Improving the network through delivering major Infrastructure Programmes such as the Thameslink Programme enviably generates noise and vibration. Construction and operational noise and vibration was Thameslink Programme’s most significant socio-environmental impact. Therefore, as part of our vision to deliver a sustainable programme, we committed to implement robust controls to keep these impacts to a minimum.
Noise control at London Bridge station
In the summer of 2016 the London Bridge Station Redevelopment project entered into a stage of the works programme where substantial demolition works were to be undertaken directly adjacent to neighbouring residents. The works included: taking possession of platforms, demolishing station arches, old platforms and canopies, removing running rails and ballast and rebuilding the new concourse bridge platform structures and track. Due to the requirement to keep the station open throughout the works, and the nature of a live railway site, a volume of 24/7 working was required.
Given the extreme proximity of the works to sensitive receptors, and the programme and costs constraints of shutting an operational railway line and part of the station for 7 months, there was concern this could result in significant legal, financial and reputational costs. A different approach to noise management was therefore implemented on the project, based around a sustained, smart and enhanced employment of Business Process Management software to ensure project success.
The later stages of work on Platforms 1-3 took place extremely close to residential properties. The 24/7 working programme, which was required to deliver the project successfully, meant that the delivery team was at risk of upsetting neighbours with noise. A compromise was reach whereby some 24-hour work was permitted alongside the delivery of physical noise reduction measures.
One of these measures was the acoustic wall, which was subsequently designed and installed. When initially proposed, it was considered that the wall would negatively impact upon the work programme. However, the design and installation proved straightforward and enabled a good level of productivity in a very noise sensitive location.
The wall contributed towards Thameslink Programme meeting its targets to include noise and vibration complaints year no year – an impressive achievement given the major construction works which took place at London Bridge.
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