Image shows a family boarding a Northern train

‘Encore!’: Classical music here to stay at 35 Northern stations following successful trials to deter anti-social behaviour

Classical music is here to stay at 35 stations across Northern’s network after trials found it can be used to deter anti-social behaviour. 

The train operator orchestrated a plan to play music inspired by the likes of Beethoven, Mozart and Handel at nine stations in 2022 and it was then introduced at another 26 stations last year, as part of trials which aimed to prevent loitering, vandalism and graffiti.

Customers called for an encore, claiming they felt safer at those stations because large groups had stopped gathering there on a regular basis and causing a nuisance, particularly during the school holidays.

The teams which manage the stations play the music at certain times of the day to ensure it has an impact on anti-social behaviour and control the volume so it does not disturb local residents.

Tricia Williams, chief operating officer at Northern, said: “We’re pleased to have found an innovative and effective way of deterring anti-social behaviour.

“Following the successful trial, we will continue playing classical music at these stations and look to introduce it at others in the coming months.

“We want all of our customers to feel safe and secure when they travel and this approach, along with other investment we are making, is working well.” 

During the initial trial, the music was played at stations in Billingham, Shildon, Heighington, North Road, Orrell, Keighley, Hyde North, Ilkley and Newton Aycliffe.

The following year, it was rolled out at Beverley, Birchwood, Bryn, Cottingham, Cross Gates, Fitzwilliam, Flimby, Halewood, Haltwhistle, Hattersley, Levenshulme, Lostock Gralam, Maryport, Mill Hill, Newton for Hyde, Penistone, Rainhill, Sowerby Bridge, Sunderland, Ulverston, Wetheral, Whiston, Nunthorpe, Seaton Carew, Stockton and Seaham.

In a bid to tackle criminal activity and anti-social behaviour, Northern is setting up 600 new CCTV cameras at its stations as part of an investment programme announced last year.

The train operator has also installed 7,000 HD CCTV cameras on board its fleet of trains and invested £1.7m in the roll-out of more than 1,000 new body-worn camera kits to colleagues across its network, taking the total number now in operation to 1,300. 

British Transport Police has access to all the footage and can use it in criminal prosecutions.  

Anyone can report anti-social behaviour on the rail network by using British Transport Police’s 'Railway Guardian' app. They can also contact the force by texting 61016 or by calling 0800 40 50 40.

Northern is the second largest train operator in the UK, with 2,500 services a day to more than 500 stations across the North of England.

Contact Information

Northern Trains Press Office