diamond geezer

 Thursday, July 04, 2019

Since 2017 TfL have been publishing the outcomes of Freedom of Information requests on their website. Over 5000 have been published so far. Questioners range from Chilean civil engineering students to frothing NIMBYs.

Here are snippets from ten FoI requests released in May and June 2019. Click through for the full answer, and possibly an attached dataset or two.

Q: I would ask you some questions to read a little article about mice living in the undergound system. Here's the questions : - At what time are we most likely to see them ? - Why is there so many mice in the underground ? - Is it an environment conducive to their proliferation ? - How many mice where there last year ?

A: It is estimated that there are half a million mice living across the London Underground network. Mice can be found in many environments such as forests and grasslands, or any manmade structure where they can find warmth, shelter, and food. They are not unique to the London Underground and are found on other transport systems around the world. Mice can be seen at any time of the day across the entire network, however mice are nocturnal so in general are more active at night.

Q: Dear sirs, Has London Underground ever been tested for the presence of anthrax in the walls.

A: We have carried out risk assessments in connection with the presence of anthrax spores. This involves ascertaining the age of the building in order to establish whether it was constructed before 1910. The relevance of this date is that in 1908, the Horse Hair Act was passed in the United Kingdom, requiring the sterilization of horse hair used in buildings. If the building is believed to be constructed before this date, the plaster is checked for the presence of horse hair. If it is present, sampling and testing for anthrax spores is normally carried out. Such testing has been carried out at a number of locations over the years. Our records cover approximately the last 20 years, and I can confirm that all samples during this period tested negative for anthrax spores.

Q: Could you disclose how much money has been spent replacing Crossrail hoardings marked ‘Opening December 2018’ since January 2019. Please break this down by each station, as well as the purchase and installation cost.

A: There have been no costs in 2019 for changing hoardings at these stations. Changes were made in 2018 but we do not have the costs you require broken down by the individual stations. However averaging the total costs incurred would equate to £775 for materials and £840.02 for installation per station.

Q: Can you please send me a list of underground stations with information about which direction the train departs in (left or right) when you are facing the platform.

A: Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. I can confirm that we hold the information you require, which can be found in the attached document.

Q: Please can you tell me how many CCTV cameras are on each Underground line and whether they are recording at all time during the line's hours of operation.

A: All station cameras record 24/7. There are a total of 13,211 station cameras, the breakdown by line is as follows:
Bakerloo 1156
Circle & Hammersmith 230
Central 1984
District 1781
Jubilee 2202
Metropolitan 1474
Northern 1948
Piccadilly 1930
Victoria 506

Q: I would like to know how much money, if any, TfL has spent making its own adverts on public transport compliant with its recently introduced rules against 'junk food' (HFSS food) appearing on adverts on public transport.

A: There were three advertisements that we updated plus a series of poster based maps, each featuring great places to go along the Underground lines, DLR etc. The costs were as follows:

1. London Underground air conditioning ad. The cost to amend poster artwork was £1,580.
2. London Buses real time information ad. The cost to amend posters and press advertising was £4,820.
3. The ‘Off Peak’ campaign covering all modes of public transport. The cost to update across twelve different formats for print and on line was £6,355.
4. Updating nine ‘cultural maps’ costing a total £3,400. These maps were for the Bakerloo, Circle, District, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria lines plus the London Overground, DLR and London Borough of Culture (Waltham Forest).

Q: There is a District line service scheduled to depart from Westminster at 07.39 on weekdays. I would like to know 1) the percentage of this service that departs in time; and 2) on average how many minutes late does this service depart. If you could please supply the figures for the last calendar year from today’s date (07 March 2019).

A1: We do not record train punctuality as ‘on time’, however the attached spreadsheet shows the daily departure times for this service. The train service is a ‘turn up and go’ service managed to frequency rather than punctuality. For the trains where data is available, the percentages departing within a certain number of minutes are: Under 2 Minutes 17.4%, 2-5 minutes 25.6%, 5-10 minutes 30.4%, Over 10 minutes 26.5%. There are 33 days out of 263 where we have no data. This may be due to the cancellation of this train.
A2: The average departure of the 230 recorded trains is 7 minutes 2 seconds later than 07:39 a.m.

Q: Please confirm the highest number of journeys taken within the window of a single "hoppa" fare.

A; Since the unlimited ‘Hopper’ fare was launched the highest amount of ‘hops’ we have observed within a single window is twenty-seven.

Q: Could you please advise the highest noise level in decibels on the Jubilee line as it travels between Bermondsey and London Bridge stations in either direction and if this falls within safe guidelines?

A: Bermondsey to London Bridge WB – 01 April data – 114dB Peak (C)
London Bridge to Bermondsey EB – 11 March data – 110dB Peak (C)
The lower exposure action values are a peak sound pressure of 135 dB, the upper exposure action values are a peak sound pressure of 137 dB.

Q: Can you please provide a breakdown of the last 12 months FOI requests. Along with the time it has taken for TfL to respond to each case and explain the reasons behind each failure to respond as stated in the best practice TfL guidelines.

A: We responded to 95.7% (2898/3027) of FOI requests received in 2018/19 on time. The 4.3% of cases that were not responded to on time were delayed for a number of reasons including delays in receiving the requested information from the relevant business area, time needed to review the response, and additional information needing to be obtained to fully answer the request. The median value is 9 days overdue for cases that have passed their deadline.

See also:
Quad Royal London Underground map
London Underground ticket closures map
Ground Investigation for Metropolitan Line Extension
Database of London Underground stations escalator manufacturers

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