FOI request detail

Passenger alarm figures on TfL network

Request ID: FOI-3496-1819
Date published: 18 April 2019

You asked

Hello, this is , a reporter from the Evening Standard. I am writing to you under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to request the following information from TfL. I want to find out how many times the emergency passenger alarm was used on each Tube, Overground, TfL Rail, DLR and Tram route in each of the past five years for which data is available. I would also like to know the reason given each time a passenger alarm was used. In total, this includes 15 routes: Bakerloo, Central, Circle, District, Hammersmith and City, Jubilee, Metropolitan, Northern, Piccadilly, Victoria, Waterloo and City, London Overground, TfL Rail, DLR, Tram. If it is not possible to provide the information requested due to the information exceeding the cost of compliance limits identified in Section 12, please provide advice and assistance, under the Section 16 obligations of the Act, as to how I can refine my request. If you can identify any ways my request could be refined, please provide further advice and assistance to indicate this. Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response.

We answered

TfL Ref: FOI-3496-1819 


Thank you for your email received by Transport for London (TfL) on 20 March 2019. 


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 hold some of the information you require.  


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


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.  


The data we hold for London Underground have no specific category for alarms pulled on trains. There is a cause category of “Inappropriate/Malicious alarm”, of which there were 2,804 incidents, but we have no categories for “all” instances of alarms pulled, such as a person falling ill or a criminal activity, of which there were 195k between 2013/14 and 2018/19.  


In order to provide a reason for all alarms pulled on the Tube that caused a delay of two minutes or more, a manual text search and a review of thousands of incidents would be required. In combination with collating data for the rest of the modes, we have estimated that it would considerably exceed the cost limit to provide a response to your request. 


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 Transport for London. 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 shorter period of time, geographical area or specific departments of TfL. 


Although your request can take the form of a question, rather than a request for specific documents, TfL does 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.  


In the meantime, if you have any 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.  


Yours sincerely 


Eva Hextall 

FOI Case Officer 


FOI Case Management Team 

General Counsel 

Transport for London 

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