Tube drivers to slow down amid concerns about noise
Industrial action planned from Thursday
03 October, 2019 — By Samantha Booth
LONDON Underground drivers are due to slow down their trains next week in protest at the screeching noise coming from the tracks.
The RMT union has planned the action from next Thursday (October 10) amid rising concerns about the sound levels on the Underground.
A New Journal investigation revealed earlier this year how some sections of the Northern line feeding Camden Town are as loud as a rock concert.
London Assembly member Caroline Russell, who also chairs City Hall’s environment committee, said tube noise should be treated as a “serious problem”.
She said: “If the noise in the driver’s cab is anything like the ear-splitting screeching passengers hear in the carriages then I totally understand the action of RMT drivers. If going slower makes the journey quieter I expect passengers will be grateful.”
Ms Russell added: “There will be disruption from this action but the solution is for TfL and the Mayor [of London Sadiq Khan] to treat tube noise as a serious problem. They must work urgently to resolve the noise issues as they are a risk to all Londoners’ health.”
Transport for London has insisted that Health and Safety Executive guidance suggests tube noise is highly unlikely to cause any long-term damage to hearing.
A rail fastening system was installed on some parts of the tube line as a measure to quell noise in homes above the tracks. However, TfL say in some areas this has made the noise in the tunnels louder.
Peter McNaught, London Underground’s director of asset operations, said: “We understand that noise levels on and around the tube can sometimes be uncomfortable for our customers and neighbours.
“We are determined to mitigate and reduce noise and vibration wherever possible, and are working with the market to develop new technology to try and reduce noise across the network.”