London is opening back up, and it’s much quieter than before.
Cities worldwide are slowly opening back up and none more so than London, where “freedom day” earlier this year saw most COVID-19 restrictions dropped.
But despite a loosening of restrictions, London has maintained some of the quietness many locals experienced over the past year and a half.
Blacklane’s Associate Product Manager Stephen Glenn lives in London and said overall, the level of noise in London is nothing compared to what it was pre-pandemic.
“Perhaps this will continue to steadily climb in coming years but I think some key contributors have dropped,” he said.
“Air traffic is greatly reduced, which is particularly noticeable living west of the city. Traffic volume has reduced, presumably with more people working from home. People have gotten used to going places with a purpose, and I think some of that behaviour remains.”
He said being forced into a world of remote work demonstrated to so many businesses that working from home can be the rule rather than the exception.
“This has fundamentally changed attitudes to coming into the office, making it for many something to look forward to rather than a chore or requirement,” he said.
For a lot of Londoners who continue to work in the city, that has meant less-packed commutes and less yelling over the hubbub of busy streets.
However, with London inevitably set to go back to some level of the buzzy vibrant city it once was, many are looking to maintain that newfound sense of quiet in their lives. Especially given noise pollution is already proven to impact on health and productivity.
Sounds across London
In June, we asked Stephen to take a Blacklane Electric Class Jaguar I-PACE across the city to find out how loud the newly-opened city really was.
He used Decibel X, a pre-calibrated sound meter recording app, which measures the intensity of sound with decibel units weighted to simulate human hearing, which is referred to as the “A” scale. He measured the noise level both inside and outside the vehicle at three major spots across the city – Kings Cross, Oxford Street, and Piccadilly Circus.
Decibel units are used to measure the intensity of sound. They’re logarithmic, which means the intensity of sound increases faster than the loudness of a sound. For example, a sound at 20dB is 10 times more intense than a sound at 10dB.
Kings Cross and Oxford Street sidewalks were measured at just above the sound of a vacuum cleaner (70 dB(A). Piccadilly Circus exterior was slightly quieter — about the level of a normal conversation — between 60 to 70 dB(A).
Compared to the street-level noise, the sound level recorded inside Blacklane’s Electric Class vehicle at each location was at least 10 dB(A) lower. When you download the Blacklane app, you can access the quietness a Blacklane premium vehicle provides on your commute across London.
Blacklane offers a moment of calm
Since Blacklane was founded in 2011, we’ve prided ourselves on providing peace of mind to the global traveler.
Our fleet is made up of premium vehicles, driven by discreet and professional chauffeurs, who offer the same first-class service wherever you are in the world.
This year we acquired a majority stake in Havn, previously London’s all-electric chauffeur service, to help accelerate the electrification of our fleet. Havn is now Blacklane’s Electric Class option in London.
Electric vehicles are not only a more sustainable option, with zero tailpipe emissions, they’re also far quieter, which helps our guests to find a moment of quiet.
With Electric Class available in London, Blacklane guests can make their across-city trips or airport transfers the most relaxing part of their day.
Other quiet places across the city
Brasserie Blanc – quiet and upscale breakfast spot in the heart of the city
Users of the decibel meter reading app SoundPrint recorded 68 dB(A) at this establishment, where meetings can be held over a morning coffee from 7:30 a.m.
With a spacious light-filled interior as well as an outdoor area surrounded by greenery, you’d be forgiven for forgetting you’re right in the heart of the city.
The Drawing Room, Brown’s Hotel – enjoy afternoon tea like royalty
This wood-paneled establishment in London’s Mayfair district is fit for royalty – it was regularly frequented by Queen Victoria – and offers the perfect place to indulge in British hospitality.
A tea sommelier is on hand to guide you through the 17 varieties of tea available, helping you find the perfect pairing to your crimped sandwiches and patisseries.
Talk business or simply enjoy the plush surroundings with your colleagues or clients – either way you’ll likely leave feeling refreshed.
Pied à Terre – a Michelin-starred experience
As the longest-standing independent Michelin Starred restaurant in London, this fine-dining establishment doesn’t disappoint.
Combining Greek influences with French fine dining, this vibrant location is the perfect place to seal a business deal or impress a client.
And, with the introduction of an optional vegan tasting menu since 2017, there is something for everyone.
Blacklane is the perfect choice for you and your company’s ground transportation needs, wherever you are. With a streamlined online booking process, cashless payment, and real-time status updates on rides, you can rest easy knowing that wherever you’re traveling to, Blacklane will be there. Find out how your company can benefit from Blacklane’s high-quality chauffeured fleet today.