FOI request detail

London Overground Ticket Offices

Request ID: FOI-0528-1920
Date published: 14 June 2019

You asked

Further to your email I have clarified the following points; 1. I am clarifying the information I am requiring and is as follows; 2. Internal correspondence between staff about decisions taken and how they were arrived at. 3. Clarification of the availability of National Rail tickets from machines provided by Overground/TfL, including the discounted tickets and add on’s like plus bus. 4. Provision for the refund and reprinting of tickets for national rail sold by Overground/TfL e.g. Honor Oak Park office sells a Southern Rail monthly travel card which will no longer work on the barriers. What is the reissue process if the office is shut?

We answered

TfL Ref: FOI-0528-1920

Thank you for your email of 20th May 2019 asking for information about London Overground ticket offices.

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, we estimate that to provide 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, and then locating, retrieving or 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 – equivalent to 18 hours work.

In relation to your request for all correspondence between TfL staff about the decision to not close London Overground ticket offices but instead curtail opening hours, there is no easy way for us to locate this information. A search of emails for just three key members of staff using the keywords “ticket offices” or “opening hours” since 01/01/2018 yielded over 4,800 returns. In order to locate those that fit within the scope of your request we would need to review each one of them, which we do not believe is achievable within the 18 hour cost limit. Furthermore, this in itself represents only a subset of what we potentially hold overall, as the number of staff who would have exchanged correspondence on this subject is likely to be much wider.

To help bring the cost of responding to your request within the £450 limit, you may wish to consider narrowing or reframing its scope so that we can more easily locate, retrieve and extract the information you are seeking, or you may wish to focus more specifically on the information that is of most importance to you.

Some general information about why this decision was taken (further to that already provided to you in my earlier email of 16th May 2019) can be found in the Press Release from the Mayor of London here:

Note that the specific times of opening for each ticket office is still being finalised.

I can also offer some general information in relation to your other questions about ticket machines at London Overground stations, as follows:

The vast majority of tickets are available from Ticket Vending machines, with only a few types being excluded, in particular:

  • Railcards and Annual Season Tickets (due to the requirement for different ticket stock)
  • Excess fares (although, note that Boundary Extensions are available)
  • Advance Fares, but software updates are currently being deployed to make these available
  • Monthly Season Tickets – but, again, software is in testing for renewals to be available from TVMs with deployment expected shortly
  • There are also some local products for other operators which will not be available
  • CIV fares, only available to those with a ticket for Eurostar
  • Paper Season Ticket After Sales (replacements etc.)

This is not an exhaustive list, due to the high number of products technically available in the system, but is reflective of the regular transactions made.

In terms of your last question, support for replacement of season tickets will only be possible from TVMs where the ticket is issued on Oyster. For other Season Ticket holders, replacements, changes and refunds will only be available from a ticket office. However, this can be completed at either end of the journey, albeit on the first request, the ticket will need to be set up on the other operator’s database to allow the replacement to be made, which may take a few minutes longer (on that first occasion only). In the meantime, customers will need to show their ticket to a member of staff at the barrier to gain access.

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,

David Wells

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

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