Too-loud station announcemnents bring action threat from council

PUBLISHED: 12:43 16 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:12 06 May 2010

FORMAL action may be taken against train operator First Capital Connect (FCC) after the company ignored St Albans District Council s request to make its station announcements quieter. Environmental Health officers are to visit City Station this week to as

FORMAL action may be taken against train operator First Capital Connect (FCC) after the company ignored St Albans District Council's request to make its station announcements quieter.

Environmental Health officers are to visit City Station this week to assess whether to take action against FCC.

In January, officers from the council's environmental health department took measurements and found that the tannoy was louder than permitted levels.

They had been alerted by Herts County Councillor Chris White who represents St Albans Central and who had received complaints from people living nearby that the tannoy was too loud.

He checked with the complainants recently and found that none of them was convinced that the volume had been turned down.

One complained that the announcements had recently gone on until 2am. As a consequence, Cllr White has got back in touch with Environmental Health and now he is pressing for prosecution.

He said: "I got the train to London the other day and was deafened by an announcement. Someone was bellowing into the microphone and it was painful to me.

"The Environmental Health officers found the levels were well above the legal limit when they investigated in January. To some degree the volume was turned down but now they have turned it back up - FCC's behaviour is quite amazing."

It was a cavalier attitude, he pointed out, because if your neighbour asked you to turn down the volume on your stereo as it was annoying, you would do it out of politeness.

An FCC spokesperson said that they were adhering to the volume levels required by the council, and were training staff to use their Public Announcement (PA) system at St Albans.

He added that they held a meeting with the council two weeks ago for an update on the use of the PA system.

The system was shut-down between 11pm and 6am, and would only be used at 2am as suggested in the event of an emergency.

A spokesperson for St Albans District Council said: "Unfortunately informal action with First Capital Connect has been unsuccessful and officers will carry out an assessment over the next few days to determine whether to take formal action."

* Fifty-six new cycle racks have been installed at City Station as part of a move by Herts County Council to encourage people to use their cars less.

The council have also added a cycle route alongside London Road between Drakes Drive and Grosvenor Road, giving south St Albans and London Colney a route to the station that avoids the A1081.

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