Services on the London Overground network are managed by TfL, operated by a concession and form part of TfL's suite of services. Apart from the section of the network between Dalston and New Cross/New Cross Gate (former East London Line) which is owned and maintained by TfL, the majority of the Overground network's infrastructure remains the responsibility of Network Rail.
As a strategic transport authority for London, TfL has an advisory role in respect of all National Rail services and infrastructure within Greater London.
Given the importance of maintaining a safe, reliable and efficient service on these networks, all applications which may have an impact on their operation and infrastructure will be assessed on a case by case basis. The level of service and service patterns of National Rail services at a particular site should be correctly represented in any Transport Assessment (TA) - TfL will ensure that all proposals safeguard the performance of the network and protect its infrastructure.
For all TAs which include the National Rail network or London Overground, it is vital that the existing level of service and service patterns from all relevant stations is accurately represented. This will ensure the TA is robust. Service patterns and frequencies are subject to regular change. . Information on the service patterns of non-TfL services can be accessed here.
Based on the applicant's trip generation methodology and empirical data, TAs should make robust assumptions to express the likely number and patterns of additional trips generated on the National Rail network by a development proposal. This will allow TfL to assess the need for any necessary mitigation.
Information on trip numbers and patterns on the London Overground is available, free of charge, from TfL. Whilst outputs from strategic transport models such as Railplan are available from TfL, this is considered relevant only for large development proposals.
Only in very unique circumstances would TfL request that a developer carries out its own impact assessment. The precise methodology for such assessment should be agreed with TfL at the pre-application stage, although it is likely to require the use of the Railplan tool together with national tools such as the rail industry's Passenger Demand Forecasting Handbook (PDFH) and the associated MOIRA demand forecasting model.
There is no one measure of capacity that is used across the rail industry and in all circumstances. The Department for Transport standard, above which carriages are judged to be crowded for the purpose of measuring PIXC (Passengers In Excess of Capacity) levels for peak hour services to and from London is 0.45 square metres of space per standing passenger. PIXC data can be a useful tool in assessing the capacity available for additional passengers. However the points on the service to which data applies may not be relevant to the particular development location in question.
TfL's recommended maximum level of crowding in normal circumstances is three people per square metre of standing space, although this varies with the configuration of the rolling stock. It is important to assess whether the peaks for journeys from proposed developments are at the same time as the normal commuter peaks on the railway and also the direction of journeys, whether with or counter to the main flows.For major developments close to Overground and National Rail stations, applicants may be expected to provide capacity assessments of waiting and circulation areas, ticket halls and platforms, although this again will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
The majority of the National Rail network in London is under the direct control of Network Rail. Therefore, applicants must provide details of any discussions with Network Rail, to inform TfL's consideration of the application proposals. Network Rail is best placed to advise on what restrictions apply to development in close proximity to the National Rail network. See the relevant contact information at Network Rail for developers working close to the rail network.
Construction methodology should take account of the National Rail network, and TfL and/or Network Rail's approval of construction methodology and other details may be secured by condition or section 106 agreement. Issues of construction access, the use of tall cranes etc should be detailed in a TA and may need to be reflected through a Construction Methodology Statement / CLP, or similar, to be secured by condition or section 106 agreement and agreed with TfL.