Sembawang resident wants noise barriers for nearby MRT tracks, LTA says location doesn't qualify

Submitted by Stomper AWS

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The trains are disturbing his sleep.

A Sembawang resident wants noise barriers for the MRT tracks near his HDB block, but the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said the location does not meet the criteria.

Stomper AWS claimed there was an "inconsistency" in where the noise barriers were installed.

"The issue involves disturbing noise levels during the night due to MRT operations. Maintenance has been conducted, but the problem remains," he said.

He had written to LTA on Jan 29 about installing noise barriers.

On Feb 7, he received a reply from LTA that there were no plans to install noise barriers on the MRT viaduct fronting Block 356B Admiralty Drive.

"We would like to clarify that LTA has been installing railway noise barriers in locations where existing residential units are within 35m from the MRT viaduct and with a one-hour equivalent noise level measured at the building facade exceeding the National Environment Agency (NEA) guideline of 67 decibels," added LTA.

"We will notify the rail operator SMRT on your feedback for their attention in reducing train noise."

The Stomper said: "I was initially told that my location did not meet the requirements for a barrier, but later, I discovered that a noise barrier had been installed in a similar location. The lack of transparency and accountability in this matter raises suspicions, and we feel that an investigation is necessary.

"Despite complying with LTA's requirements for noise measurement using both a phone app and a device, we are told that even if the criteria are met, barriers will not be installed unless higher authorities dictate so. This lack of clarity and seemingly arbitrary decision-making process is deeply concerning."

He shared videos of the noise measurements taken both in the day and night that showed readings of higher than 67 decibels when the train went by.

"Given the impact on our sleep and overall well-being, we believe it is crucial for this issue to be brought to public attention," said the Stomper.

In response to a Stomp query, an LTA spokesperson said: "LTA has engaged this resident to explain that the rail noise level measurements at this location are within noise criterion guidelines from NEA. As such, there are no immediate plans to install noise barriers at this location.

"We have prioritised noise barrier installation to stretches along elevated railway tracks where noise levels may exceed NEA’s noise criterion (67 decibels averaged over an hour).

"However, we will continue to explore other ways to mitigate railway noise including working with train operators to service the train wheels and tracks more frequently."