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Information about your current London Underground tube stations platforms automated announcements systems.

Timothy Wellington made this Freedom of Information request to Transport for London

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Timothy Wellington

Dear Transport for London,

I use the London Underground every day and visit all different stations and i have always noticed that there are currently two different types of station platform automated announcements wordings and formats in use depending on the station. Both are voiced by the same exact voice (Elinor Hamilton) however the wording is different. So this makes me wonder if these are two separate systems provided by two separate suppliers.

The two systems that are both currently used are:

----------------

TYPE A:

Next Train Announcement:
• "Victoria Line. The next train to Brixton will arrive in one minute."

Approaching Train Announcement:
• "Victoria Line. The train now approaching is to Brixton. Please stand back from the platform edge."

I have heard this format at these stations including: Bank, Camden Town, Green Park, Holland Park, Mile End, Westminster, and many others.

----------------

TYPE B:

Next Train Announcement:
• "The next train will arrive in one minute. It will be a Victoria Line service calling at all stations to Brixton."

Approaching Train Announcement:
• "The next train will be a Victoria Line service calling at all stations to Brixton. Please stand behind the yellow line as the train approaches. Use the full length of the platform. And let customers off the train first."

I have heard this format at these stations including: Leyton, Maida Vale, Shepherds Bush, St Pauls, Victoria, Wanstead, and many others.

----------------

Obviously these are just examples so the names of the lines and the stations will change depending on the announcement but the scripts and format will remain the same.

So i would like to know more about this and in particular i would like to know:

• Can you please provide a full list of all of your London Underground stations with automated announcements that shows which station uses which version. Like i say above there are two types (which i labelled Type A and Type B above) so i would like a full list of which stations uses which format of announcements. I know some of them but i am hoping you can provide a full list of which station uses which.

• Are these two formats of announcements provided by two separate suppliers as i suspect may be the case here. If so who are these two suppliers of automated announcements systems and which supplier provides which format announcements. Or are these two formats provided by the same supplier who just uses a different script and wording at different stations and if so what is the reason for this.

• Could you attach all of the sound files for both of these automated announcements systems please. I know i have seen previous replies to other people where you have provided some sound files. So i am wondering if you are able to provide these. I know you have refused the onboard announcements for all lines (except the JNP lines Ketech ones which you seem to give out) as they are provided by Global Services Limited however i am sure Global Services Limited are only the supplier of the onboard announcements for BCV and SSL and they do not provide the station platform announcements on any lines. So i think that you should be able to release both formats of all the files of your London Underground station platform automated announcements sound files that you have.

Thank you very much in advance for your help regarding this matter and i look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

Timothy Wellington

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Wellington,

 

TfL Ref: FOI-0582-2223

 

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 8^th
June 2022 asking for information about London Underground announcements.

 

Your request will be processed in accordance with the requirements of the
Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. 

 

A response will be sent to you by 5^th July 2022.

 

We will publish anonymised versions of requests and responses on the
[1]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,

 

David Wells

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

 

 

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FOI, Transport for London

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Wellington,

 

TfL Ref: FOI-0582-2223

 

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 8^th
June 2022 asking for information about London Underground announcements.

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. However, I am
afraid that it is not possible to source the information to answer your
questions within the costs limit for responding to cases, as set out under
section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act. Under section 12, TfL is not
required to provide information if it would cost more than £450 to
determine if the requested information is held, and to then locate,
retrieve or extract that information from elsewhere. This is calculated at
a rate of £25 per hour, equivalent to 18 hours work. In this case the
exemption applies largely on account of your first question. This
information has not been collated before and there is no quick or
efficient way of doing so. We estimate that it would exceed the 18 hour
threshold to review every such announcement at every station and to
complie such a list.

 

Notwithstanding the above, I can inform you that a single supplier
provides our Digital Voice Announcer (DVA) announcements. The newer
message gets rolled out across the network during changes to the station
systems i.e. during renewals, enhancements, and major projects. If you
would like access to the repository of announcements that we are able to
release you will need to provide us with your direct email address. If you
can please supply this, citing your FOI reference number, then we can
grant access to the files.

 

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to
appeal.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

David Wells

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

 

 

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Timothy Wellington

Dear FOI,

Thank you for your reply. I understand your refusal due to costs. However you did mention that it is all one supplier and both scripts are the same supplier. So could you please just tell me what the name of this supplier is. Obviously you can tell me this without going over the cost limits as in order to tell me that there is only one supplier who provides both scripts you must know who this supplier is. Thank you for your help.

Yours sincerely,

Timothy Wellington

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Wellington,

 

Thank you for your further email of 9^th July 2022.

 

In answer to your question, our DVA announcements are provided by Telent
Technology Services Ltd.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

David Wells

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

 

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Timothy Wellington please sign in and let everyone know.