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Petition to fight loud music on buses

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Joined 28-06-2006
Posted on Thursday, 16 November, 2006 - 09:08 pm:   

I used to like buses. Tube tunnel walls just don't compare to the view from the top of a Double Decker. But these days I can't seem to board P4 or a 176 without some ingrateful little dirtbag p***-marking his or her territory with offensively loud music. One of the great advantages of public transport over driving is that you should be able to spend your time productively reading A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar (or something) in peace. These days all I can think about is assault and battery.

So when I read in today's London Lite* that Transport for London are being petitioned to take action over this sonic spew I thought I know of some other people who might like to sign that.

Here's the site:

*There are also features on the BBC 6149756.stm and Guardian 1934787%2C00.html, ry/0,,1934787,00.html websites amongst others.
Joined 30-03-2005
Posted on Thursday, 16 November, 2006 - 09:15 pm:   

I heard on the news today that they are not going to ban it because the drivers are frightened to intervene.
Joined 28-06-2006
Posted on Thursday, 16 November, 2006 - 09:55 pm:   

I've been on buses where drivers have turned the engine off and refused to move until passengers trying to get a free ride have paid up or got off. Why could they not do the same? Anyway, a few posters and signs on windows (as the campaigners are asking for) would be a good start.

I meant 'ungrateful' by the way - oops.
Joined 29-10-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 21 November, 2006 - 09:31 am:   

The mobile phones that play videos/music are a risk to life...I could have murdered some people over the weekend on public transport.

For years I've put up with tinny sounds coming from other peoples earplugs, but these latest fad is unbearable. especially when you have 2 or 3 people playing music, videos and computer games as loud as possible.

I've often been tempted to carry a small pair of wire cutters and while the offending person sits their with their eyes closed listening to THEIR choice of awful music. I'd lean across and ... snip the wire to the earphones.

But hang on if we can have Sat Nav that warns of you of Speed Cameras, sorry alerts you to a accident black spot, why can't something be produced that warns us of electronic morons on the train?

Have you noticed how a switched on mobile phone interferes with radios about a device that produces a signal that interferes with their enjoyment like they interfere with ours?

Alternative direct action....carry wire cutters and snip through the wire to the earphones of the unsuspecting offender as they sit there with their eyes closed.

Get street wise, ask to look at the offenders phone or computer so you can admire it. At the next station throw it on the platform. The offender will rush to pick up their toy, so the risk of being beaten to a pulp is significantly reduced.

As for people who eat MacDonald's and the like on the train....carry a can of lemon/lime scented air freshner to get right up their noises.

Oh...tourists should be made to go on training courses before being allowed on public transport.
Joined 30-03-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 21 November, 2006 - 08:32 pm:   

People who insist on bringing their smelly greasy burger and chips on a train really annoy me.
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Wednesday, 22 November, 2006 - 06:07 pm:   

Loneranger - Nice ideas! However, the problem with the new phones is that they have external speakers, so there are no wires to snip (these inconsiderate kids dont even bother with headphones anymore)! However, might I suggest you use the wire cutters to snip somewhere else...

I've thought about carrying a cheap pair of headphones around with me and publicly offering them to the kids on the assumption that they've lost theirs..
Joined 04-03-2005
Posted on Wednesday, 22 November, 2006 - 06:52 pm:   

I find that carrying my own radio with headphones blocks out most unwanted noise, even when played at a level that nobody else can hear. It is also cheaper than providing headphone to everybody else on the trains and buses.

I do find the noise made by buses and trains when the doors open and close annoying and announcements about which stations are approaching highly irritating. This goes on for every journey I take, while loud phones and ipods make small levels of noise in comparison. Public transport is noisy, get over it!

(Disclaimer: These are my own personal views and do not reflect the views of any organisations with which you may sometimes associate me. I don't promise to put this disclaimer on all other posting when they are my personal opinion and this disclaimer should not be taken to mean that any organisation endorses any of my other views expressed in postings, except where explicitly stated. Just thought I'd clear that up)
Joined 29-10-2005
Posted on Wednesday, 22 November, 2006 - 11:18 pm:   

Sherwood: May I suggest an aeresol air freshner fitted with a silencer. That should sort out the little burgers. A discreet spray of orange scented Nice n' Fresh should put the oduor eaters off their food.

Ab3: Oooh don't think I have the bottle to do that!

Michael: As Ab3 said these new electronic toys don't have earphones and can be turned up VERY LOUD! I have the feeling some people do it to intimitate other passengers. I propose to grow my nails long and run them along a blackboard which I will carry on public transport.
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Thursday, 23 November, 2006 - 01:37 pm:   

Ken must be reading SE23

BBC "Young people who play their music out loud on buses in London could be stripped of their free travel passes, the mayor has said.
Ken Livingstone's announcement is part of a crackdown on anti-social behaviour and crime on buses in the capital.
He called for an "absolute" ban on anyone playing music on mobile systems.
On Thursday Conservative MP for Castle Point, Essex, Bob Spink put forward a motion pushing for tough measures to deter bad behaviour on buses.
Those who use headphones in listening to their music will not affected by the move.
Speaking before the London Assembly last week Mr Livingstone said in response to these concerns Transport for London (TfL) was adapting an upcoming campaign "to incorporate the playing of music on buses".
The campaign by TfL is designed to reduce anti-social behaviour and crime and improve "passenger perception of safety on the bus network".
Calling for an "absolute prohibition on playing music from a mobile system" Mr Livingstone said "people will be asked to leave the bus and in the case of a child with free travel concession they would forfeit it".
An online petition set up by Tom Wright, and girlfriend Valeria Martinelli, from Leyton, east London, backs the mayor's campaign and has already attracted thousands of signatures.
Mr Spink's motion acknowledged the need to increase passengers on London's buses but condemned fare-dodgers and those who are violent towards drivers and other passengers.
He called for "tough measures to deter, with nuisance and bad behaviour in order to maintain an effective, safe and agreeable service for all who make use of it"."
Joined 09-04-2005
Posted on Thursday, 23 November, 2006 - 02:25 pm:   

But no mention by K Livingstone of music on trains? Is that outside his remit?
This has been a problem for a couple of years but I'm glad it's finally being addressed.

He'll also have to consider the effects of his own proposals to extend mobile phone coverage to the tube.
Joined 29-10-2005
Posted on Thursday, 23 November, 2006 - 02:35 pm:   

TfL is sending out confusing messages because some of its bus stop have interactive posters for seeing clips from films, games etc with sound.

Ken would like to have control of all London trains.
Joined 28-06-2006
Posted on Sunday, 08 April, 2007 - 11:48 pm:   

According to the campaign's website (, TfL are updating the posters that appear on all buses to include a "Please keep your music down" message (, and are planning a publicity campaign against anti-social behaviour.

Can't say I'm that impressed by the wording. Would "keep your music to yourself" have been too much to ask?. Still, it's better than nothing, and certainly better than the signs I saw attached to lamposts in a high street somewhere in Bromley borough the other day. An illustration of a car with a smashed window and a thief making a clean getaway was accompanied by the words "If you leave it, expect to lose it". Genius. Authority figures telling criminals that their activities are normal, legitimate, and inevitable, and the victims are at fault as they are stupid, naive and irresponsible - just what this city needs more of. Thank you so much Bromley Council.
Joined 04-02-2007
Posted on Monday, 09 April, 2007 - 08:22 am:   

I agree this is really annoying esp if there is a bunch of them as they seem to want to have a play off, who can play the loudest music to drown out the other - But as Ken has kindly given all under 16s(?) free travel (so they can spend their hard earned pocket money on games and fags or whatever they chose....i know I did!) there should be stipulations to this I.e if they play music, grafitti, eat burgers ect they lose thier right to free travel - posters are one way of highlighting this i guess. God I forget that I was that age once and this all was cool back then ;-o - but if there are rules in place hopefully the majority would stick to them
Joined 18-04-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 10 April, 2007 - 08:09 am:   

Unfortunately anti social people will remain anti social people.

Easter Sunday about 12.30 crossing the German Bridge towards Syd Pk. Could hear the awfull noise of so called music . Guessed it was in the council flats by the bridge. My humble apologies to the good tennants of that estate to my horror it was coming out of the new private flats in the grounds on Holy Trinity Church.
One person must have been disturbing over 1000 plus people. If I was living close I would probably be driven to drastic remedies.
The law seems to turn a blind eye.
Joined 28-11-2006
Posted on Tuesday, 10 April, 2007 - 11:30 am:   

I think quite a lot of the anti-social behaviour on buses could be eradicated if they brought back the bus conductor!

They could nip a lot of problems in the bud before they esculate. The driver is cocooned away from this urban gurella warfare.

A bus conductor may make me think about getting out of my car and being brave enough to use public transport again..... oh and a return of the 10p bus fare!

Oh what memories.....
Joined 29-10-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 10 April, 2007 - 12:26 pm:   

It doesn't help having 'interactive' bus shelters where films or games are promoted.

While I'm displays on tube escalators. The heat generated by these devices is quite considerable, I notice the heat at Charing Cross were there are about 15 on the down side and another 15 on the up side.

Ken asked for ways to reduce the heat on the tube, simple solution use posters?
Joined 28-11-2006
Posted on Tuesday, 10 April, 2007 - 02:32 pm:   

Buses nowadays seem to be mobile discos.
This is probably why uncle Ken has the cheek to charge 2! per fare.

Next time I dare brave the life lottery that is the bus, I might have to bring why old white gloves and whistle....
Joined 30-03-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 10 April, 2007 - 05:53 pm:   

Play Des O'Connor records and have the whole bus for yourself.
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Thursday, 12 April, 2007 - 01:14 pm:   

You can buy headphones in Dixons that screen all outside noise - not recommended whilst walking around but should be safe enough if all your're doing is sitting on a bus. Bearing in mind that someone was recently killed on the Holloway Road after asking a man to stop throwing chips at his girlfriend, its really foolish to tackle people these days even if you are in the right- I wouldn't even expect a bus driver to do it. Having said this I ' confiscated' the mobile of an Italian language student on the top deck of a bus last year after 20 minutes of hellish beeping and ring tones - gave it back to him whilst I was leaving the bus. Not recommended either but short of murder there was no alternative to getting through the journey. Fortunately I could not understand his swearing....

It would be good to have legislation to ease the problem but not sure if its realistic given the monitoring and action required.

Please please no mobile phones on tubes. Surely from a safety, ie bomb detonation point of view this is also an issue for saying no?
Joined 04-03-2005
Posted on Thursday, 12 April, 2007 - 01:43 pm:   

Speaking of Dixons, whenever the bus goes past a branch of Dixons there is dreadful interference with my radio reception. Does this happen on Digital Radio or is it Dixon's way to make me buy a digital radio?

Roz, I'm not sure about legislation. Would I be fined every time my phone rings, would it be three-rings-and-your-off, or would it be a case of fellow passengers reporting me making excessive noise and the police stopping the bus to measure the noise level. Surely any legislation would be unworkable.

And if mobile phones are a cause of concern because of potential bomb detonation surely they should be banned everywhere, not just on the tube. Why should people be allowed to bomb my bus, train, or local pub but not the underground?

If mobile phones were allowed on the tube then people would be able to tell people when they get stuck underground for hours. For this reason alone I would say that mobile phones should be allowed on the tube.
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Thursday, 12 April, 2007 - 07:55 pm:   


I think you've misunderstood/misread my post. I was talking about the legislation ( for want of a better term) that Ken is proposing to reduce music etc on public transport as described in the posts before mine. Not aimed at mobile phone users specifically but probably intended to include people who make a definite nuisance of themselves in the ways described above. As Ive said also, like you I can't see this being workable.

Mobile phones were extensively used in the last two London bombing campaigns, which is why the networks were told to shut down for a period on 7/7. Banning mobiles is hardly realistic everywhere but surely worth thinking about underground where unlike buses, trains ,and pubs, once you are down there, there is simply nowhere to run to and the resultant human and structural damage from even a small amount of explosives is that much greater. Granted there are many ways of triggering explosive devices but the mobile has been commonly used, even I believe in the Soho pub bombing. Surely every little must help?

Being underground is also currently the only place you can get away from the annoying,loud and largely innane mobile phone conversations of others ( apart from planes) and I personally find it a pleasant change. If made possible hopefully they will do us the favour of having mobile free carriages on tubes as they do on trains.
Joined 28-11-2006
Posted on Friday, 13 April, 2007 - 09:07 am:   

There already are and have always been a whole host of Transport Bye-laws that can be used to deal with these pests and their noise.

As I stated before, I think it needs the re-introduction of bus conductors to re-inforce them and act as a deterrent.

I never experience such anti-social behaviour on the DLR which is manned by its staff, who regulary patrol the carriges.
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Friday, 13 April, 2007 - 11:39 am:   

I think the comments on phones and bombs shows how absurd our society has become. There are many ways to set off a bomb if you were so inclined. Stopping one method only reinforces fear in society rather than genuinely addressing the issue.
Joined 18-07-2005
Posted on Friday, 13 April, 2007 - 04:53 pm:   


The 7/7 bombs were not detonated using mobile phones. They were suicide attacks so what would be the point? The Madrid bombings, however, were carried out that way.

Following on from that, the network was shut down to ensure the emergency services could get through to each other. This is a well-established protocal that (I believe) the COBRA committee can invoke.
Joined 07-06-2006
Posted on Friday, 13 April, 2007 - 06:12 pm:   

I must say I agree with PVP.

I do not have much of a view on the main topic so have stayed out, but to talk about this issue in the context of mobile phones and bombs is just silly and the more we start thinking like this (however well intentioned), the more we will lose our freedoms and end up wondering where it was we suddenly let the goverment and the police run our entire lives.

Yes, having no signal on the underground is currently a haven from the annoying effects of the phones, but we must recognise that mobiles have become integral to our society so it is also a big nuisance that ought to be, and will certainly be, addressed. I am certainly prepared to put up with occasional music in exchange for being able to call my family if I am late, or get help when required.

Anyway, there is no point in legislating against the phones themselves. Technology will move on and by the time anything was in place, something new would have come up to replace it (to play music, contact friends or even set off explosive devices). Anyone remember the nuisance of the "boom boxes" (plus other unPC terms) of the 1980's? I think I have seen only 2 in the last 12 months, so things move on.

I personally like the idea of having conductors and guards back but I cannot imagine it will ever happen. We'll probably just end up with even more CCTV.
Joined 12-11-2006
Posted on Tuesday, 24 April, 2007 - 01:15 pm:   

Not just buses - prat on the train was playing tinny music on his mobile yesterday. It wasn't even anything with street cred - Justin Timberlake! I thought only teenage girls were into JT?!
Joined 28-06-2006
Posted on Friday, 04 May, 2007 - 08:40 pm:   

Well would you Adam and Eve it, I spoke too soon. TfL are changing the wording of their posters (and I've already seen a large "please keep your music down" poster on a bus shelter in East Dulwich) to the much better:

"Turn it off - please don't play music out loud
Keep it down - use headphones with consideration"

Well, well, well...nice one TfL!