FOI request detail

Provision of countdown signs on bus stops

Request ID: FOI-1559-1920
Date published: 03 September 2019

You asked

Your FOI response of 6 September 2017 stated that you do not permanently remove Countdown boards from any bus stop. Yet there have recently been scores of examples of such boards being removed from stops in my area of London. The most recent example has been the removal of Countdown boards from the bus stops outside Belsize tube station. Is the policy you stated in 2017 still true? If so why are so many boards being removed, as far as I can tell for good?

We answered

TfL Ref: FOI-1559-1920

Thank you for your email received by Transport for London (TfL) on 23 August 2019.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy.  I can confirm we do hold the information you require. You asked:

Your FOI response of 6 September 2017 stated that you do not permanently remove Countdown boards from any bus stop.

Yet there have recently been scores of examples of such boards being removed from stops in my area of London. The most recent example has been the removal of Countdown boards from the bus stops outside Belsize tube station.

Is the policy you stated in 2017 still true? If so why are so many boards being removed, as far as I can tell for good?

We try to reinstall all Countdown signs that have been temporarily removed from bus stops. However, depending on how complex the work was, it can take some time before we put the sign back.

There are a number of reasons why some locations have Countdown signs temporarily removed, put into storage and re-installed once works are complete. These include, but are not limited to:

1. Replacement of life expired shelters with new, improved shelters. Countdown signs are reused following the modernisation.

2. Replacement of some static advertising sites with digital advertising panels. These works also require Countdown units to be removed and reinstalled afterwards.

3. Relocation of existing shelters to allow for footway/carriageway improvements.

The removal of the Countdown sign is often the first stage to any shelter works. After the work is carried out, reinstallation of Countdown is the final stage. This is due to the requirement to disconnect and reconnect mains power supplies throughout any works. Without power at locations where works are taking place, live information cannot be provided.

We have frequent progress meetings with our contractors to ensure the period of time a shelter is without Countdown is kept to a minimum and we closely track progress with all outstanding sites.

The two Countdown signs at Belsize Park Station bus stops 12057 and 12060 were removed a few weeks ago when JCDecaux upgraded their shelters on behalf of the borough. Once the new shelters are completed and connected to the mains power network, we will put the Countdown signs back.

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable to access it for some 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 Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

Back to top

Want to make a request?

We'll email you the response within 20 working days.


We'll publish the response online without disclosing any personal information.