Decision to run Night Overground service short to New Cross Gate

The request was partially successful.

Dear Transport for London,

I request a copy of all correspondence between TfL and third parties, and any reports produced in regards to the decision to run the Night Overground service short to New Cross Gate and not Crystal Palace or West Croydon. I also request a full explanation of why this decision was made, given that other operators already run night-time services on this route, and whether any plans exist to extend the service to Crystal Palace or West Croydon in the future.

Yours faithfully,

Mr D Baker

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Baker

 

TfL Ref: 2614-1718

 

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 11
December 2017asking for information about the Night Overground service.

 

Your request will be processed by TfL, the Greater London Authority and
its subsidiaries to provide you with a response in accordance with the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 and our information access policy.

 

A response will be sent to you by 12 January 2018. We publish a
substantial range of information on our website on subjects including
operational performance, contracts, expenditure, journey data, governance
and our financial performance. This includes data which is frequently
asked for in FOI requests or other public queries. Please check
[1]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/transpar... to see if this helps you.

 

We will publish anonymised versions of requests and responses on the
[2]www.tfl.gov.uk website. We will not publish your name and we will send
a copy of the response to you before it is published on our website.

 

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss this matter further, please
do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

 

 

Sara Thomas

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

 

 

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Tim Dunning left an annotation ()

It was probably decided as such as TfL actually own the track and signals between NXG and Dalston Junction not Network Rail. This is also probably why there is a delay introducing it to Highbury as NR own the tracks on the short section from the Western Curve tunnel mouth (north of Dalston J) onwards into Highbury station so some negotiations are needed. Not sure if it will ever extend beyond NXG as there may be track access charges involved plus the need to fit in with NR maintenance programme and possibly objections from other operators who might claim extraction of revenue, etc. Just a thought!!

FOI, Transport for London

3 Attachments

 

 

Dear Mr Baker

 

TfL Ref: 2614-1718

 

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 11
December 2017 asking for information about the Night Overground service.

 

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of
the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and our information access policy.  I
can confirm we do hold the information you require.

 

You asked for copies of all correspondence between TfL and third parties
and any reports produced regarding the decision to run the Night
Overground service short to New Cross Gate and not Crystal Palace or West
Croydon.  You also requested a full explanation of why this decision was
made, given that other operators already run night-time services on this
route, and whether any plans exist to extend the service to Crystal Palace
or West Croydon in the future.

 

Unfortunately, to provide all of the information you have requested would
exceed the ‘appropriate limit’ of £450 set by the Freedom of Information
(Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004.

 

Under section 12 of the FOI Act, we are not obliged to comply with a
request if we estimate that the cost of determining whether we hold the
information, locating and retrieving it and extracting it from other
information would exceed the appropriate limit. This is calculated at £25
per hour for every hour spent on the activities described.

 

We have estimated that it would significantly exceed the appropriate limit
to provide a response to your current request. This is because relevant
information which would fall within scope of this request is located
within a number of business units and a number of officers have been
involved in the process. A search back to 2014 which is the year when we
first started scoping out the extend of Night Services with the Overground
concessionaire would involve locating information from document archives
and secure web portals (e.g. Sharepoint). The broad nature of your request
covering all correspondence both external and internal would capture any
external communications / emails as well as all invitation to tender
documentation (instructions, data room, bidder briefings, bidder Q&A,
etc), presentations to chief officers, and minutes from panels/meetings.

 

To help bring the cost of responding to your request within the £450
limit, you may wish to consider narrowing its scope so that we can more
easily locate, retrieve and extract the information you are seeking. If
you want to refine your request or make a Freedom of Information Act
request in future, please bear in mind that the Freedom of Information Act
allows you to request recorded information held by us. You should identify
the information that you want as clearly and concisely as you can,
specifying the types of document that you are looking for. You might also
consider limiting your request to a particular period of time,
geographical area or specific departments of the organisation. Although
your request can take the form of a question, rather than a request for
specific documents, we do not have to answer your question if it would
require the creation of new information or the provision of a judgement,
explanation, advice or opinion that was not already recorded at the time
of your request.

 

We are however able to provide the following information which we have
previously given out in response to an information request which we hope
you will find useful:

 

The night services on London Overground were announced in a press release
from the Mayor in July – see
[1]https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases....
At the bottom of the press release in Notes for Editors we have stated
that:

“The vast majority of the London Overground network is operated on Network
Rail tracks, which are also used by other rail operators, freight and
maintenance services. The route between New Cross Gate and Highbury &
Islington is managed by TfL, enabling 24 hour services to operate at
weekends on this section of the network”.

 

The TfL Board approved the award of a new contract for operating services
on London Overground at its meeting on 17 March 2016. The Board paper
about the new contract is published as item 16 of the papers for the
meeting of 17 March, at
[2]https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/publication.... The
paper mentions Night Overground in paragraph 4.4: “The new Concession
Agreement includes a number of pre-priced options for introducing
additional services (Service Increments) on many routes including: … the
introduction of all-night running on Friday and Saturday nights between
Highbury & Islington and New Cross Gate”. Although an additional paper on
the award of the contract was also considered by the Board in a closed
session of its meeting on 17 March, that paper contained no further detail
on the operation of all-night running. The Board’s approval at its meeting
on 17 March is recorded in the minutes published with the papers for its
meeting on 19 July – see item 3 of the papers for that meeting at
[3]https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/publication....

 

The current London Overground Concession Agreement has been published and
is available on our website here:
[4]https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/publication....

 

Attached are two further documents which relate to Night Overground. The
briefing note paper covers other services as well. It was produced by Rail
and Underground transport planning and was considered by the Night Tube
Programme Board on 2 October 2014. There was no follow up work done. The
slide pack is an internal transport planning document.

 

The London Overground Concession Agreement (CA) contains provisions for
Arriva Rail London (ARL) to introduce a Night Overground service during
the next concession. A copy of the agreement is available on our website
using the following link:
[5]https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/publication....

 

We do not hold any correspondence about extending London Overground beyond
its current scope of operation.  The routes south of New Cross Gate are
owned by Network Rail and subject to considerable engineering restrictions
during the night hours, especially on a Saturday night. Therefore it was
decided we would be unable to offer our passengers a consistent service
beyond the current hours of operation. We have no plans to extend Night
Overground beyond its current scope for the foreseeable future.

 

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable
to access it for some reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to
appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would
like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Sara Thomas

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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