I have an office and run a business in Station Road, New Barnet, which is a long, wide, straight, and often empty road.

Emergency service vehicles travel along it regularly, which of course they must in the legitimate exercise of their functions; and I am aware from my own experience that those working in such services are conscientious, decent and honourable people.

I have however, become convinced that the extent to which the sirens they use in traffic is unnecessary. These sirens are not merely high-pitched but operated with such frequency that they amount to an alarming intrusion into the normal pace of life.

To test this impression I decided to record the number of times this noise was heard from my office – and from the back of it in fact, so some distance from the roadside. My record of that typical day – Tuesday, May 5 – revealed no less than 13 occasions during working hours on which such vehicles decided to activate their sirens very loudly along Station Road.

I simply do not believe that, in an affluent area such as Barnet, there is so much crime, or so many urgent hospitalisations, required to justify this usage; and if there were any fires at all we would certainly have heard about them.

Sometimes you would think there was a war on, such is the frequency of these intrusions. But this is Barnet, not Harlem.

I have furthermore on occasions been on the pavement when the road was empty – as it often is outside rush hour or at weekends – and still they blare along, making as much noise as they wish. Which rather clinches it I think.

So there’s something not quite right here, and if I have come to be aware of these intrusions over time, I dread to think what the effect is on people who are of a nervous disposition, or who or are elderly or easily frightened Something should be done about this as I am sure it is not merely in Station Road that such an apparent misuse of the exceptional powers granted to these vehicles is occasioned.

John Macroy

Station Road, New Barnet