Noisy Tubes

MQT on 2015-06-17
Session date: 
June 17, 2015
Question By: 
Murad Qureshi
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Given that the Night Tube will be introduced in September 2015, what mitigation measures do TfL intend to put in place to address the issue of noise and vibration from tube trains, which cause disruption to residents living above the lines, which is the case with the Jubilee and Bakerloo lines running under Baker Street?

Supplementary Questions: 


Answer for Noisy Tubes

Answer for Noisy Tubes

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  Yes.  Murad, thank you very much for raising this.  Until you raised this, I have to tell you I was not aware of this problem.

Murad Qureshi AM:  Yes, I suspected that would be the case.

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  I am delighted that you raised it.  I will now be following this.  You will be aware that TfL has done various studies since the works began that show that some noise levels are below the threshold and some disturbances do seem to be above 50 decibels and that is unacceptable.  We will be seeing what we can do to mitigate that.

Murad Qureshi AM:  Thank you, Mayor.  It is just that I have had the residents on to me for some time on this issue and I have tried as much as I can to deal with this outside of the Mayor’s Question Time (MQT).  Let me just highlight how the residents around Baker Street see it.  They were told in December 2014 that the gridding would be the solution and that something would be done over Christmas.  It was not and was scheduled for the end of May and it was not.  Then they were told the end of June and now it is being said it is a track problem and we will see improvements in September.  Since then, I have heard similar problems around Gloucester Road Tube Station and I am glad Victoria [Victoria Borwick AM MP] knows about it to confirm the extent of this problem.

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  Is it a new problem at Gloucester Road?

Murad Qureshi AM:  Can I ‑‑

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  Sorry.

Murad Qureshi AM:  How confident are you that these noise issues will be dealt with before the 24-hour Tube system becomes operational on the Jubilee and Piccadilly lines?  Quite simply, for these residents, the only relief they get is when the Tube closes.

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  On Gloucester Road I cannot comment, but I do know that a lot of work is being done now to try to deal with the problems of the apartment blocks in Glentworth Street near Baker Street and residents at Clarence Gate Gardens, which is in the same neighbourhood, is it not?

Murad Qureshi AM:  It is.  It is 71 and it is just a block away from Baker Street.

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  We are on it.  Murad, I am going to have to write to you with how we are doing.

Murad Qureshi AM:  OK, I accept that.  Like I said, I would not normally have brought this up because I was hoping it would be dealt with by TfL.  There is a general point.  Are you sure that TfL are sufficiently prepared to mitigate the impact of the 24-hour Tube system on residents of central London, like I have just mentioned in Baker Street?

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  I am.  I have been here for seven years and it is the first time that I have ever heard a Member of the Assembly raise noise from the Tube.

Murad Qureshi AM:  No, it is actually not the first time.

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  Not in MQTs.

Murad Qureshi AM:  Not in MQTs; that is quite true.

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  I do not think I have ever had an oral question about it.

Murad Qureshi AM:  Yes, that is true.

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  Yes?

Murad Qureshi AM:  I am glad that I have brought it up, but I do think that there is a wider issue about mitigating the impact of 24-hour Tube.  I am not saying people in central London are against it.  You need to certainly work with local authorities and the MPS because I do not see any evidence of that in Westminster.

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  Let me get back to you with what we are doing to muffle, baffle, mitigate and do whatever we have to do to make sure that when we run a 24-hour Tube it does not keep people up at night.  We are going to have a 24-hour Tube but we cannot be rattling people’s teacups at 3.00am and so we will sort that out.

Murad Qureshi AM:  Yes, that is the reassurance the residents want.