FOI request detail

Request to access any emails or communications sent to area managers in relation to the comlpaint ref 18039310

Request ID: FOI-0851-2324
Date published: 13 July 2023

You asked

I would like to request access to any emails or communications sent to area managers in relation to the comlpaint ref 18039310 (to which I received the below response on 17th March 2023) or as a result of complaint ref 18031295 (which formed the start of this conversation and was sent on 15/03/23). If possible, I would also like access to any written discussions (or record of discussions) which took place between area managers, or between area managers and any other parties relating to the subjects covered in this complaint. Dear XXX Thank you for your response. While we have understood your complaint and the points that you have risen, at this moment as my colleague mentioned, there is not much more that we can add to what we have already said in our previous email to you.  However, I would like you to be rest assured that your comments have been passed on to the area managers. Thanks again for contacting us. If there is anything else we can help you with, please reply to this email. Alternatively, you can call us on 0343 222 1234 and we'll be happy to help you. Kind regards Shyral McDonald Customer Service Adviser Transport for London Customer Services

We answered

Our ref: FOI-0851-2324/GH

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 17 June 2023 asking for communications relating to complaint ref 18039310.

Your request has been considered under the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and our information access policy. I can confirm that we do hold the information you require.

Details of the complaints raised were all provided verbatim to MTR (the “area managers”) in order for them to investigate and provide our Customer Services with information to respond. Information is send directly from their system via a ‘hand-off’ for investigation, so we do not hold actual emails.  Please see below the information which was sent, along with any response received.

We do not hold any information on any written discussions or correspondence within MTR, as they are a separate entity to TfL.


Sent to MTR:
Comments: Automated announcements on the station concourse have not been routed through the ambient noise sensor and therefore all play at the same volume all of the time (please note: I'm not reffering to the on platform arrival announcements- the volume on these was fixed in February). The video attached shows a 'see it, say it, sort it' announcement playing at 6am. These are also non essential announcements and so should not be playing at all at anti social hours. Please connect this system to the ambient noise sensor and switch off all non essential announcements before 7am and after 11pm- this station is in a residential area.


Sent to MTR:
Comments: The 'plan your public transport for the Coronation weekend' announcements have been running at Custom House station up to 12 times an hour between 2 and 4 am. This is not the first time similar things have happened- when new/temporary announcements are added to the system they often run after the station is closed (recent strike closure notifications were also running regularly in the middle of the night). This is not acceptable- systems/training needs to be put in place to ensure that new announcements are programmed correctly so do not cause this kind of disturbance (and the current announcement needs to be fixed asap)

Received from MTR
I hope you’re well? Please see the below – please re-word to make this customer friendly!

RfLi maintain the PA system but we set up the PAs either via the RCC or the SOR. The RCC don’t schedule announcements after 2300 or before 0700.
Assume this one is now closed because the coronation weekend is over.


Sent to MTR:
Comments: Currently and for the last hour, staff at Custom House station have been manually announcing platform arrivals for the Elizabeth Line at volumes above 90db. There are no current service issues and no problems with the digital boards and the information being announced is duplicating that already being provided through the automated system (the automated system is on a noise sensor control so as to reduce disturbance- no additional announcements need to be made given that there are no special circumstances). Having just now been to the station to measure the volumes- which peaked at 97.1 db for the one announcement I measured (I'm not sure these volumes are even classified as safe), I also spoke to the person making the announcements to ask why it was happening. The justification was- 'it's busy so the announcements are to help the customers' as you can see from the attached video- the station was not busy. The station is never busy at 2pm on a Monday. This is not the first time this has happened. Your ambient noise sensors work and are installed for a reason. I do not know if notices need to be attached to manual announcement equipment or simply if more training is needed for station staff, but this needs to stop. This is a residential, open air platform with noise from the station affecting more than 60 residents in my building (many of whom are classified as vulnerable and are incapable of complaining) and the many many asylum seekers housed in the hotel next door- who are also unlikely to complain despite the levels of disturbance.


Sent to MTR:
It is good to receive a comprehensive, policy based answer (although the ‘see it say it sorted’ announcements was only one example of many of the announcements that run before 7). There was another, more important part to the initial complaint though: all announcements from the concourse run at flat volume- the ambient noise sensor that TfL has installed on the concourse to control these is clearly not working.
Received from MTR
Crossrail engineers went a couple of weeks ago and everything was operating as normal, they said no settings have been changed since. Just for your information I believe we have another team going to check again…

If this is not the information you are looking for, please do not hesitate to contact me.

If you are not satisfied with this response please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely

Graham Hurt

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

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