Tube Drivers Plan Go-Slow Protest Over Noise Levels

By Gary Cutlack on at

A potentially never-ending rolling semi-strike is about to hit several of London's tube lines, with drivers running the Jubilee, Central, Northern and Victoria lines set to limit their top speeds to pressure bosses to do something about the track noise levels they experience while shuttling about the city's tunnels.

From Thursday October 10 it may therefore take a few more minutes to get about the place, thanks to the war on the Pandrol Vanguard system. This, as you have no doubt known all along, is the retrofitting of under-rail pads on sections of line, designed to absorb vibration and lessen noise feedback to the humans up top. It hasn't worked very well and drivers say it's still too loud in cabs and passenger carriages, and these noisy areas cause "distraction, discomfort and anxiety" for staff, the union says, and it wants Transport for London to introduce temporary speed restrictions on the worst areas. But it won't, so RMT-affiliated drivers will themselves, by switching trains to manual on the contested parts of the lines and reducing speed.

In other transport strike news we've just seen on the RMT press site, it's also coordinating a staff strike on the beleaguered Caledonian Sleeper service, with all overnight trains – like, both of them, although they do split up in the night – cancelled for two nights from Sunday because staff are fed up with dealing with the numerous aftermaths of the overnightmares its new rolling stock has been triggering. [RMT]