FOI request detail

Closed toilets

Request ID: FOI-2315-1617
Date published: 10 April 2017

You asked

Freedom of Information request • Which station toilets are currently closed, and why? • Please provide evidence to support the above (not simply asserting a reason) - i.e. to demonstrate why these stations (including but not limited to West Harrow, North Harrow and Farringdon) are shut. • When will all of these closed toilets reopen (including but not limited to West Harrow, North Harrow and Farringdon) - and what plans are in place to ensure this? • Are sufficient staff and budget currently available to ensure that each of the above closed toilets can be reopened? Please respond individually for each closed toilet - thank you. • When was the toilet at Farringdon station last open to the public (for any significant period of time)?

We answered

TfL Ref: 2315-1617


Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 21 February 2017 asking for information about tube station toilets. I apologise for the delay in replying to you.  I am aware that a response was issued to you on 3 March 2017 in relation to your complaint about closed toilets. This email concerns your Freedom of Information request.


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 some of the information you require.


Unfortunately, to provide the information you have requested would exceed the ‘appropriate limit’ of £450 set by the Freedom of Information (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004.


Under section 12 of the FOI Act, we are not obliged to comply with a request if we estimate that the cost of determining whether we hold the information, locating and retrieving it and extracting it from other information would exceed the appropriate limit. This is calculated at £25 per hour for every hour spent on the activities described.


We have estimated that it would significantly exceed the cost limit to provide a response to your current request. This is because the information you have requested on each station’s toilet facilities, the details of the plans to reopen any closed toilets and whether there is sufficient staff and budget available to ensure the reopening of each of the closed toilets across the LU network is held at local station level. In order for us to locate and retrieve this information, we would have to contact each station manager for all the 162 stations with toilet facilities shown on the toilet facilities tube map to check the current toilet status, and obtain and then collate the information you are requesting.


To help bring the cost of responding to your request within the £450 limit, you may wish to consider narrowing its scope so that we can more easily locate, retrieve and extract the information you are seeking. If you want to refine your request or make a Freedom of Information Act request in future, please bear in mind that the Freedom of Information Act allows you to request recorded information held by us. You should identify the information that you want as clearly and concisely as you can, specifying the types of document that you are looking for. You might also consider limiting your request to a particular period of time, geographical area or specific departments of the organisation.


Although your request can take the form of a question, rather than a request for specific documents, we do not have to answer your question if it would require the creation of new information or the provision of a judgement, explanation, advice or opinion that was not already recorded at the time of your request.


Please note that we will not be taking further action until we receive your revised request.


With specific regards to Farringdon station I am aware that you been advised that staff will make toilet facilities available on request and have been reminded to do so. I have also been advised that the disabled toilet is operational and available to Disabled Customers with a Radar Key. The other toilets were taken out prior to the station modernisation. 


We are committed to offering an accessible transport that enables all our customers to be independent and socially active citizens. We cannot achieve this through improving step-free access alone, so it is important that we take a holistic approach to making the network more accessible for all our customers.


There is some inconsistency in the availability of our toilet facilities as frequent occurrences of anti-social behaviour in our toilets can make it difficult for staff to keep them open, particularly from the evening onwards. We are currently looking at ways to help support staff in managing anti social behaviour and increase the times toilets are open to the public. We position this alongside the other work that we’re doing to improve accessibility on the network, which includes not only an ambitious step-free access programme but a programme of wider improvements, including disability equality training for frontline staff.


If you incur any further problem at any of our stations, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Phil Nelson, LU & Rail Team Manager at [email protected] and provide the date and time together with a description of the staff member involved. Phil Nelson will make sure the matter is looked at immediately.


You may want to look at the toilet facilities tube map which is available using this link: This shows whether toilet facilities are male/female/accessible/baby changing or inside/outside the ticket gateline. As stated, this may not at times accurately reflect the situation as toilets sometimes close at short notice due to staff and anti social behaviour issues.


If you have any further queries or would like to discuss your request, 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

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