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The Surbiton background Hummmmmmmm

7 years ago...

I live in Glenbuck Rd, behind the station.
Normally it is very, very quiet, especially early Saterday and Sundays.
Very peaceful.

Lately though the silence is being broken by a background humm that seems to go on 24x7. I can only describe it as a of white noise and quite low frequency.
It might be cominmg from the station by cannot be sure. Have you noticed this?

Anyone know where it is coming from and what it could be?



The YMCA Building have some air conditioners on the roof, we used to live near by and when there was no traffic you could hear it pretty well, I suppose from being so high up the sound travels pretty far.

Why yes, blame the YMCA for something else, yet again!

What an odd comment!

Check back of MACD's on platform 1

There is a relatively new diesel generator perched opposite platform 1 at Surbiton station. South-west end, in between the car-park and platform 1.
Could it be the source?

That diesel generator has gone now but the cacophony continues unabated.
On eof the sources of the noise is deffo from back of MacD's, and when the atmospherics are OK, it booooms around Glenbuck Ct

You are partially right. But that's not all of it.
The cacophony is a combination of 3 sources. The new train station generator you mention, the newish Sainburys EXpress refrige fans across the rails from the generator and the MACD's howlling turbines.

Put all 3 together and that's the 'source'.
This sorta makes sence because this "hummmmmm" is a relatively new phenomena, as is Sainsbury's and the platform 1 generator - which came about round about the same time.

However, this doesn'yt explain the whooosing, roaring sound I hear from behind Glenbuch Court and up Oakhill

I have been putting up with a low resonant hum in my flat for some time now. It's not coming from my flat though, I've turned off all electrics to check this. I can also hear it outside. I'm wondering if it's the railway?? I'm in lovelace gardens. At the moment it's pretty loud. I'll be following this up with RBK as it's doing my head in.!

Hi, did you report the noise to RBK, did you get a response? Thanks.

It's doing my head in too.

There 2 sources. I too thought it was the railway, but I have located the source to exactly the filthy back store room of McDonalds. Go down the far SW end of platform 1 and it's like standing on an airport runway!

The other source is alot more elusive. It's eminating from behind the medical centre somewhere, can be heard walking up South Bank/Oakhill and seems to come from everywhere. I spent an hr cycling around trying to track it down to no avail.

If they are both going off at the same time it can be a nitemare living in or around Glenbuck Court. One day this happened and the noise was booming around the estate.

I have logged a noise complaint on the RBK site, but so far, no action.

I urge others to do likewise

Is the hum still going on?

I work for the Surrey Comet/Kingston Guardian - I'd be interested to get to the bottom of it if it's still a problem. Anyone willing to demonstrate the noise for me?

I'm at if so.

Yes !!! I know exactly what you're referring too. So we live on Avenue Elmers which is a 5-10 min walk from the station. This week heard the noise mainly at night time Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and since then not heard it. We live in a basement property so if the noise is also travelling in the ground we would also hear this. The noise is very low frequency and is a humming, whirling motor sound, thought it might have been coming from neighbour above from an appliance but the thing is you can hear the sound in every room of our flat. Hopefully other people in the area will add to this post and confirm the sound as then its worth contacting the local authority especially as its impacting people living in the area. I know when we hear it we're finding it difficult to sleep.

Thanks, we must get to the bottom of this. This morning (early Sunday, 8/9/13) it sounded like it was coming from the station and was quite audible. Now, (11am) it's still evident, but somewhat quieter. Sort of a whooshing sound.

The back of my flat faces out on the Lime school grounds. So does my bedroom. Sometimes, when trying to sleep, the noise seems to come from the buildings there. But other times it seems to come from nowhere in particular, just seems to be all around.

This morning I woke very early and couldn't get back to sleep as the noise from the direction of Lime Tree School was incredably loud. Sort of a whirling/whooshing sound.
But at the front of my flat, facing station, it was also loud.

I think we may be dealing with 2 sources of noise.
I have detected the location of the noise from the station area - if you go onto platform 1 and walk right down to the SW end you'll hear it - it's coming from a dirty ugly building at the back of MacD's over the track. The building has a MacD's logo on it. Typical!

As for the other source - I will need to investigate, so watch this space (unless anyone reading this knows)

strange no one else has posted on this. It may be worth contacting Kingston council and seeing if their aware of it? Me and my husband are still hearing the noise.

"I refer to your compaint concerning noise from the above address (McD's). I can advise that we are currently not investigating any noise from this location and have received no other complaints relating to it."


I have reported th of these noises on-line on the RGK website. They have an environmental page where you can fill out a form reporting noise.

I encourage everyone else reading this, ands effected, to do likewise.


hi, husband and I can still hear the humming sound we live on avenue elmers i posted about this back in september the frequency seems to have increased as we hear it every night going to bed and if i don't have any back ground sound in the flat i can pretty much hear the sound during the day too. At night time even if i wear ear plugs it does not stop the sound, I guess this is down to the frequency of the hum. If i stand outside the flat i can hear the hum too but its more prominent in our basement flat. I will report noise online at RGK website too.

I'm on Cadogan road and can also hear it - once again, its easier to hear inside the house. Very strange.

I actually got an RBK human calling me back from my complaint on their website. Basically they are not interested in taking it any further as I couldn't tell them where the source of the noise was coming from, but did send me an info pack with a "noise diary" where you can fill out the occurances and send back to them.

In the info pack there was an accompanying letter, which said this:

"....I refer to your compaint concerning noise from the above locality I can advise that we are currently not investigating any noise from this location and have received no other complaints relating to it......"

I wish you better luck than I, and maybe the "noise diary" will be of use to yourselves.

I logged a noise complaint with RBK and received a phone call to discuss the issue. I referred RBK to look at this forum which they did. They sent a noise diary which i'm currently completing and seems a bit pointless because the noise is 24x7. During the day is harder to hear it but i believe this is due to louder back ground noise from traffic etc. RBK said if the noise diaries match up with others then they would have a case to investigate this further. They can install some sort of noise monitor in your property which automatically records all sounds even sounds which can't be heard with the human ear. I strongly recommend others to lodge complaint with RBK environment asap. This noise can't be healthy and needs to be investigated.

I'm also filling out 1 of their noise diaries

Have you sent back your 'noise diary' yet? - Sent back mine yesterday.
Unless we all club together, we'll never get our voices heard

We've made this weeks Kingston Guardian! A nice reporter chap has been following this thread and it has made P.8 as a small article, asking people to make contact. Caption - "Humming sound a mystery"

Living on Lovelace road and can hear a very low pitch hum. Are people still noticing this?

About a week ago there was a very loud hum coming from somewhere in the direction of Lime Tree school/Surbton Medical Centre. It started about 4am and went on till 10am.
There is still also a loud whoosing sound also coming from this direction and also from the back of MAC D's, but the council refuse to do anything about it

Thats interesting.

I've noticed it most nights when going to bed and its quiet, a low frequency hum can just be heard. only way to describe it is that it feels like there's a slight bit of pressure on the ear, and if some other noise is made then its not noticeable.

Still hear this in Lovelace road.

Anyone else?

After sending my Noise Diary back to RBK a chapee from the environment dept came round and installed a high sensitivity mic connected to a black box and asked me to push a red button whenever the noise(s) occurred.

Typically, for the week it was here, all the noises ceased. From this they concluded it was a hoax.

Of course, the noises are continuing.

I reckon there are 3 things going on here:
1. Loud whooshing whirling sound from somewhere in the vicinity of Lime Tree school/Surbo Medical Centre kicking off very early in morning and continuing through to the day.
2. Similar sound emanating from the ugly black building at the back of MacD's - sometimes becoming very loud and booming round Glenbuck court when the atmospherics are right.
3. A low frequency hum reported by residents in Lovelace Gdns and Avenue Elmers

Has anyone out there got any further than I?

Sounds like the low hum given off from electrical sub stations?

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