Tube closures due to overcrowding

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered at on 10 January 2020.

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Photo of Caroline Pidgeon Caroline Pidgeon Liberal Democrat

In answer to Mayoral Question 2015/4389 from December 2015 I was informed that London Underground is committed to developing ways to collect details of temporary station controls centrally to allow for the better management of stations and for effective learning across the network. I was further informed that methods in development include the modernisation of station log books to make them electronic to encourage the central collection of temporary station controls. Please set out in detail the reasons why this claim by TfL four years ago has not been delivered?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

TfL staff are trained to carefully manage passengers flows at busy stations to ensure a safe travel environment. This can involve closing a station for a short period. For example, this mitigation is employed at Seven Sisters station during Tottenham Hotspur F.C. home fixtures, and is part of routine station management.

In 2015, Transport for London (TfL) introduced electronic log books at all Tube stations, which make it quicker and easier for staff to record information. This also allows staff to access key information such as service updates and customer issues. TfL has considered the benefits of centrally recording all temporary station controls, but does not believe this would deliver any significant benefit, given that each station is different in terms of usage, passenger flows and the built environment. I have asked that TfL keep this policy under review.

Every Tube station has a Congestion Control and Emergency Plan (CCEP) that sets out how it is to be operated to prevent overcrowding. Each CCEP is reviewed regularly to ensure that it is correct, and takes into account changing customer flows and changes to infrastructure. Furthermore, London Underground reviews the different methods it uses to manage congestion at busy stations on an ongoing basis. A full investigation is undertaken for all significant safety or operational incidents, in order to ensure that any lessons learnt are incorporated for the future, across its network.

TfL is tackling overcrowding by modernising the network with unprecedented levels of investment in the Tube. This has included projects to significantly increase the capacity of Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road and Victoria stations in the past few years. Work is also well underway to modernise Bank Station, with works to increase the capacity of the station by 40 per cent due to be completed by 2022.