Sleep Deprivation

Submitted by Janine on Mon, 04/09/2007 - 19:58

Here at Jblog HQ, we are suffering from sleep deprivation, due to the announcements from our neighbouring railway station. Loud and lengthy announcements to the zero people on the platform would be comical if it weren't actually a breach of my peace.

Fortunately(?), one of our councillors is the Cabinet Member with responsibility for noise. So I've written to him - copied below. Mind you, I wrote to him about the same issue several months ago and nothing has changed. But if some mysterious person cuts the loudspeakers' wires in the middle of the night, it's not me, honest.

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Dear Councillor Laing

I am writing to you early in the morning having once again been woken up by the unnecessary, loud and intrusive announcements from Hackney Central station. I wrote to you about this several months ago and you replied that you would act on my complaint, but the situation has not improved. It affects a significant number of households on this estate, and residents are distressed and angry about the disturbance and lack of sleep.

Not only do the announcements start at 7am every day - including weekends and public holidays - they also continue until at least 11pm. Last night (Good Friday) at 11pm, the station was announcing in great detail the travel arrangements for the following day!

The announcements appear to be pre-recorded broadcasts from a central control room, and take no regard even to whether there is anyone on the station to hear them or whether they are particularly relevant to this location.

When I worked on overground railway stations in residential areas, they often had a rule that they could not make announcements before, say, 9am or after 9pm, unless in an emergency. These rules had been introduced after local residents complained. I would like you to demand such an agreement from Silverlink / Network Rail / TfL, whichever company it is that is responsible for this.

Further, the company should:
- turn the volume down;
- replace the loudspeakers with the type that target the broadcast more effectively into the station itself rather than dispersing the sound around the local area;
- preferably, employ staff at the station who can make appropriate announcements at appropriate times.

Yours
Janine Booth
Chairperson
Aspland & Marcon Estates Tenants' & Residents' Association