Tube noise driving residents from their homes (and it's ear-splitting for passengers too)

TfL admits it has no solution to the Northern Line screech between Euston and Tufnell Park

Friday, 26th April 2019 — By Samantha Booth

Sue Brent-Carpenter

Sound and fury: Sue Brent-Carpenter, who said that tube vibrations and noise has made her consider moving from her flat

SLEEPLESS residents have spoken out about the screech of tube trains running underneath their homes as transport chiefs struggle to find a way to fix the noise.

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

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 last year.

“It would break my heart [to move],” she said. “It’s the most lovely flat. When we moved in here it felt like we had won the lottery.”

Alex Pericleous, 32, who lives in Whitfield Street, Fitzrovia, above the Victoria line, said that a low rumbling had always been heard over the 30 years his family had lived there, but now the noise was disrupting sleep.

He said: “Sometimes we only get five to six hours a night due to the noise when the train line opens as I am a light sleeper.”

TfL said it has undertaken remedial work and hopes the noise will be reduced soon.

The New Journal reported earlier this year on the case of Luce Jacovella who sofa surfed for nearly a year to get away from the screeching of the Northern and Victoria line trains under her Somers Town flat. Noise levels had reached 54 to 57 decibels.

The 50-year-old, who lives in Levita House, said: “I am really exhausted and frustrated.”

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.”

Meanwhile, Transport for London has admitted there is currently no solution to silencing the noise experienced by passengers on the Northern line in Camden.

A New Journal investigation this year revealed how passengers were being exposed to ear-splitting noise equivalent in volume to a live rock concert.

We investigated tube noise earlier this year

TfL say the noise levels customers are exposed to on the tube are within Health and Safety Executive regulations.

But the transport authority has installed technology in an attempt to reduce the noise above ground, which has the 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 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 £1m per year to work on new technology to find solutions.”

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

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