The internal TfL risk assessment for the long awaited Night Tube has revealed residents living near to tube tracks or stations are likely to face significant increases in noise disturbance when the Night Tube is introduced. The risk assessment stated that the nuisance noise could result in a “reduction in quality of life of residents through disturbed sleep” and even “threats of suicide.”
The assessment makes clear that TfL should use the ongoing delay to the Night Tube to ensure that all identified sections of noisy track were repaired ahead of the Night Tube’s eventual start.
The official TfL risk assessment, obtained by the Times newspaper last month via a Freedom of Information request, identified a four out of five chance risk that “residents who live close to and above tracks are disturbed at night by noise, vibration and ground bourne noise caused by the train service operations.” The document also found a three out of five chance that those near to stations would also face disruption from station and train announcements throughout the night.
In an admission that will worry residents already facing challenges of noisy tracks during the day TfL states in the document that the Night Tube could well result in insufficient maintenance time on the tracks, as a result an “inability to rail grind on Friday and Saturday nights could lead to poorer rail condition, reliability and noise.”
Respite for residents affected to increased night tube noise looks to be unlikely with TfL also rating the risk it will not be able to handle the increase in complaints as a five out of five risk.
TfL should use the delayed introduction of the Night Tube to repair all the identified sections of track and should set up a ‘noise-busters’ team to ensure noisy sections of track are quickly identified in future and prioritised for replacement or maintenance.