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Waterloo Station Announcements

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Wednesday 21 August 2013 9.26pm
Has anyone else noticed that the announcements at Waterloo Station have become louder in the last couple of weeks?

In the early hours of 6th August I was woken up to a beeping noise and the announcement "Due to a reported emergency all passengers must leave the station immediately. Please obey the instructions from the station staff". This was on a loop and must have been played at least 50 times. It was then followed by the repeated announcement of "Will Inspector Sands please report to (various locations)".

They have been testing the security alarm system for years when the station is closed so although it was louder than usual I thought nothing of it the next morning.

Unfortunately, a couple of minutes after waking up for work I heard an announcement stating what platform a train would be departing from and all the stations it would stop at and that drinks and light refreshments would be available on the service.

I've lived in Waterloo all my life and have heard the occasional echo of an announcement from the station but was shocked to hear every word of that one with my windows closed. Since the 6th August I can hear most of the announcements so it seems they tested it to see if it worked and have stuck with it ever since.

From early morning until just before midnight an announcement plays every 15 minutes informing passengers to keep personal belongings with them at all times and to report anything suspicious. It drove me crazy when I was at home all day Sunday!
Wednesday 21 August 2013 9.38pm
Someone from Styles house once complained about this and they turned down the volume. Contact the station and let them know.
Wednesday 21 August 2013 9.39pm
Hm, I was getting very early trains in mid-July & did not have this 'loud announcement' but 'Inspector Sands' is an emergency of the extreme heat variety (testing, I'd hope!)
Wednesday 21 August 2013 10.14pm
yes, it is truly awful, my family r really suffering with these constant announcements
Thursday 22 August 2013 10.55am
I have noticed it being louder recently too (though I dont live that close so it's not something I'm exposed to all the time).
Thursday 22 August 2013 11.00am
A new system was installed in summer 2012 at a cost of 2.8 million

"The first phase of the new system went live in the main concourse and new balcony before the start of the 2012 Games. Our passengers have already noticed the difference with clear, audible announcements. By early next year, we will complete the installation of further speakers right across the station to include all the platforms.

"Passengers will be able to hear any announcements with the same clarity across the Grade II listed station and train-shed which was completed in 1922, whether they are on the concourse or platforms with a state of the art 21st century public address system."

Editor of the London SE1 website.
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Thursday 22 August 2013 11.18am
While you're asking them to turn the volume down, do you think you could ask them to use plain language as well?

"Your next station stop will be.....customers alighting...teas and coffees....vestibule..."

...if you press it, they will come.
Thursday 5 September 2013 1.40pm
Has anyone contacted them to complain? How did you go about it?
Thursday 5 September 2013 7.44pm
Stand outside their offices with a megaphone?
Friday 6 September 2013 9.36pm
Bobby wrote:
Has anyone contacted them to complain? How did you go about it?

I complained last week by going to the station. The best place to go is the Network Rail office in Upper Taxi Road (where the 507 bus terminates).

Apparently the testing of the alarms takes place from inside there and the person I spoke to had helped install the new announcement system. They said they had received a few complaints and would get the people who come and see if the announcements are at an acceptable sound level to test it but they had already done that recently and said it was ok!

The testing of the alarms is now being performed earlier than usual like last Sunday night at 10pm but it's still too loud. The main issue is the security announcement every 15 minutes. It's much louder than the platform announcements and you can really notice it when you're inside the station. One minute there's a clear voice stating what platform a train is departing from and all the stations it will stop at then the next minute a distorted voice shouts "THIS IS A SECURITY ANNOUNCEMENT...". If they could get the security message down to the same sound level as the other messages then I'll stop complaining.

Unfortunately, a month after the announcement system changed, nothing has improved so I'll be visting one of our local councillors next week to raise the issue and will get Lambeth to come down and assess the noise and I will get that irritating security message lowered!

Also, I did speak to the staff behind the information desk in the station who work for South West Trains and they said that people have been complaining to them as well and it's also affecting their work performance. They are unable to talk to customers and answer their walkie talkies sometimes because of the announcements.
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