Noisy Tube Trains and Stations

Meeting: 
MQT on 2007-05-23
Session date: 
May 23, 2007
Reference: 
2007/1155
Question By: 
Angie Bray
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Following consistent complaints about excessive noise at London Underground stations and on trains caused by malfunctioning PA systems, an issue that is increasing beyond the original problem, still as yet unresolved, at Earls Court, will you now accept that this is a growing problem and what measures are you going to take to crack down on this form of noise pollution?

Answer

Answer for Noisy Tube Trains and Stations

Answer for Noisy Tube Trains and Stations

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The issue at Earls Court is the subject of an Abatement Notice which London Underground has lodged an appeal against on multiple grounds. London Underground hopes to reach agreement after dialogue with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Since we met with Tim O'Toole at Earls Court the modernisation programme introduced temporary works and scaffolding that further complicates the issue and the running of that station. London Underground has a responsibility to keep passengers safe and informed, and a statutory obligation to provide an inclusive service to all our customers, particularly those with visual impairments and those unfamiliar with the underground network. London Underground seeks to balance this with the responsibility to be a good neighbour, but this can be difficult where housing is built in close proximity to stations on the above ground sections of the underground.

Where complaints are received, London Underground has shown itself willing to take measures locally such as the introduction of an arrangement at Earls Court Station which prevents routine announcements between the hours of 9 pm and 7 am. London Underground has also reviewed the type and frequency of messages that are broadcast at stations, and developed a new set of guidelines for staff when making announcements. These new guidelines are aimed at reducing the number of routine messages, and thus the impact on people who live near London Underground stations.

The PA systems at stations are being upgraded as part of the PPP (Public Private Partnership). The new systems allow London Underground to provide better information to customers while at the same time giving more flexibility to address the concerns of neighbouring residents. On trains, London Underground is working with Infracos to remedy any problems caused by malfunctioning PA systems, although there is no concern that this is an endemic problem.