FOI request detail

Announcements system

Request ID: FOI-1148-2122
Date published: 24 September 2021

You asked

I have noticed that there is now a new voice on the Ibus system that just says the words "Streatham Station" only. Such as "159 to Streatham Station" but only the words "Streatham Station" are said by this new voice. The rest of the announcements are Emma Hignett as normal. The rest of the Ibus system is voiced by Emma Hignett so i find it odd that suddenly this new voice has come in to use for just this one recording. So can i ask what is the reason for this new voice to be installed replacing Emma Hignett for just this one recording? Why did you not use Emma Hignett as normal? For example are you testing out new voices? Are you planning to replace Emma Hignett on your entire Ibus system? And if so why? Are there any other stops and recordings on the Ibus that have been voiced by this new person (and if so which ones)? Finally who is this new voiceover artist? What is her name? At many London Overground stations (such as most of the ones on ELL) you are replacing the Amey automated announcement system (voiced by Emma Hignett) with the Atos Worldline automated announcement system (voiced by Anne Jermy). I would like to know what is the reason for this? For example is it to save money? If so how much are you saving? Also do you plan to replace the automated announcement systems at all of the remaining London Overground stations that are still using the Amey system too? I understand that the new Northern Line extension opens soon but as i am sure you are aware Celia Drummond sadly died earlier on this year so i am wondering which voiceover artist is doing the recordings for "Battersea Power Station" and "Nine Elms" for on the 1996 stock trains? Lastly there has been some rumours going around that the entire automated announcement systems on both the 1995 stock and 1996 stock are being replaced soon with a new voiceover artist? Can you confirm if this is true? If so when will this happen and who will be the new voiceover artist for these 1995 stock and 1996 stock trains?

We answered

TfL Ref: FOI-1148-2122

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 28 August 2021, asking about automated announcements.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and our information access policy. 

Unfortunately we don’t hold most of the information you have requested.

No other voice artist has recorded the iBus audio recording. All vehicles receive the same downloads across the bus network. It could be the actual vehicle that played the recording had an issue with the onboard system rather than that actual audio.

On London Overground, the onboard system used between Surrey Quays and Dalston Junction has been replaced as it had become life expired. The system was replaced by another supplier as correctly mentioned, Wordline.  Which is why there is a new voice for the announcements.

In the future we may replace the Amey Customer information Service partially or in its entirety, however at the moment this isn’t something that is planned. If and when this happens it will be replaced with the voice by the provider used.

We have no knowledge of any plans to replace the existing announcements on London Underground trains with a new artist.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely

Eva Hextall
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London

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