Train horn noise pollution

16 January 2015

The most common issue to be raised with me since my election has been the sound of the horn on the electric trains.

The most common issue to be raised with me since my election has been the sound of the horn on the electric trains.

For many people the invasive pitch and volume of the horn has led to a significant reduction in quality of life. It is my job as your local MP to fight to fix this problem and to get the government to acknowledge and act to remedy it.

Over many months the Transport Minister, Stephen Mullighan, has assured me that his department has resolved this problem, but this is simply not the case.

 What I’ve done

 During 2014, I have made the following representations regarding the train horns:

  • 3 April 2014: Wrote to Minister Mullighan regarding train horn noise
  • 8 May 2014: Spoke in Parliament on public transport issues including train horn noise
  • 9 May 2014: Met with Transport Department officials and was reassured that all horns were being replaced
  • 16 May 2014: Following the meeting, sent a follow-up letter to Minister Mullighan reiterating discussions in the meeting and emphasising the need to replace the train horn
  • 9 September 2014: Wrote to Minister Mullighan regarding noise from the train horns on the Seaford Line still being an issue despite numerous reassurances that it was resolved
  • 5 November 2014: Wrote to Minister Mullighan regarding noise from the train horns being a particular burden for residents in the Marino area
  • 21 November 2014: Wrote to Minister Mullighan regarding noise from the train horns at Young Street (former) pedestrian crossing, Seacliff despite that crossing no longer being in use.

On each occasion the Minister has responded saying that the train horns are being replaced or have been replaced. If this is the case, it is my view that the new horn is no better than the old.

What I’m going to do

Despite briefings, a meeting, speeches, many letters and constant reassurance from the government that this issue has or will be fixed, it is not resolved. As such, I will now:

  • Meet with the Minister in February to further discuss this matter
  • Start a formal petition. There is already an online petition led by local residents which is gathering momentum and, if you have already signed this, I would request you also download, print and sign the formal petition. I will table the formal petition in Parliament.
  • Look for an opportunity to move a motion in Parliament condemning the government’s failure to act on this matter
  • Continue to pursue media opportunities
  • Continue to inform the Minister in writing of every individual problem as it arises
  • Continue to look for opportunities to speak about this issue in Parliament.

What you can do

This campaign requires a whole-of-community response to put the appropriate pressure on state government decision makers. You can get involved by:

  • Writing to Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan by mail at GPO Box 1533, Adelaide, SA, 5001 or email: Stephen.mullighan@parliament.sa.gov.au  If you receive a response, please forward it to my office.
  • Writing a letter to the editor of the Guardian Messenger at PO Box 339, Adelaide, SA, 5001, or by emailing: letters@mng.newsltd.com.au
  • Click here to download the petition, then sign and get your neighbours, friends and family to do likewise. Forward it to my office at Reply Paid 84660, PO Box 121, Brighton, SA, 5048 and, if you need additional petition pages, you can call my office on 8296 9833 or download them here.

The electrification of the train line has the potential to be of great benefit to our community and as a regular train commuter I am grateful for it. However, until the horn problem is resolved, it will not be seen as the asset that it should be.

I am determined to hold the government to account and work to get the trains retrofitted with a less invasive warning device in 2015.