Kong. This page provides information on what is being done about noise from new and existing roads, how vehicle noise is being reduced and other environmentally friendly solutions.

Traffic Noise in Hong Kong

Hong Kong's thriving economy, rapid urban development and increasing population are making traffic noise more noticeable, with about 680,000 people affected. The Environmental Protection Department is tackling this problem by:

  • Preventing traffic noise on new roads through careful planning.
  • Noise abatement on existing roads.
  • Control of noise emissions from individual vehicles.
  • Other environmentally friendly measures.

Planning Solutions

Because noise is a difficult problem to solve once it occurs, the Environmental Protection Department works hard to plan ahead. This involves the provision of professional advice to various Government departments on the design of new roads and nearby buildings. Advice on development proposals usually includes outlining measures to mitigate road traffic noise to an acceptable level.

With new road construction, many people have benefited in recent years from departmental advice on road alignment, the erection of noise barriers and the provision of low-noise road surfaces. These surfaces are now standard on high-speed roads throughout Hong Kong.

Acoustic Balcony

More on planning measures for the control of traffic noiseInnovative Noise Mitigation Designs and Measures

Noise Abatement Measures

The elimination of noise from existing roads is more difficult. To minimise the problem, a programme of retrofitting noise barriers and resurfacing roads with low-noise materials has been implemented. The retrofitting programme is being carried out in phases and will eventually benefit around 30,000 dwellings nearby. For road resurfacing to cut noise, EPD and Highways Department have completed the trials of resurfacing around 50 local road sections with new low noise materials (i.e. "thin surfacing material") and issue the final report in Dec 2022 and the relevant guidance notes in Feb 2023. The guidance notes established the local road characteristics suitable for applying new low noise materials. From now on, project proponent of new town and new development area can apply the new low noise materials at suitable local roads as traffic noise mitigation measures. EPD will work together with Highways Department aiming at applying the new low noise materials at more local roads.

Noise barriers retrofitted on Tseung Kwan O Road

More on the barriers and road resurfacing

Vehicle Noise Emission Control

As part of the motor vehicle registration process that covers aspects of roadworthiness and emissions of any kind, the Noise Control (Motor Vehicles) Regulation stipulates that new vehicles for use in Hong Kong must meet the European Union and Japanese noise control standards. To find out whether your vehicle can be approved under the regulation, you can access the registration lists on the Environmental Protection Department website.

List of approved vehicles

For further enquiries about the registration lists, please contact Environmental Protection Department's Customer Service Centre at 2838 3111 or by email to

Environmentally Friendly Solutions

Because not all existing roads can be retrofitted with noise barriers or resurfaced with low-noise materials, the Government explores on a case-by-case basis the feasibility of restricting the passage of vehicles that are likely to emit high levels of noise in built-up residential areas. The restrictions are based on vehicle length or weight, and currently apply to:

  • Lai King Hill Road
  • Chuk Yau Road
  • The Tsing Fung Street Flyover
  • Texaco Road Flyover
More on traffic restrictions
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Last revision date: September 2023