Dismore presses Mayor for action on Tube Noise

At today’s London Assembly Plenary meeting considering the Mayor’s draft Environment Strategy, Andrew Dismore AM, Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden questioned London Mayor Sadiq Khan over the growing problem of tube noise and its effects on residents living near tube lines and stations.

Mr Dismore put to the Mayor:

‘On rail traffic noise your strategy says:

…… just over 525,000 people in London affected by rail traffic noise above the recommended levels provided as a guideline by the WHO.

‘It is interesting to note that your Environment Strategy refers to the WHO guidelines, (40Db) whilst TfL refuse to accept them as the benchmark to which they should work.

‘Proposal 9.1.2.a of the strategy says you

will work with TfL to monitor and manage the noise impacts of Tube and rail services, especially the Night Tube and other night-time TfL rail services’.

‘How will you meet the aspirations set in the Environment Strategy to reduce the amount of tube noise experienced by Londoners?

‘The number of complaints over tube noise continues to increase dramatically, and as far as the Northern Line is concerned, usually from long standing residents who had not previously experienced tube noise disturbance before relatively recent changes by TfL.

‘This noise increase seems due to a combination of factors, including the new track profile fixed to concrete sleepers, the increased corrugation at key places near stations due to automation, and faster trains and, TfL don’t seem able to mitigate it either promptly or very well.

‘Will you ask your new Deputy Mayor for Transport to meet with me and Northern Line neighbours in situ and very soon, so she can hear the noise for herself; and work out what can be done about it?’

The Mayor said that TfL are carrying out track improvements of £200 million, including a dedicated budget to deal with noise and vibrations. New track fastenings are having an immediate effect on mitigation. Following up my complaints over the neighbourhood of Kentish Town, TfL have begun fitting 2,600 track fastenings, and will finish in August. TfL have recruited 12 more engineers and track specialists. The benefits of the TfL works are lost over months. The Northern Line is a priority area for needed works. TfL have carried out over 100 site visits to people’s homes to measure noise levels. Of course, the Deputy Mayor will go on visits with residents, and the Mayor will send a transcript of this exchange to TfL to follow up.