FOI request detail

Stress and Overcrowding

Request ID: FOI-3446-1920
Date published: 23 March 2020

You asked

1) How many times has each tube station been closed due to overcrowding in each year of Sadiq Khan's mayoralty? 2) How many days off work have TfL staff taken due to stress in each year of Sadiq Khan's mayoralty?

We answered

Our Ref:         FOI-3446-1920

Thank you for your request received on 9 February 2020 asking for information about London Underground station closures due to overcrowding as well as staff leave due to stress.

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. You asked:

1) How many times has each tube station been closed due to overcrowding in each year of Sadiq Khan's mayoralty?

A station closure is generally put in place to prevent overcrowding and would only be implemented as a last resort to ensure the safety of our customers and staff was maintained. Station staff are experienced in managing the number of passengers they see on a daily basis and monitor the passenger flow from within the station every day.

Alternative measures to assist during particularly busy times are one way systems during peak periods and partial closures (which may involve non-stopping on one or more platforms/lines within the station and/or some entrances being temporarily closed) or a reduction of entry gates available to customers to reduce the flow into a station. This essentially means keeping the station open whilst managing the flow of customers to maintain a safe and reliable service. This would usually be implemented to minimise or reduce congestion throughout the station but in particular at platform level and at the top and bottom of escalators.

There have a been a total of 50 station closures to prevent overcrowding since 6 May 2016 to the date of your request. The stations were closed for an average of 31 minutes, with a third of closures lasting ten minutes or fewer. Please note that the three Clapham Common closures (which were 1st, 3rd and 4th longest closures) were due a large event in the Common, whereby the closure was planned and communicated to customers in advance.

Please see the attached spreadsheets providing information on the number of closures there have been for each station and the details for each closure.

2) How many days off work have TfL staff taken due to stress in each year of Sadiq Khan's mayoralty?

There are circa 27,000 TfL staff across the organisation. We take the mental wellbeing of everyone who works for TfL extremely seriously. The TfL Occupational Health team supports employees with health-related issues with the aim of enabling them to continue with their full working routine. The Mental Health Service provides several services including Stress Reduction Group (SRG) workshops and advice to managers on mental wellbeing issues.
Any member of staff can attend the SRG workshops. The sessions aim to build an understanding of the causes of stress and to increase personal resilience and coping strategies. Managers’ Resilience Group (MRG) workshops are a condensed version of SRG tailored for line managers and also include aspects of building team wellbeing.  
TfL's Counselling and Trauma Service, part of the Mental Health Service, is accredited by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and works in accordance with its ethical framework for the counselling professions.

Please find the requested information in the table below:

Absent Days due to Stress/Anxiety/Depression
Financial Year Dates TfL total London Underground
2016/17 (exc. P1) 01/05/2016 48,800  35,618
2017/18 to  59,935  41,504
2018/19  65,370  51,712
2019/20 (P11 YTD) 01/02/2020 66,073  53,301

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable to access it for some reason, please feel free to contact me.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely

Gemma Jacob
Senior FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London

[email protected]


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