Essex

Westcliff railway station tannoys turned down for tired residents

C2C train in Westcliff station Image copyright C2C
Image caption Tannoys were heard on the station even in the early hours of the morning

A group of residents kept awake by a nearby railway tannoy have managed to have the announcements turned down.

People in Montague Court, Westcliff, Essex, wanted to leave their windows open overnight in the summer but the automated system could be heard as late as 01:00 BST.

Train company C2C agreed to reduce the call-outs to help residents sleep.

But the campaigner Jill Allen-King OBE described it as a "retrograde step" for blind people who rely on announcements.

Resident Janet Tite said announcements were often made late and bothered residents - many of whom were elderly - as they needed to sleep with the window open.

"The announcements at 01:00 we thought were a little bit over the top, especially as it was discussing the smart card - nothing to do with arrivals or departures.

"It was annoying because it was a voice speaking."

She said she was delighted the timing had been adjusted, with the last announcement now usually heard at about 21:00 BST.

Image copyright C2C
Image caption The train operator cut the number of announcements back when it received complaints

A C2C spokesman said: "We turned the volume down on some announcements and we've also reduced the number that we make, particularly later in the evening when there's fewer people around."

He said they had also put people on stations who would now go to speak to passengers late at night in person.

But local campaigner Jill Allen-King, secretary of the National Federation of the Blind, said: "This is a retrograde step.

"We have been campaigning for years to have announcements on trains and platforms and we do not think they should be turned down or discontinued. We need them.

"Many blind people today are hard of hearing as well and if they are turned down they won't hear them."

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