London Underground station platform automated announcements.

The request was successful.

Dear Transport for London,

I am writing to ask some questions under the Freedom Of Information Act 2000 about the London Underground station platform automated announcements that announce the next trains on the platform.

Firstly i would like to know how TFL decides which London Underground stations have automated announcements that announce the trains.

Almost 100% of National Rail stations (including 100% of Elizabeth Line and London Overground stations) have automated announcements and have for many years but yet a huge amount of London Underground stations (i reckon around 50% from my observations) still have no automated announcements at all so the London Underground is still very far behind.

It seems incredibly random which ones do and which ones do not.

For a random example Maida Vale has had automated announcements for over fifteen years now. But yet the two neighbouring stations of Kilburn Park and Warwick Avenue still have no automated announcements at all. But yet these three stations are all next to each other and part of the same group and they are all deep tube so there are no local noise restrictions. So it is odd. This is just one random example i have picked. There are plenty of other similar examples across your network.

So i would like to know how these decisions have been taken as to which London Underground stations to put automated announcements at.

Secondly i would like to know if you have plans to expand automated announcements to all of your London Underground stations or at least to more of them. If so do you have any timeframe for this and do you know which stations will be the next to get them. Or if not can you at least advise roughly when you will roll them out to more stations.

Thirdly and finally i would like a current up to date list of all London Underground stations that have automated announcements. I need this so i can see exactly how many and which ones currently have them. So if you could provide me with a list of all of them that would be great.

Thank you for your assistance with this matter.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Atkinson

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Atkinson

TfL Ref: 1726-2223

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 17 October 2022. Please accept my apologies for the delay in acknowledging your correspondence.

We will aim to issue a response by 11 November 2022 in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and our information access policy.

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 http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/transpar... to see if this helps you.

We will publish anonymised versions of requests and responses on the 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

Jasmine Howard
FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London
 

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FOI, Transport for London

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Atkinson

 

TfL Ref: 1726-2223

 

Thank you for your request received by us on 17 October 2022 asking for
information about the London Underground station platform automated
announcements that announce the arrival of trains.

 

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 some of  the information you require. You asked:

 

how TFL decides which London Underground stations have automated
announcements that announce the trains.

 

We can advise that this is due to a number of factors; the age of the
station communication equipment, the frequency of trains at the station,
the signalling system installed at the line/station, and the noise impact
with our neighbours.

 

Almost 100% of National Rail stations (including 100% of Elizabeth Line
and London Overground stations) have automated announcements and have for
many years but yet a huge amount of London Underground stations (i reckon
around 50% from my observations) still have no automated announcements at
all so the London Underground is still very far behind.

 

64% of London Underground stations have equipment installed, which
provides the ability to broadcast automated train announcements. London
Underground do not broadcast the announcements at all of these stations
due to the frequency of trains and noise nuisance issues. As an example,
at stations with island platforms, there can be trains every one to two
minutes, hence there would be no space to broadcast other safety and
information announcements if the ‘Next Train’ announcements were enabled.
In contrast, this is not generally a problem that applies to stations
using Network Rail infrastructure, such as London Overground, Elizabeth
line and National Rail stations as trains are less frequent. 

 

It seems incredibly random which ones do and which ones do not.

 

For a random example Maida Vale has had automated announcements for over
fifteen years now. But yet the two neighbouring stations of Kilburn Park
and Warwick Avenue still have no automated announcements at all. But yet
these three stations are all next to each other and part of the same group
and they are all deep tube so there are no local noise restrictions. So it
is odd. This is just one random example i have picked. There are plenty of
other similar examples across your network. –

 

Due to the age of the communications at the stations mentioned above,
Maida Vale has the technical equipment to broadcast automated
announcements, whereas Kilburn Park and Warwick Avenue do not.

 

However, London Underground has continuous programs of upgrade works to
replace aging equipment; Kilburn Park and Warwick Avenue were upgraded
before Maida Vale but unfortunately the ‘Next Train’ announcements were
not a requirement of the project at this time. Nevertheless, this
technical requirement was introduced by the time Maida Vale was upgraded.

 

So I would like to know how these decisions have been taken as to which
London Underground stations to put automated announcements at.

 

Secondly I would like to know if you have plans to expand automated
announcements to all of your London Underground stations or at least to
more of them. If so do you have any timeframe for this and do you know
which stations will be the next to get them. Or if not can you at least
advise roughly when you will roll them out to more stations.

 

As previously mentioned, London Underground has continuous programs of
upgrade works, although these have faced challenges due to our funding
status. Our current work includes upgrading eight stations on the Jubilee
line; this program will be completed by mid-2024 and will introduce ‘Next
Train’ announcements at these locations.

 

Thirdly and finally I would like a current up to date list of all London
Underground stations that have automated announcements. I need this so i
can see exactly how many and which ones currently have them. So if you
could provide me with a list of all of them that would be great.

 

Whilst we do not hold a register of stations that have disabled their
‘Next Train’ announcements, please find attached a list of stations
listing where we have the technology to broadcast ‘Next Train’
announcements.

 

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable
to access it for any 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

 

 

Jasmine Howard

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

 

 

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