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Residential Tube Noise (1)

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 10th January 2020.

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Photo of Navin Shah Navin Shah Labour

Your response to Question (2019/17739) addressed the issue of TfL’s response to Tube noise. Additionally, in your letter written on 5 November 2019 responding to the matter of TfL’s response to tube noise, you stated that Pandrol Vanguard track fastenings may reduce the amount of rail grinding. However, new installations have been halted to enable TfL to assess their success and concerns of in-carriage noise. What is your response in the meantime, specifically, to residents who endure the grinding noises for much longer periods of time than Tube riders? When can they expect an acceptable solution to reduce/remove noise? Is there a timetable and programme for the necessary remedial measures that I can let my residents have?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

I continue to stress to Transport for London (TfL) the importance of minimising noise levels, and I know TfL is working hard to achieve this.

Despite a number of financial challenges, TfL continues to invest approximately £260m a year on London Underground track renewal and maintenance. This includes a continuous programme of rail grinding and track modernisation.

Since November 2016, TfL has carried out works in the proximity of over 200 homes most affected by noise, installing thousands of new track fastenings, hundreds of metres of new track and grinding rails, and removing rail joints where they are no longer necessary. This has helped to address both in carriage noise as well as residential noise.

In recent months, TfL has also carried out a targeted programme of rail grinding at key sites across the network, which has reduced residential noise levels. TfL is also trialling a new type of track fastening that they hope will replicate noise and vibration benefits for local residents, while also addressing in-carriage noise. TfL will share further information about the potential installation of this alternative track fastening elsewhere on the network by Summer 2020.