TfL Ref: FOI-0801-2223
Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 1st July 2022 asking for information about design guidance documents for the concept design of new bus stations.
Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy.
Specifically you asked:
“Could I please request copies of design guidance documents for the concept design of new bus stations, that are published by TfL / London Buses and in current use?
I will explain this request further, including giving examples, because I submitted a previous, similar request that was rejected as too ambiguous and wide in scope. I am seeking design guidance documents that TfL would issue to an organisation undertaking the concept design of a new bus station in London, i.e. designing the layout of bus stops, bus layover stands, pedestrian concourses and bus driver toilets. For example, what did TfL issue to Westfield's team designing the new Stratford City Bus Station, and what did TfL issue to Hammerson / Standard Life's team designing the proposed new Brent Cross Bus Station?
Operational And Construction Guidelines (London Bus Services Limited, April 2002) would be a valid example of a design guidance document for the concept design of new bus stations, if it were in current use. Its replacement is likely to be a valid example.
Accessible Bus Stop Design Guidance (TfL, 2017) would be an example of a design guidance document for the concept design of a single new, on-street bus stop, but it is too limited in its scope to cover bus stations. It doesn’t cover obvious topics such as bus layover stands and bus driver toilets.
Station Public Realm Design Guidance (TfL, August 2015) is not an example of a design guidance document for the concept design of new bus stations, because it applies to the public realm outside stations. It doesn’t cover obvious topics such as bus layover stands and bus driver toilets.
For clarity, I am not seeking design guidance documents for extremely detailed design, e.g. how to design the toilet plumbing or floor tiling. Nor am I seeking design guidance documents specific to any specific bus station geographical location, e.g. Edgware Bus Station.”
I can confirm that we hold the information you require. However, I am afraid that it is not possible to source it within the costs limit for responding to FOI cases, as set out under section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act. Under section 12, TfL is not obliged to provide information if it would cost more than £450 to determine if that information is held, and to then locate, retrieve or extract it from elsewhere. This is calculated at a rate of £25 per hour, equivalent to 18 hours work.
The costs limit applies in this instance because the information has not been collated before and there is no quick or efficient way of doing so. In recent years TfL has moved away from producing formal, overarching guidance to instead issuing bespoke guidance on a project by project basis. TfL is involved in around 6 major schemes per year, covering around 10-15 sites at any one time, and perhaps as many as 200 individual projects.
Given the wording of your request does not specify individual projects (instead giving named “examples”, but not relating solely to those examples), it covers all current projects, as well as any past projects across the entire history of TfL where the guidance issued may still be deemed to be “current”. The only way to determine exactly what information falls within the scope of the request would be for us to source all guidance issued for all such projects, and to then determine whether it is still considered ‘current’. Given the numbers indicated above, this is not possible within the section 12 costs limit.
In order to bring your request within the costs limit you may wish to narrow its scope to focus on the information that is of most importance to you. For example, if you were to restrict your request to specific projects only (such as the two you cited as examples in your request) then we would be able to consider that as a new request, and our search for relevant material would be able to be much more focussed. Any request asking for all such guidance is liable to be problematic for the reasons stated above.
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.
FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
Transport for London