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Screech on the Northern Line tube is ear to stay

Transport chiefs admit they have no solution to deafening noise – as Islington residents say din could force them to move

26 April, 2019 — By Samantha Booth

Sue Brent-Carpenter says noise from the tube keeps her awake

TRANSPORT for London have warned “there isn’t a solution” for the escalating tube noises ruining people’s lives above ground – and causing ear-splitting screeches for passengers on trains.

Sue Brent-Carpenter, 61, said the vibrations and noise from the tube in her basement bedroom in Cathcart Hill, Tufnell Park, is keeping her awake and she has considered moving home after two decades.

She said she feels “upset” at the situation and added: “It would break my heart [to move]. It’s the most lovely flat. When we moved in here it felt like we had won the lottery.”

She has been diagnosed with “exceptional hearing” and says she can hear more and at higher pitches than most people, but had noticed an increase in Northern line noise over the past year.

Meanwhile, TfL have admitted there is currently nothing they can do to silence the noise on the stretch of the Northern line.

A Tribune investigation earlier this year revealed how passengers were being exposed to volumes equivalent to that of a live rock concert on parts between Euston and Tufnell Park.

TfL say the noise levels are within Health and Safety Executive regulations but residents living above tube lines have said they have recorded a noise of 52 decibels – far louder than the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

The transport authority has installed technology in an attempt to reduce the noise above ground, which has a knock-on effect of causing a screeching noise in the tunnels on the Northern line. New pads have been installed alongside the technology – called Pandrol Vanguard – on parts of the Victoria line, which can also help reduce noise underground.

However, on the noise from Euston to Tufnell Park, while some remedial action has been ­taken, a TfL spokesman said: “For this stretch there isn’t currently a solution but we’re working on alternatives and we have a fund of around £1million per year to work on new technology to find solutions.”

The spokesman could not provide a “concrete answer” on how long it will take.

On the noise in homes, Peter McNaught, London Underground’s Director of Asset Operations, said: “We are committed to doing all we can to minimise noise levels and to being good neighbours.

“We understand the effect that noise from the tube can have on residents living nearby, and have undertaken extensive work across the ­network to reduce noise and vibrations.”

He added: “We have completed several different remedial actions around Camden to try and reduce noise levels, and will continue to monitor these levels and to liaise with residents about this issue.

“I encourage anyone affected to speak to our dedicated customer services team so that we can continue to improve this issue.”


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