IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Noise ordeal endured by tube passengers and drivers

17 January, 2019

IT’S bad enough with the toxic air pollution, overcrowded carriages and packed platforms.

But London Underground passengers are now facing a potentially deafening noise on their daily commute.

Transport for London suggest the unbearable screeching – proved by our professional readings to be above dangerous levels – is acceptable. The ordeal is short-lived, they say.

It may be brief but the sound, which is not unlike someone suddenly shrieking in your ear, comes as a big shock.

The experienced can be seen preparing themselves by plugging their ears with their fingers. The uninitiated wince.

Ear experts at University College London are effectively advising that even the most conservatively minded passenger should protect their hearing by avoiding Camden Town tube.

Tube drivers are being exposed to the noise on a daily basis. Some long-serving drivers blame management orders to drive trains faster than before, a measure put in place to meet demand from rising numbers of passengers. It has been suggested that is the one of the main reasons why the track noises have become so bad.

Also affected are residents living above the lines. In recent years, many here in Camden have reported hearing noises that never existed before beneath their houses. They are struggling to sleep, work and concentrate in their own homes.

TfL will not want to admit there’s a problem so publicly. But the least they could do is provide a warning to passengers coming in and out of Camden Town.

C2 bus contempt

WE wonder how many of the 2,000 people who objected to the proposal to cut the C2 bus service feel that they have been brushed aside by Transport for London. Probably a sense of powerlessness.

As for the executives of TfL, it could be said they have displayed nothing less than contempt for the views of the public. This view that “we know best” can be found in so many decisions taken nowadays by the bosses in society.

It was this deep sense of disenchantment that, we believe, lay behind the majority who voted for Brexit. Something now being recognised both by the commen­tariat and the political class.

There is little doubt the C2 service was a popular route providing a useful link between north Camden and Oxford Circus.

Predictably, TfL bosses wrap up their decision with talk of “efficiency” and how the C2 route will be served by other routes. Few travellers would agree.

Recently, TfL went ahead with another strange decision, replacing a single decker 274 with a double-decker. It didn’t make sense in terms of demand but, of course, TfL knew best. Those who know the route no doubt shake their heads in disbelief as they see mostly empty 274s swish by.

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