London bus stops play classical music ‘to improve customer experience’

A pilot scheme has begun in Croydon.

It will spread soon to other areas.

Among other reasons, they are testing a new public address system.


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  • As the article makes clear, this is not new. It started in Croydon in 2002. Since then there have been reports of several similar bodies having classical music played over public address systems to reduce vandalism, including the New York Port Authority’s Bus Terminal, Portland in Oregon, London’s Prince’s Tunnel and in West Palm Beach.

  • If it turns out similar to when they started playing it in what TfL considered rough tube stations, like Tooting Bec, then the gangs will stop hanging around as it wouldn’t be ‘cool’ to be seen there with classical music playing!

  • I love the way Brits use the word ‘scheme’ in a perfectly normal manner, an alternative word for ‘plan’. But in the US, a ‘scheme’ is a pejorative.

  • Convenience stores in the U.S. started doing this 20-odd years ago to deter kids loitering in the parking lots.

  • Our local sea baths apparently have “classical music” played over the public address system for your morning fitness regime, so I’m told. OK, it’s probably Andre Rieu but it keeps the ferals at bay.

  • Since we play Mahler IX and X over the speakers on the estate, that is: only on office hours, rebellions, applications for salary rise and the dogs’ barking have diminished considerably. Extravert emotions and protestations have been subdued and a melancholic mood spreads over the environment. It’s creating the best working condition to finally get something done here! (Unfortunately we’re not allowed to play my favorite PB over the system because that would incite full-blown fisticuffs.)


  • Uxbridge Station on the tube often plays classical music. It is quite fun trying to recognize what is being played.

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