The Night Tube (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
July 15, 2015
Question By: 
Andrew Dismore
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Andrew Dismore AM:  Thank you, Chair.  Can you tell me why there was no consultation with residents whose homes back on to the Northern line about the additional noise problems that emanate overnight?

Supplementary To: 


Answer for The Night Tube (Supplementary) [1]

Answer for The Night Tube (Supplementary) [1]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  It has been drawn to my attention that one of the impacts of the Night Tube may be extra noise.  We are looking into that, particularly at Baker Street.  In that type of area, I have been alerted to possible consequences.  Murad [Murad Qureshi AM] drew it to my attention last time[1] and we are working very hard to mitigate all such impacts and to make sure that the unquestioned benefits of the Night Tube do not disadvantage some people in the city.

Andrew Dismore AM:  You did not actually answer my question about why there was no consultation with residents.

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  I cannot say.  I am not certain there was no consultation.

Andrew Dismore AM:  Let me put this to you.  My constituent, Julie, whose home backs on to the Northern line at Colindale, says this,

“The noise currently emanating from the Tube rattling on the tracks is already a considerable nuisance.  Were it not for the fact that they stop around 1.00am, most of us would have sleepless nights.  The thought of them running all night, every weekend, is frankly appalling.”

She has been in contact with TfL.  They are talking about potentially looking at the tracks to see what they can do to quiet them down but that will not happen at least until January.  People are going to be, throughout the autumn and early winter, subject to this additional noise because no thought was given to the impact on them at an early stage.

When you first announced the Night Tube a long time ago, why did you not think about the impact on residents when you were bringing this in?

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  The answer will turn out to be that TfL was not aware of a very substantial number of residents who might be so affected.  We are now getting reports of this and thank you for drawing the complaints of your constituents to my attention.  We will obviously be doing whatever we can to mitigate it.  I have to say that in eight years of being Mayor, this is the first time I have ever had any protest from any of you about nocturnal noise from the Tube.  Not in this in this Question Time.

Andrew Dismore AM:  Frankly, I find that answer incredible, Mr Mayor.  Are you simply telling me that TfL had no thought about the impact on people who back on to the many miles of over ground Tube line where they are going to be disturbed at night?

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  What I have been saying ‑‑

Andrew Dismore AM:  Are you seriously telling me that the TfL had no thought about it?  It presumably had no thought about it because it made no attempt to consult people in the first place.  If it had done, it would have heard.

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  I cannot tell you about the consultations that were made.

Andrew Dismore AM:  There were not any.

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  I would be happy to get back to you on that.  What I can tell you is that in the course of doing this job for a long time, Night Tube noise is not something that has really been raised with me, but I am listening to you now and I am going to do what I can to sort it out.  It is not something that has been raised with me before.

Andrew Dismore AM:  There is a difference between Tube lines that stop at 1.00am and those that go on all through the night, is there not?  That is the problem here.  People will put up with a degree of  Tube noise; they have to because that is where they live.  There is a difference between having it late at night and all through the night, is there not?

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  Yes, and you are making a very fair point, Andrew, to be honest.  If we can do something to mitigate the noise impacts on residents, then obviously we should.  I am grateful to you for drawing this to my attention.  All I am saying is that it is not something that John Biggs [John Biggs AM], for instance, although he is continually interjecting and chuntering, Chair, has raised.  He says he would raise it but he says, “I am never here”.  I might point out this is a bit rich coming from ‘Two Jobs’ Biggs!  When is he going to resign as an Assembly Member and stop taking--?  Do the people of Tower Hamlets get what are you doing here?

Jennette Arnold OBE AM (Chair):  Mr Mayor, no, we have stopped the clock.

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  Why does he not quietly evaporate or disintegrate?

Jennette Arnold OBE AM (Chair):  No, we have stopped the clock and, really, quite a few of you are in no position to be talking about the number of jobs that are being held around this horseshoe.

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  That is because I am here.

Jennette Arnold OBE AM (Chair):  It is going to be a rarity ‑‑

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  I work much harder than you.

Jennette Arnold OBE AM (Chair):  ‑‑ those of us who only do one job. 

Boris Johnson MP (Mayor of London):  The more people that understand me.

Jennette Arnold OBE AM (Chair):  Now, have you finished, Mr Dismore?