FOI request detail

Asbestos Usage/Fireproofing standard

Request ID: FOI-0614-2223
Date published: 23 June 2022

You asked

I am most intrigued to know the last recorded use of asbestos on the TfL network. As also related, I would also like to request what type of fireproofing (insulation and so forth) is most commonplace on your network.

We answered

TfL Ref: FOI-0614-2223

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 12 June 2022, asking about asbestos and fireproofing on the TfL network.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Information Regulations (EIRs) and our information access policy.  I can confirm that we hold some of the information you require.

In response to your question regarding fireproofing, TfL utilises a number of different passive fire protection systems, all of which are supported by third party certification schemes to demonstrate performance and suitability of application. The majority of passive protection in our sub surface stations are cementitious, calcium silicate or vermiculate based. 

With regard to the last recorded use of asbestos on the TfL network, it would be extremely difficult to determine the date of the last recorded installation as any records will be in archived due to the time that has elapsed since asbestos was used. It would take an excessive amount of staff time and resources to manually search through the records TfL holds on this. Given the extent of the information you are looking for, we are applying Regulation 12(4)(b) as we believe that this part of your request is ‘manifestly unreasonable’ because providing the information would impose unreasonable costs on us and require an unreasonable diversion of resources.

What we do know is that in view of the age of the network and relevant dates of construction, as with other premises of similar age, asbestos was used for many applications throughout the TfL network, most of it being installed during the mid-part of last century. Removal and remediation of this material has been carried out since the late 1970’s/early 1980’s, but despite this, asbestos is still present across the network. TfL has processes and procedures in place to ensure that the management of asbestos is carried out in compliance with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

The use of this exception is subject to a public interest test, which requires us to consider whether the public interest in applying the exception outweighs the public interest in disclosure. We recognise that the release of information would promote accountability and transparency in public services. However, the time it would take to provide the information you have requested would divert a disproportionate amount of our resources from its core functions and on balance we consider that the public interest currently favours the use of the exception.

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

Eva Hextall
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London

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