FOI request detail

Contingency plans for planned and unplanned incidences (e.g. XR protests and 2011 London riots)

Request ID: FOI-2301-1920
Date published: 25 February 2020

You asked

Hi, I'm doing a report on the response of transport systems to planned and unplanned incidents and would like to know how TfL use traffic engineering to model these incidences to create contingency plans and if there are any TfL reports on these responses e.g. to particular events such as Extinction Rebellion protests or the 2011 London riots. Thanks

We answered

TfL Ref: 2301-1920

Thank you for your request received by us on 1 November 2019 asking for information about contingency plans for planned and unplanned incidences to assist with your studies.

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

how TfL use traffic engineering to model these incidences to create contingency plans and if there are any TfL reports on these responses e.g. to particular events such as Extinction Rebellion protests or the 2011 London riots

In reference to traffic engineering, the signal plans we use are based on traffic signal timings rather than how we manage a real time incident and therefore would not add any value for the purposes of your research.

The Extinction Rebellion events are classified as real time reactive and therefore not something we can plan for. This is because on the day of the protests, information of the activists possible movements are based on police intelligence and content from the Extinction Rebellion website.

Events such as the London Marathon, Notting Hill and the Vitality 10k run are classed as planned demonstrations and handled by our Surface Events Team. Attached are copies of the management plan from the People’s March on 19 October as well as the Vitality 10k run in May 2019.

Please note that in accordance with TfL’s obligations under Data Protection legislation some personal data has been removed, as required by section 40(2) of the FOI Act. This is because disclosure of this personal data would be a breach of the legislation, specifically the first principle which requires all processing of personal data to be fair and lawful. It would not be fair to disclose this personal information when the individuals have no expectation it would be disclosed and TfL has not satisfied one of the conditions which would make the processing ‘fair’.
Unplanned events and demonstrations are managed by our Network Operations team, which manages the road network and also deals with collisions and breakdowns. Given that such incidents are unplanned the work undertaken to deal with such unplanned events are, as previously mentioned, carried out on a reactive basis. We use CCTV to monitor traffic queues and can alter traffic signal timings to ease congestion, set variable message signs, and send tweets on Twitter. We use the Traffic Information Management System (TIMS), a browser based map-rich solution that collects, processes, analyzes, displays and stores real-time traffic data and information from various distributed systems within TfL. This provides accurate, timely and accessible information to Traffic controllers who can then make informed choices about maximising the efficiency of London's road network. It provides a state of the art traffic operational interface to the London Streets Traffic Control Centre (LSTCC) and supports Corridor Management and journey time reliability on London's major roads.
TIMS provides alerts to traffic operational staff to allow for prioritisation, focuses on strategically important disruptions and to prevent smaller incidents from escalating into major disruptions. Historic data is used to identify anything out of the ordinary. The system serves real-time data from different systems within TfL. This allows LSTCC to not only get information about disruptions from one data source but also relate other events or issues to an incident or an area.
TIMS is also linked to the traffic information page on the TfL website at:
We hope you find this information useful.

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


Jasmine Howard
FOI Case Officer
Information Governance
Transport For London


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