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Posted by Jyoti Pal on September 20, 2008

Looking for a new accommodation? Then prefer quieter areas as according to a new British study people who live closer to busy streets have 75 percent fewer friends than those putting up in quiet surroundings.

People who live on heavy-traffic streets experience a ‘considerable deterioration of local social lives’, the results of the research held at the University of the West of England (UWE) warn.

For the study, the team led by Joshua Hart, researcher at the University of the West of England, Bristol, monitored three streets with differing traffic flows - heavy, medium and light – and collected relative loneliness data of people living there.

As presumed, community interaction varied depending on levels of traffic activity. While the people living on ‘light-traffic’ streets were friendlier and experienced a healthy social life, busy street residents were isolated with street traffic acting as a barrier between neighbors.

"Interviews with residents indicate that growing motor traffic has forced people to make major adjustments in their lives, to shield against the nearly constant noise, pollution, dust and danger outside their front doors." Hart noted.

"Growing car dependence is creating an epidemic of deteriorated mental and physical health associated with air and noise pollution, inactivity, road deaths and injuries." he further added.

To make matters worse another 5.7 million vehicles are expected to hit UK roads by 2031 end. In its recommendations issued to the Government, the UWE highlights the dire need to stem traffic by investing in public transport, walking and cycling.

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