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Camden New Journal - by DAN CARRIER
Published 5 October 2006
Jill Barham, whose home is next to railway tracks noise, with a plate broken by train vibrations
Bad vibrations over plan for more trains on route

Warning that homes and businesses will face ‘unbearable’ noise

PLANS to improve rail services through Camden have come under fire from home-owners concerned about noise and vibration from trains.
Transport for London (TfL) is taking over the running of the Gospel Oak to Barking and Richmond to North Woolwich lines, which serve Hampstead Heath, Gospel Oak, Kentish Town West and Camden Road stations.
It plans to increase the frequency of passenger trains from three to eight an hour.
TfL will oversee the running of the lines from November next year. It also plans to revamp stations, employ more staff, improve security, introduce Oyster card swipe points and bring in longer trains.
The plans are part of an overhaul of the capital’s overland train system which London mayor Ken Livingstone hopes to put in place before the 2012 Olympics.
But the planned increase in train services has been criticised by many who live and work along the route. They say they have not been consulted and that the extra noise and vibration from trains will make their lives unbearable.
Mary McCaffrey, a pensioner who lives by the tracks in Wrotham Road, Agar Grove, said: “We just do not want any more trains. They rumble through the night and it stops me sleeping.”
Her neighbour amateur painter JillBarham, said crockery shook in her kitchen as the trains passed just yards from her house.
Further along the line in Baynes Street, Camden Town, mechanics at Burlington Motors, who work under an arch rented from Network Rail, owners of the track, said that any increase in services would need to be met with some form of compensation.
Manager Mark Doyley, who has worked at the garage next to a rail bridge for eight years, said: “The bridge really suffers when freight comes along it. Bolts have fallen off it into the road, and the noise of the brakes is unbearable.”
Mr Doyley added: “Sometimes if I am working on a car, I simply have to stop what I am doing while the trains go past. Our rent is quite high already. If they are making extra money they should cut our rent to make up for the noise.”
In Lissenden Gardens, near Gospel Oak station, residents are also apprehensive.
Jeffrey Morris, who has lived in Lissenden Mansion flats for 20 years, believes there should be proper consultation with the public over the increased services.
He said: “ If they plan to increase the amount of traffic on the line they need to do three things. There must be a full public consultation. They need to discuss noise reduction, be it double-glazing for people who live near the tracks or some other solution.
“And they need to look at disabled access. At the moment not one of the stations, or the trains, has disabled access.”
A TfL spokesman said the plans included buying new trains – which would be quieter.
He said: “We hope to have new trains in place by the time we increase the frequency, and the new technology makes them a lot quieter.”


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