FOI request detail

Construction costs and timeframes for London River Services piers

Request ID: FOI-2716-1920
Date published: 10 January 2020

You asked

In respect of each pier operated by London River Services, could you please tell me: the cost of construction; how long construction took (including actual start and end dates); operating costs; where I can access floorplans for each pier.

We answered

TfL Ref: FOI-2716-1920

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 5th December 2019 asking for information about London river services.

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

Specifically you asked:

In respect of each pier operated by London River Services, could you please tell me:

1) the cost of construction;

2) how long construction took (including actual start and end dates);

3) operating costs;

4) where I can access floorplans for each pier.”

I can confirm that we hold some of the information you require. Your questions are answered in turn below:

Questions 1 and 2: TfL does not hold the information requested. All but one of the current Piers were built prior to their transition over from the Port of London Authority (PLA) to TfL in 2001. We have since extended piers at Tower, Bankside and Westminster and a brand new pier was built by Thames Tideway Tunnel at Blackfriars at no cost to TfL. We do not hold information on the exact cost of that new pier or the timescales.

In terms of the extensions the figures are as follows:

Tower – 20 meter extension – cost £1.8m - start Oct 2011 finish Feb 2012

Bankside – 20 meter extension – cost £1.6m - start Jan 2016 finish May 2016

Westminster – 32 meter extension – cost £3.2m - start March 2016 finish July 2016

Question 3: For all 8 TfL piers the operating costs in the year 2018/19 was £797k.

Question 4: The information is exempt from disclosure under sections 24 (National Security) and 38 (Health and Safety) of the FOI Act. In this instance the exemptions have been applied as disclosure of the information you have requested could assist any persons wishing to disrupt London’s transport infrastructure by placing into the public domain information which would otherwise not be available via other means. As you will no doubt be aware, the transport system in London has been the target of terrorist attacks in the past. The detail you have requested would be of use for anyone seeking to research or plan for an attack, and provision of this information under FOI would reduce the opportunity for intervention as suspicious behaviour is more likely to be detected and apprehended if an individual cannot access such information without instead having to physically visit a site.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has previously issued a Decision Notice regarding the application of sections 24 and 38 to withhold information in relation to security at transport hubs. Whilst the information requested in this case is different to the information you have requested we believe the same arguments can be applied:

The use of the section 24 and 38 exemptions are subject to an assessment of the public interest in relation to the disclosure of the information concerned. We recognise the need for openness and transparency by public authorities, and acknowledge that there is some public interest in the information in question. However, disclosure of this information under FOI has to be regarded as a disclosure to ‘the public at large’ rather than to the individual applicant. As we believe this information could potentially be obtained and utilised by individuals who may wish to use it to cause disruption or harm to London’s transport infrastructure, in this instance we believe that minimising the risk to that infrastructure and protecting the safety and welfare of members of the general public and our staff outweighs the public interest in disclosure.

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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