Route 6 & 52

Meeting: 
Plenary on 2006-12-06
Session date: 
December 6, 2006
Reference: 
2006/0495
Question By: 
Murad Qureshi
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
Peter Hendy (Commissioner, Transport for London)

Question

Can you please update me on the investigations by TfL regarding the complaints from residents about noise pollution from buses 6 & 52 travelling from Willesden Garage?

Answer

Answer for Route 6 & 52

Answer for Route 6 & 52

Answered By: 
Peter Hendy (Commissioner, Transport for London)

TfL has identified an issue with the air cooling fan on Volvo double deck B7TL buses in the London fleet. The manufacturer has been tasked with finding a solution which results in lower operational noise when the fan is in operation on all vehicles of this type, without delay and at its own cost. In the meantime, Volvo's B7TL model remains legal as it complies with all EU standards and legislation.

Volvo Bus Ltd has been investigating how to optimise fan operation in order to minimise noise, whilst ensuring there is no detrimental affect on engine performance. It anticipates this will bring noise in line with non-Volvo buses. The company's proposed solution involves updating vehicle software to make the cooling fans operate at a lower speed, thus with less noise. The company has also improved cleanliness and sealing of the radiator units to minimise fan speed requirements.

Volvo has tested modified vehicles in the UK with engineers from its Sweden-based research and development department. We are now to verify the effectiveness of its proposed modifications at an independent proving ground. We have also written to Volvo to request an action plan with milestones to clearly identify a timetable for a retrofit programme for all Volvo double deck buses in London.

Finally we have updated our vehicle specifications for new buses that enter the fleet. This already required new buses to be three decibels quieter than the EU legal limit but now also sets an additional noise limit for vehicles with auxiliary equipment switched on.