FOI request detail


Request ID: FOI-2046-1617
Date published: 08 April 2017

You asked

I apply under the terms of the Freedom of Information legislation for information on how many times since January 2010 have Tubes been delayed due to over-crowding?

We answered


TfL Ref: FOI-2046-1617


Thank you for your email received by Transport for London (TfL) on 22 January 2017 asking for information about how many times since January 2010 have Tubes been delayed due to over-crowding. I apologise for the delay in replying.

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.


The Tube handles nearly 5 million passenger journeys per day. Almost 1.35bn journeys were made in 2015/16 on the Tube, and our transport network carries more passengers than ever before. Due to the record demand for Tube services, the number of delays attributed to crowding has increased between 2010 and 2016.


Crowding is more often a consequence, rather than a cause of delays. If, for example, a customer becomes ill on a train, this can result in the train being held at a platform for a few minutes, while they receive help. This can lead to platforms becoming crowded, which in turn may result in queuing at busier stations along the line.


Our staff carefully manage the flows of customers at the station to ensure a safe travel environment and minimum inconvenience for customers. Sometimes this requires stations being closed in order to prevent congestion. There are a number of initiatives underway that assist in reducing crowding at some of our busier stations, including the modernisation and expansion of Victoria, Bank, Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road stations and the introduction of services on the central section of the Elizabeth line from 2019.


Attached is the data you requested.


Each station has its own Congestion Control & Emergency Plan, and there is a series of actions to manage congestion. These business as usual crowd control measures include temporarily closing staircases to create one-way systems, temporarily closing entrances and closing ticket barriers. While these measures are in place, trains continue to stop at the station so that passengers can alight and ease congestion at platform level.


Actions are implemented when queues of passengers back up to certain points within the station. Passenger flow is monitored from the Station Supervisor’s office using the CCTV network.


We continue to keep the situation at all of our busy stations under review, including looking at what further measures may be required in the future to manage rising demand for Tube services.


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



Sara Thomas

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.