Our ref: FOI-2242-1920
Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 24 September 2019 asking for information about rail replacement services and refunds.
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 some of the information you require.
In the summer of 2016 our regular review of the weekend closures identified low and falling use of the replacement bus on the Hammersmith branch. The replacement bus route is [necessarily] quite circuitous and does not provide competitive journey times to the train, and most customers had identified faster ways to travel around the closure, using other London Underground lines or regular bus routes.
When considering replacement bus services it is not just demand that identifies the need for a dedicated replacement bus, it is also the availability and capacity of alternatives, and the destinations customers are actually travelling to. The planning of alternative transport for a Tube closure is far more complicated than simply replicating lines of route on Tube or bus maps.
After careful consideration of the impacts that removal could have, we went ahead with the removal of the service. Please find attached information that was compiled at the time, showing the plans in place and the alternative transport options provided in travel Advice posters.
We have not operated replacement buses for the Circle line for over a decade due to the plentiful availability of alterative and faster routes. In the case of Turnham Green to Richmond, it is not only the presence of a local bus route, but the exact route, available capacity and operating hours that determine whether it is considered adequate. The basic 391 does not have sufficient capacity to carry District line/London Overground demand, so we either enhance with additional route 391s, or run a dedicated replacement bus, depending on the closure.
The only published information we have is our conditions of carriage, a copy of which is attached for your information.
Refunds are mentioned in conditions 3.2.2 and 6.3.4, and Appendix 2. Whilst we may provide discretionary refunds to customers from time to time, we do not have an official documented policy for them.
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.
If you are not satisfied with this response please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.
FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
Transport for London