FOI request detail

Visitors to London Transport Museum Acton Depot

Request ID: FOI-1782-2122
Date published: 22 November 2021

You asked

Please can you release details of the number of visitors to the London Transport Museum Acton Depot each year between 2018-2021.

We answered

TfL Ref: FOI-1782-2122

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 9th November 2021 asking for information about visitors to the London Transport Museum depot at Acton.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. 

Specifically you asked:

Please can you release details of the number of visitors to the London Transport Museum Acton Depot each year between 2018-2021.”

I can confirm that we hold the information you require. Note that visitors to the deport fall into two broad categories - (a) paying visitors (open day visitors, depot tours, school visits) and (b) other non-paying visitors (museum staff, project participants, volunteers, research visitors, etc).

For (a) the data is as follows - this is by calendar year up to November 2021:

Visitors to Open Days:

2018: 12,418
2019: 17,339
2020: 7,270
2021: 13,135

Visitors on Depot tours (scheduled and private):

2018: 1706
2019: 1642
2020: 434
2021: 375

School visits (children and staff):

2018: 1017
2019: 932
2020: 198
2021: 87

Note that:
  • Paying visitor figures were lower in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic
  • The Depot was closed to all except 24-hour security and essential support staff from 17 March 2020 – 18 August 2020.
  • Public access resumed 19 August – 30 August 2020. The Depot then closed to the public again from 1 September 2020 until 29 May 2021.

For (b) - non-paying visitors - it is not possibe to source the data within the costs for limit responding to FOI cases as set out under section 12 of the FOI Act. Under section 12, TfL is not required to respond to a request for information if it would cost more than £450 to determine if the information is held, and to then locate, retrieve or extract that information from elsewhere. This is calculated at a rate of £25 per hour, equivalent to 18 hours work. In this case there is no easy way to source the information. Non-paying visitors are required to sign in and out each time they enter / leave the site, and there can often be multiple entries for the same people on any one day as they come and go. The only way to source the exact data would be to review the daily logs on a line by line basis. We do not believe this is feasible for the four years in question within the 18 hour limit. However, we can give you the following more general information.

In addition to paying visitors, a varying number of staff, fulfilling different roles, access the depot each day. This includes tour guides, depot logistics and retail staff, security, curatorial, cleaning staff, and volunteers across different projects. The numbers can range from around 6-20 or so a day, depending on the tours that are operating and the volunteer projects that are in progress. However, during pandemic lockdown periods the depot was closed to all except 24-hour security and essential support staff.

If this is not the information you are looking for 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,

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


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