Thank you to those below who went to the London Assembley and testified before the environmental committee. It would seem the heartfelt testimony made a big impact.
Also, if you emailed the environmental committee, well done. It is critical that they understand this is a London wide issue and not just constrainded to a few locations.
We had representatives from: Covent Garden, Barbican Association, Euston, Marylebone, Archway, Seven Sisters, Mornington Crescent
If you haven't emailed the environmental committee yet, please do so now. It doesn't have to be a long email. A few sincere lines will do. (Just copy/paste what many of you have written to me, anything is better than nothing. The committee emails are below. This is important as Is it an issue they may take up and have the power to make changes. Writing in will have a higher impact/effort ratio than anything else we will likely do in the near future on this issue.
The video of the committee meeting and testimony is online here.
The minutes can be found here when posted.
Also, thank you to those who repsoned to the request for an interview. The modus operendi of the press is to give very little notice for an interview e.g. same day onsite, 1h for phone interview. Perhaps give it some thought now and if/when the next request comes in, be ready to accommodate.
Murad Qureshi as former LA member has submitted this blog post.
An excellent BBC interview is found here, thank you to Ian and Luce for volunteering on short notice.
See updated map of impacted areas here. I have made the effort to place the markers in general neighbourhoods and not on specific address. You can see how widespread this issue is. If I am missing anyone, let me know.
A reminder that a meeting with Tony Devenish and TfL is on
Date : 2nd August 2016Time : 6.30pmVenue: Baker Street Station (Meeting Room above Baker Street Station)
The office is best approached by 13 Allsop Pl (not inside Baker St Station)
come if you can, would be good to have some numbers here.
"I am contacting you to confirm that we have now identified a date for you and residents to meet Tony Devenish AM and TfL, to discuss noise coming from the Tube and concerns around the introduction of Night Tube.
A meeting has been arranged for residents in the Baker Street area as follows:
Date : 2nd August 2016
Time : 6.30pm
Venue: Baker Street Station (Meeting Room above Baker Street Station)
I would be grateful if you could pass this email invitation on to your neighbours and it would be helpful if you could confirm your attendance as space is limited.
I look forward to hearing from you.
RSO to Tony Devenish AM
GLA Assembly Member for West Central
(Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, City of Westminster)
Dear Noise Action Groups,
Thank you for your email of 22 July regarding Tube noise.
I completely recognise the importance and sensitivity of the issues you have raised and I have asked for reassurance that Transport for London (TfL) is doing everything it can on the ground to address your concerns.
I am aware that in the next fortnight the TfL team are meeting with residents and Tony Devenish AM to discuss concerns around Baker Street, Notting Hill Gate and Pimlico; and with Caroline Pidgeon AM and residents in the Woodford area. The team will also keep in very close touch with boroughs, elected representatives, residents and local user groups as Night Tube commences.
I am also happy to meet with you along with the TfL engineering teams to discuss your concerns face-to-face and the plans to address them. I have asked TfL to work with you on a date as soon as possible.
In the meantime, I will briefly address some of your specific points here, but we can discuss them in more detail when we meet.
With regard to the condition of the tracks and infrastructure, there has been a significant amount of preparatory work undertaken to ensure they are in the best possible condition ahead of Night Tube. This is in addition to the regular and continuous process of renewal and maintenance undertaken by London Underground. In the lead up to Night Tube, TfL has increased investment in its renewal and maintenance and in the last couple of years has renewed almost 70km of track and ground or re-railed more than 450km of rail. I have asked that TfL take you through, in detail, the work done to date and the forward plan for further maintenance when we meet.
You also mention deployment of shock absorbent track fixings. This is a relatively new technology which gave good results in a recent pilot. TfL is now installing them in other locations as soon as possible, although the fixings are not suitable for all areas of track.
The new track fixings are to be installed at the following locations on the Central, Victoria and Jubilee lines – the months shown are estimated completion dates for the work:
Holland Park to Notting Hill Gate Eastbound (Central line) – August 2016
Baker Street to St. John’s Wood Southbound (Jubilee line) – September 2016
Wanstead to Leytonstone (Central line) – September 2016
Pimlico to Victoria Northbound (Victoria line) – October 2016
Stockwell to Vauxhall Southbound (Victoria line) – January 2017
A section between Liverpool Street and Bethnal Green was recently completed and early indications from residents suggest that the installation has resulted in a significant decrease in noise.
I hope that this will be the experience of residents living close to all these areas of track. TfL will be re-visiting residents upon completion of installation to determine how successful this has been and I will be receiving regular reports about the results.
You also referred to World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for noise. The principle behind them is to inform new developments. Parts of London Underground are over 150 years old, which means design and construction technologies and core materials are at least as old. However, these locations, particularly in residential areas, are prioritised for maintenance and improvement work wherever possible.
That is not to detract in any way from the very legitimate concerns you have, but is simply to describe the balance TfL is seeking to strike between delivering the Night Tube service London needs whilst minimising the impact on their neighbours.
I am committed to full transparency on this and to ensuring that the process TfL has in place to respond to concerns and complaints about noise and any other issues is effective. Once the Night Tube service is up and running I will be monitoring the performance of the service on a daily basis, including on issues such as noise.
Thank you again for writing to me, and I look forward to meeting you soon,
VAL SHAWCROSS CBE
DEPUTY MAYOR FOR TRANSPORT
GREATER LONDON AUTHORITY NOTICE:
The information in this email may contain confidential or privileged materials. For more information see http://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/email-notice
Dear Val Shawcross and Tony Devenish,
Link to Letter
We are sending this e-mail and attached letter on behalf of all London residents whose peace and quiet have been severely affected by the ongoing underground and airborne tube noise and vibrations to date.
We would like to thank you for raising the London Tube Noise and Vibration problem at the Mayor’s Question Time (MQT) session on July 20th, 2016. For reference, we are providing the exact minutes of the discussions in Annex 1 of the attached letter.
We, as a collective group, agree that many of the responses and comments provided by the Mayor were inadequate and, in some cases, inaccurate, completely dismissing the fact that the launch of the Night Tube on August 19th, 2016 will only exacerbate the current painful 19-hour exposure to continuous, vexatious, unhealthy noise emanating from the tube in the various affected areas across London.
While it was claimed during MQT that “everyone”, including the Mayor, is fully supportive of the launch of the Night Tube, all affected residents agree that there should not be any launch of the Night Tube until:
TfL successfully completes the claimed noise reduction programme in all areas affected and not just in the high priority areas of Notting Hill Gate, Baker Street and Marylebone, with clear, noticeable and measurable reduction in noise and vibration levels in line with WHO guidelines
TfL adequately and transparently monitors the impact of the noise reduction programme on the reduction in the noise and vibration from the tube in all affected areas for an agreed period of time
Committing to launch the Night Tube before ensuring that the current tube noise and vibration concerns and complaints raised to date are adequately addressed in a sustainable manner can only be construed as a clear sign that the Mayor’s Office and TfL are not openly responding to the critical concerns raised with various official parties to date and not respecting each and every affected resident’s right to peace and quiet within the walls of his / her home, especially when those tube noises and vibrations were not noticeable – and in many cases non-existent in the past.
We all demand that the London Tube Noise and Vibration problem is successfully resolved, with noticeable and measurable reduction in noise and vibration levels in line with WHO guidelines with the utmost urgency before the launch of the Night Tube.
Our attached letter also addresses our collective reaction to the inadequate and, in some cases, inaccurate responses and comments provided by the Mayor.
All affected residents are looking forward to hearing back from the Mayor’s office as well as from TfL with utmost urgency.
Tube Noise Action Group Bethnal Green
Tube Noise Action Group Marylebone
Tube Noise Action Group Notting Hill
Tube Noise Action Group Seven Sisters
Tube Noise Action Group Walthamstow
Tube Noise Action Group Woodford Green
I am not sure if anyone followed today's MQT, but below are the key highlights specifically regarding tube noise and launch of the night tube. Please note that the Mayor mentioned that the Night Tube is on track to be launched on the 19th August as a response to an earlier question related to other trains servicing areas in and out of London.
Summary of what has been mentioned:
The Mayor has recently met and consulted with TfL about the tube noise issue and has reassured AM Devenish that this is problem is being taken seriously
As part of the preparation for the night tube launch, the Mayor has established a specialist group to look into tube noise problems - the group includes track engineers, noise and vibration specialists, track maintenance experts and community relations teams to provide a consistent approach to the various complaints raised
London's tube system is the envy of the world, with record levels of reliability and customer service. However, the tube is prone to wear and tear, which can periodically bring noise increase from passing trains
TfL is already working with communities across London to minimize noise levels on the network, particularly noise and vibrations from the rail tracks through ongoing programmes of maintenance, improvement and innovation
London Underground has also significantly increased investment in rail grinding, rail replacement and renewals to ensure a safe and reliable rail network and to address the tube noise and vibrations issues raised by AM Devenish
London Underground is also prioritizing areas with NO noise and vibration concerns within these maintenance programmes
TfL has deployed new shock absorbent track fixings to target known potential noise problems in key areas of Nottinghill Gate, Pimlico, Baker Street and Marylebone. Officers of TfL are available to discuss work that is being done in these key areas in more detail
The Mayor is determined that night tube services should not mean sleepless nights - tube trains already work for 20 hours a day, with additional trains to run at nights. As such the Mayor does not anticipate significantly more noise for our neighbours
The Mayor gave his assurance that TfL is dealing with issue at hand effectively and sensitively.
To AM Devenish's question regarding whether noise levels no higher than 40dB based on WHO guideline were reasonable limits for the Mayor and whether such limits should form the limits for the London Underground policy, the Mayor mentioned that he was not sure about the exact decibel levels, but agrees that the lives of residents of London should not be made a misery by public transport
AM Devenish mentioned that TfL has responded to him "very" positively over the last few weeks. While he supports night tube, he raised the matter to the Mayor that the issue is how the policy is implemented. He looks forward to working with the Mayor to resolving the issue in due course.
The Mayor acknowledged that this is a serious issue for all those residents affected and the Mayor's office cannot be seen to belittle their concerns - so he is really keen to work with everyone who have issues
AM Devenish requested to the Mayor that communication from TfL is very important
AM Arnold also intervened and asked for a meeting with the Deputy Mayor Val Shawcross to take this matter further, especially to look into how a group can be properly and adequately established to receive, deal with and resolve noise complaints, without the need to escalate these concerns to AMs
AM Prince also raised the issue that similar noise concerns were raised in Redbridge - while the residents were already aware of and accepted the tube noise concerns during daytime when they first moved into their property, they fear that the night tube will just impact their peace and quiet at night. AM Prince mentioned that a resident even recorded 60dB coming from the tube in this area
TRANSPORT for London has named Mr Mark Wild as the next managing director of London Underground and he will start his new role in June.
Wild is currently special advisor to the minister and secretary of the Australian state of Victoria, but prior to that he was CEO of Public Transport Victoria (PTV) which manages Melbourne's tram network – the largest in the world – and commuter and regional services in the state.
An electrical and electronic engineering graduate of the former Newcastle Polytechnic, Wild has an MBA in business administration from Leeds University. Wild started his railway career in 2003 when he joined the former Westinghouse Rail Systems as a regional director. He became general manager in 2005 and was appointed managing director of Invensys Rail in 2009. During his time with Westinghouse Rail Systems, Wild was involved with resignalling London Underground's Jubilee and Victoria lines. Wild joined PTV in 2012 as director of projects and technical services and was named CEO a year later.
In the meantime, London Underground's finance director, Mr Andrew Pollins, will act as interim managing director, succeeding Mr Nick Brown who has stepped down from this role.
We have been given many denials from TfL that any major changes had taken place on the tracks near Baker St. TfL was baffled that there was any change in noise, well finally have an email dated 22 June 2016 from Andrew Pollins at the TfL confirming that wooden sleepers have been "upgraded" to concrete sleepers. doubtless this is causing the massive increase in noise. No environmental impact assessment has been made and it was done without consultation.