Safety while Travelling on Croydon Tramlink

Kevin Brown made this Freedom of Information request to Transport for London This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

Waiting for an internal review by Transport for London of their handling of this request.

Dear Transport for London,

As a frequent user of your tram services, I am sad for the loss of life and injury to passenegers while using Croydon Tramlink. I am very concerned for my safety and my life. I would be grateful if you could answer the following questions - This is in the public interest.

1) Are tram drivers monitored for their fitness to drive?
1b) If so, how frequent are they checked?
2) Have any tram drivers been disciplined for drunkeness or substance abuse while on duty?
3) Have any tram drivers been disciplined for speeding?
4) Have you received any complaints about the speed of trams?
5) Do Croydon Tramlink monitor social media to obtain feedback from members of the public.
6) Have staff at Croydon Tramlink received any Health and Safety training?
6b) If so, please list the training courses and the frequency of training.
7) Is Croydon Tramlink insured?
7b) If so, what insurance is in place and how much are they insured for?
8) What training to tram drivers receive?
9) More specificly, what aspect of Health & Safety is embedded in the training?
10) Please provide details of Croydon Tramlink's health and safety policy?
11) What processes are in place to monitor staff's wellbeing and mental health? - an example could be a help-line or counselling service
12) How many hours do tram drivers work?
13) Do tram drivers work shifts? If so please list the hours?
14) Do tram drivers take the necessary breaks during the day? Please describe.
15) Have tram drivers notified Croydon Tramlink of any concerns in relation to safety?
16) Are tram drivers incentivised to drive fast?
17) Will Croydon Tramlink compensate victims of the accident?
18) How often are tram vehicles tested for safety?
19) How often are the tracks maintained?
20) What control measures are in place?

Yours faithfully,

KB

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Brown

 

TfL Ref: FOI-1593-1617

 

Thank you for your email received by Transport for London (TfL) on 12
November 2016 asking for information about Tramlink.

 

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

 

A response will be provided to you by 13 December. 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.

 

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

 

Yours sincerely

 

Lee Hill

Senior FOI Case Officer

 

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

 

 

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Dear FOI,

I have not received a reply to my questions. This is a gentle reminder that a reply is due today. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Kevin Brown

Dear Transport for London,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Transport for London's handling of my FOI request 'Safety while Travelling on Croydon Tramlink'.

Tfl has ignored my questions and my last reply and they have failed to meet the deadline.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

Yours faithfully,

Kevin Brown

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Brown

 

TfL Ref:          IRV-103-1617

 

Thank you for your request for an internal review which was received on 14
December 2016.

 

You have stated that you are dissatisfied with the handling of your
request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

 

The review will be conducted by an internal review panel in accordance
with TfL’s Internal Review Procedure, which is available via the following
URL:

 

[1]http://content.tfl.gov.uk/internal-revie...

 

Every effort will be made to provide you with a response by 17 January
2016. However, if the review will not be completed by this date, we will
contact you and notify you of the revised response date as soon as
possible.

 

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss this matter further, please
feel free to contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Gemma Jacob

Information Access Advisor

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

[2][TfL request email]

 

 

 

 

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FOI, Transport for London

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Brown

 

Our Ref:         FOI-1593-1617

 

Thank you for your email received on 12 November 2016 asking for
information about safety on Croydon Trams. I apologise for the delay in my
response.

 

Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the tragic derailment which
occurred on 9 November, and we will continue to work to ensure that we
offer those affected any support they need.

 

Prior to resuming services, and in accordance with advice in the Rail
Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB)'s interim report into the derailment,
we introduced additional speed restrictions and associated signage near
Sandilands. These precautionary measures have also been implemented at
three other locations on the tram network.

 

We carried out a thorough safety assessment and took the advice of an
independent panel of tram experts as part of a rigorous safety assurance
process before resuming.

All tram drivers were fully briefed prior to resuming and Tram Operations
Limited, a subsidiary of FirstGroup PLC, the operator of the network, is
also carrying out enhanced speed monitoring across the tram network.

 

Further information is available on our website:

 

[1]https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/trams/croydon-t...

 

This page will be updated regularly.

 

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

 

We have provided answers below where we hold the information you have
requested (using the question numbers in your request). We do not hold
information for the remaining questions you have asked. Tram Operations
Limited, as operator of the network, employs the tram drivers and is
responsible for the running of the tram network. This includes ensuring
that the drivers meet all applicable health requirements and that any
necessary training is provided, and that disciplinary action is taken when
appropriate.

 

You asked:

 

4)    Have you received any complaints about the speed of trams?

 

This information is exempt from disclosure as it is subject to a statutory
exemption to the right of access to information under Section 31(1)(g) of
the FOI Act, which relates to information whose disclosure would be likely
to prejudice the exercise by any public authority of its functions for any
of the purposes listed in subsection 31(2) of the FOI Act. In this
instance, the relevant purposes are 31(2)(c) ‘the purpose of ascertaining
whether circumstances which would justify regulatory action in pursuance
of any enactment exist or may arise’; 2(e), ‘the purpose of ascertaining
the cause of an accident’; 2(i) ‘the purpose of securing the health,
safety and welfare of persons at work’ and 2(j) ‘the purpose of protecting
persons other than persons at work against risk to health or safety
arising out of or in connection with the actions of persons at work’. The
public authorities concerned are the RAIB, the British Transport Police
(BTP), the Office of Road and Rail (ORR) and ourselves, all of whom are
currently conducting investigations into the incident of 9 November.

 

The BTP and the ORR have not yet announced the areas that their
investigations will focus on. The RAIB have announced that their
investigation will include consideration of previous over-speeding
incidents at Sandilands Junction and any relevant underlying management
factors. The requested information will therefore be of relevance to the
RAIB investigation and is likely to be of relevance to the other
investigations as they progress. The release of this information to the
wider public at a time when the three external bodies are investigating
the incident would be prejudicial to the investigators’ ability to gather,
assess and validate information which they require in order to complete
their work, as the partial publication of evidence would be likely to
affect or influence the collection of further information from witnesses.

 

The use of this exemption is subject to an assessment of the public
interest in relation to the disclosure of the information concerned. We
recognise that there is considerable public interest in the safe operation
of the tram network and, in particular, in the events of 9 November and
the factors that may have contributed to the incident. We recognise that
transparency and public access to information will help satisfy that
interest. At the same time we consider that the public interest in
transparency and access to information will be largely met by the RAIB,
who have already published a report, and through the outcomes of the
investigations by the ORR and BTP.

 

There is also a considerable public interest in ensuring that the
investigations underway are able to reach conclusions, and recommend
appropriate actions, that take full account of all available material. The
publication of information that is under consideration by the
investigators, and which may contribute to speculation about the causes of
the crash, would be likely to prejudice the timely conclusion of those
investigations and any proceedings that may arise from them. On balance,
and taking into account the fact that all three investigations are at an
early stage and remain live, we consider that the public interest supports
the application of the exemption in this case.

 

5)    Do Croydon Tramlink monitor social media to obtain feedback from
members of the public.

 

London Trams has a Twitter account and this is actively monitored for
customer feedback and comments, as are all TfL social media accounts.
Third parties’ social media accounts are not routinely monitored.

 

7)    Is Croydon Tramlink insured? If so, what insurance is in place and
how much are they insured for?

 

Croydon Tram has insurance and we are supporting the families of the
bereaved, those injured and others affected by the incident. We and our
insurers are dealing with all claims as quickly as we can, including
making interim payments and providing access to medical support. In
accordance with the FOI Act, we are not obliged to supply information on
the type of insurance that is in place or the insured sum, as it is
subject to a statutory exemption to the right of access to information
under section 43(2) of the FOI Act.

 

In this instance the exemption has been applied as disclosure of the
information you have requested would be likely to prejudice our commercial
interests, because providing details of the insurance cover could
adversely affect the settlement of any claims made against the insurance
policy.

 

The use of this exemption is subject to an assessment of the public
interest in relation to the disclosure of the information concerned. We
recognise the need for openness and transparency by public authorities,
particularly where the expenditure of public money is concerned and in
light of such a tragic incident, but in this instance the public interest
in ensuring that any claims proceedings are not unduly prejudiced,
outweighs the general public interest in increasing transparency of our
processes.

 

17) Will Croydon Tramlink compensate victims of the accident?

 

To date, payments to meet immediate needs have been made in response to
requests from those affected by the incident.

 

18) How often are tram vehicles tested for safety?

 

Trams undergo daily safety service checks before entering service.

 

19) How often are the tracks maintained?

 

Tracks maintenance is performed at varying intervals depending on the type
of rail and the environment it is in.

 

20) What control measures are in place?

 

Unfortunately, from the description provided, we are unable to identify
the information you require. To enable us to assist with your request,
please clarify which control measures you are referring to.

 

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable
to access it for some reason, please feel free 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

 

Gemma Jacob

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

[2][TfL request email]

 

 

 

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FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Brown

 

TfL Ref: IRV-103-1617

 

I am contacting you regarding the internal review of your request for
information about Croydon Tramlink.

 

This review has been carried out by an independent panel following your
e-mail of 14 December 2016 regarding the delay in providing a response to
your Freedom of Information request.

 

The panel has looked into the handling of your request and it is clear
that in failing to provide you with a response within 20 working days, TfL
has breached the requirements of section 10 of the FOI Act, and on behalf
of TfL, please accept my sincere apologies for the shortcomings in the
handling of your request.

 

The matter was escalated to the Information Access Manager and a response
was provided to you on 16 December 2016. However we do not consider that
this necessarily represents the end of the internal review process. We
consider that it would be appropriate in the context of this request to
offer you a further internal review of the content of the response to
FOI-1593-1617 if you choose, even though you have already exercised your
right to a review in view of our failure to provide a timely response.

 

Therefore, if you are not satisfied with the final response that we
provide to FOI-1593-1617 please contact [1][TfL request email].

 

If you are dissatisfied with the internal review actions to date
(IRV-103-1617) you can refer the matter to the independent authority
responsible for enforcing the Freedom of Information Act, at the following
address:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

 

A complaint form is also available on the ICO’s website
([2]www.ico.org.uk).

 

Yours sincerely

 

Gemma Jacob

Information Access Advisor

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

[3][TfL request email]

 

 

 

 

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Dear TfL,

Thank you for your response dated 23rd December 2016. It is a shame that you have not embraced the opportunity to be transparent and open in the light of the serious tragedy. I have copied this FOI to the Mayor of London ([email address]). I am giving you another opportunity to answer these questions.
You have provided me a link that summarises the progress of the RAIB investigation and not the answer to my questions. While I appreciate that the findings will be published, I have requested information on how you CURRENTLY manage the safety procedures.

The absence of answering questions may suggest that you do not have a procedure in place. My questions are clear and specific.

Please answer the following questions:

1) Are tram drivers monitored for their fitness to drive?
1b) If so, how frequent are they checked?
2) Have any tram drivers been disciplined for drunkeness or substance abuse while on duty?
3) Have any tram drivers been disciplined for speeding?

In response to your answer:

4) To clarify, I am not trying to circumvent the findings of the ongoing investigations. This is in the public interest. Please answer the question. Also, how did you surmise that the public supports the suppression of vital information?

I content that you DO hold the information to answer the questions below. Without which, Tfl would be in breach of their duty of care towards their staff and members of the public. I am therefore giving you an opportunity to answer the questions below:

8) What training to tram drivers receive?
9) More specificly, what aspect of Health & Safety is embedded in the training?
10) Please provide details of Croydon Tramlink's health and safety policy?
11) What processes are in place to monitor staff's wellbeing and mental health? - an example could be a help-line or counselling service
12) How many hours do tram drivers work?
13) Do tram drivers work shifts? If so please list the hours?
14) Do tram drivers take the necessary breaks during the day? Please describe.
15) Have tram drivers notified Croydon Tramlink of any concerns in relation to safety?
16) Are tram drivers incentivised to drive fast?

Please clarify the following:

19) You mentioned that track maintenance takes place at ‘varying intervals’. Please give details of the intervals together with their associated track conditions.

20) To clarify, what actions that can be taken to reduce a potential hazard?
I look forward to a timely and comprehensive reply.

Yours sincerely,

Kevin Brown

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Brown

 

TfL Ref:          IRV-110-1617

 

Thank you for your request for an internal review which was received on 3
January 2017.

 

You have stated that you are dissatisfied with the handling of your
request for information under the Freedom of Information Act and that the
response to your request was incomplete.

 

The review will be conducted by an internal review panel in accordance
with TfL’s Internal Review Procedure, which is available via the following
URL:

 

[1]http://content.tfl.gov.uk/internal-revie...

 

Every effort will be made to provide you with a response by 31 January
2017. However, if the review will not be completed by this date, we will
contact you and notify you of the revised response date as soon as
possible.

 

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss this matter further, please
feel free to contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Gemma Jacob

Information Access Advisor

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

[2][TfL request email]

 

 

 

 

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Dear FOI,

The 31st has passed two weeks ago. Please provide an update.

Yours sincerely,

Kevin Brown

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Brown

Thank you for your e-mail regarding your outstanding internal review request. We are still carrying out the internal review for this case but hope to be able to provide a response in the next few weeks.

I apologise for any inconvenience caused by the delay.

Yours sincerely

Gemma Jacob
Information Access Advisor
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London
[TfL request email]

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Dear Gemma,

You have stated "hope to be able to provide a response in the next few weeks.". This is too vague. Please provide a specific date.

Yours sincerely,

Kevin Brown

Dear Transport for London,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Transport for London's handling of my FOI request 'Safety while Travelling on Croydon Tramlink'.

They have failed to answer my questions.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

Yours faithfully,

Kevin Brown

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Brown

 

Ref:     IRV-110-1617

 

The internal review of Transport for London’s (TfL's) response to your
request for information (FOI-1593-1718) has been completed. The review was
carried out by an independent Review Panel (‘the Panel’) consisting of
individuals who were not involved in the handling of your request. The
Panel apologise for the time it has taken to conclude this Internal
Review.

 

In your original request you submitted a series of questions numbered
1-20. The response from TfL on 16 December 2016 explained that the
information required to answer the majority of questions was held by Tram
Operations Limited, who employ the drivers and operate the tram network.

 

You have asked that TfL review its response to some of the questions
raised. The Panel have considered your request for Internal Review
received on 03 January 2017 and we will address the points in the order
that they were raised.

 

Questions 1-3

Your request for review repeated questions 1-3, but does not provide any
further information. The Panel confirm that the information required to
answer these questions was not held by, or on behalf of TfL when your
request was submitted on 12 November 2016.

 

Question 4

You asked "Have you received any complaints about the speed of trams?

 

The Panel have determined that the s31 exemption was correctly applied.
Your information request was submitted to TfL on 12 November 2016, three
days after the derailment of the tram between Lloyd Park and Sandilands.
The Panel consider that at the time of your request the disclosure of any
of the requested information would have been likely to prejudice ‘the
purpose of ascertaining whether circumstances which would justify
regulatory action in pursuance of any enactment exist or may arise’; ‘the
purpose of ascertaining the cause of an accident’; ‘the purpose of
securing the health, safety and welfare of persons at work’ and ‘the
purpose of protecting persons other than persons at work against risk to
health or safety arising out of or in connection with the actions of
persons at work’.

 

The Panel consider that at the time of your request, the disclosure of
information held about the number of complaints received about the speed
of trams, would have been prejudicial to the investigations that had been
initiated by the Police, Office of Rail and Road (ORR), Rail Accident
Investigation Branch (RAIB) and Tfl. The Panel consider it inevitable that
the requested information would been reported in the media, leading to
speculation about the causes of the accident, which at that time were
still being investigated. The Panel consider that such speculation during
the initial stages of the investigations would have been prejudicial to
their effective conduct. Because the investigations were still at an early
stage the Panel are satisfied that prejudice could have been caused by
disclosure of information about the number, as well as the content of such
complaints. Therefore the Panel consider that in this instance the
exemption was engaged in respect of Question 4.

 

Section 31 is subject to a public interest test. The Panel recognise that
there was a strong public interest in understanding whether there had been
previous concerns raised about speeding. The Panel recognise that TfL has
previously released complaints information about a range of different
services and consider that the default position is that such information
should normally be released, provided it does not identify the
complainant.

 

However, the Panel believe that the situation at the time the request was
received is quite different. The request was received on 12 November 2016
and the RAIB report dated 20 February 2017 stated that their investigation
was still looking into previous over-speeding incidents and the accident
and incident reporting regime, and investigation of previous events. The
Panel consider that disclosure of this information in the very early
stages of the investigations carried out by the ORR, RAIB, Police and
Transport for London would be likely to cause speculation which may be
detrimental to those ongoing investigations. The Panel consider that the
public interest is served by the effective conduct of these
investigations, which in this case outweighs the public interest in
disclosure of the requested information at the time of your request.

 

Questions 8-16

Your request for review repeated questions 8-16, but does not provide any
further information. The Panel confirm that the information required to
answer these questions was not held by, or on behalf of TfL when your
request was submitted on 12 November 2016.

 

Questions 19 & 20

Your request for Internal Review contained refined requests for
information held in relation to track maintenance and control measures.
The Panel consider that these questions should have been considered as new
requests for information as they provide clarification about the
information you are seeking. We apologise that this was not acted upon
when we received your request for review on 03 January.

 

Unfortunately your requests in relation to these questions are extremely
broad and as such cannot be answered without exceeding 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.

 

You have asked for details of all track maintenance together with their
associated track conditions. This potentially covers all work undertaken
on the network for as far back as our records allow. Similarly your
clarification of question 20, which initially asked “what control measures
are in place” simply states “what actions that can be taken to reduce a
potential hazard?”. 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. Unfortunately to answer
question 20 by determining what information is held by TfL in relation to
reducing potential hazards, and then locating, retrieving and extracting
all information that relates to this question would take an excessive
amount of time.

 

Unless you can be specific about what you mean by “details” in the case of
question 19 and specify what recorded information you are seeking to
access for question 20, the request is so broad that the cost limit would
be exceeded before all information held could be located and extracted.

 

I hope this information is of assistance. If you are dissatisfied with the
outcome of this internal review, you can refer the matter to the
independent authority responsible for enforcing the Freedom of Information
Act at the following address.

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

 

A complaint form is available on the ICO’s website (www.ico.org.uk).

 

Yours sincerely

 

Simon Guild
Information Access Manager

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

[1][TfL request email]

 

 

 

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