FOI request detail

LU lifts out of service due to staff absence

Request ID: FOI-3504-2223
Date published: 24 April 2023

You asked

I would like to make the following Freedom of Information request: Please list the dates, length of closure and the name of the Underground Stations for which each lift was out of service solely due to an absence of trained members of staff during (a) 2021 and (b) 2022.

We answered

TfL Ref: 3504-2223

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 24 March 2023 asking for information about London Underground lifts.

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: Please list the dates, length of closure and the name of the Underground Stations for which each lift was out of service solely due to an absence of trained members of staff during (a) 2021 and (b) 2022.

We aim to minimise taking lifts out of service as far as possible and strive to always exhaust all avenues before making the difficult decision to remove a lift from service, however on some occasions it is unavoidable due to safety regulations.

Please see the date requested as attached. Please also see the following notes to accompany the data:
Time period: 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2022          
The data shows instances when stations are open but step-free access is unavailable.      
This is based on the London Underground Control Centre (LUCC) Service Status when they publish “No Step Free access at XX station”.  
Where the station is already advertised as closed, TfL does not additionally record that step-free access is unavailable, therefore these instances are not included.
-Staff are trained to operate lifts manually in case the automatic system fails while in customer service.      
-When staff are not available, the lift must be taken out of service for safety reasons.       
-Lifts are also taken out of service when staff are unavailable to support wheelchair users to board and alight trains using a manual boarding ramp. 

When a lift is out of service station staff will take the following actions:

•           Station staff notify the London Underground Control Centre (LUCC) – they aim to publish the information on the TfL website within five minutes of being notified
•           Display a poster explaining that the lift is out of service
•           Tell stations either side
•           Display the information on the train operators boards
•           Use general information boards to tell customers of the out of service lift as they might choose to use alternative routes

We will try to reinstate the lift as soon as possible.

If a customer who needs step-free access cannot use a step-free station and therefore cannot reach their step-free destination for one of the following reasons, staff will ensure that they are given help to plan an alternative accessible journey:

•           A lift is out of service
•           There is a planned closure
•           There is service disruption or a station closure (which means that a disabled customer would have a more difficulty continuing their journey)


•           An escalator or lift is out of service resulting in a disabled person, who is normally able to use a station is no longer able to
•           A disabled customer has experienced significant disruption to their journey (for example they were inadvertently sent to an inaccessible station and could not alight)

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

Sara Thomas
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London


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