When is noise on tube system going to be taken seriously?

Noise may not be top of ever ones priorities but its a big issue for many. For example on the Heathrow expansion the chief environmental concern is not CO2 emissions or poor air quality but aircraft noise affecting a further 2 millions residents. But lets not forget other sources of ambient noise from the transport infrastructure like our tube system. Judging from the responses to my previous blogs on tube noise, its clearly an issue for many Londoners even before the night service came along. 

So let me make the following points in the London context; 

  • The GLA Act requires the Mayor to produce a strategy for ambient noise and the first strategy – “Sounder City – Mayor’s Ambient Noise Strategy” was put in place by the first Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone in Feb 2004. It is now 12 years outdated and required urgent updating.
  • That first strategy covered many aspect of noise from transport from rail, aircraft noise & along rivers and canals. Also on the roads on the buses, taxis’s and freight vehicles. But it does not cover the tube system in London particular those actually underground. This is a major admission and must addressed by the Mayor.
  • If TfL can accept responsibility for ambient noise via its regulation of black cabs & private hire vehicles and managing its own buses and boats and overground services why not also the Tube system itself?
  • With the increasing tube noise complaints over the past 12 years particularly with the onset of Night Tube service, it is not time TfL took on this responsibility as well and at least accept it as potential a statutory nuisance their tube activities causes? 

It was good to see the Environment Committee at the London Assembly, City Hall give a hearing to many frustrated Londoners with tube noise concerns last week, so I look forward to a response from TfL and Mayor’s office on this front.