Transport for London cases with longer response times than 10 days

Operator response delays

Not all cases that are open longer than usual are because the operator has not responded to the caseworker.  Some cases take longer to deal with as they require further investigation and other cases can be kept open to allow ongoing negotiation between London TravelWatch and the operator.  This is acceptable as long as the caseworker keeps the appellant updated on a regular basis.

Some cases where the transport operator has taken what could be considered too long to respond to London TravelWatch, have nevertheless been resolved to the passenger’s satisfaction.  The caseworkers are aware that response delays from operators do not necessarily mean negative outcomes for passengers and keep this in mind when chasing the transport operator for a response.

The transport operator sometimes asks for further information that can delay the case being closed while the caseworker requests this from the passenger.  Such cases can become lengthy; particularly if the passenger is away at the time the request is made.

Transport for London cases with longer response times than 10 days - quarter 4 2016/17

There are 22 cases that took longer than TfL’s 10 day response target and these are detailed below.  Four of these case response times are just outside of this target so details are not given in this paper.

TfL Crossrail 

  1. Ms K purchased a season ticket on line with TfL to be sent to her by post.  When she did not receive it, she had to purchase additional tickets to travel.  She claimed a refund of these tickets when she received her season ticket.  TfL agreed this refund but Ms K did not receive it despite contacting TfL on a few occasions.  London TravelWatch appealed and the refund was made but TfL did not confirm that payment had been made so the case was kept open longer than usual.
  2. Mr B wrote to MTR Crossrail on a couple of occasions but appealed to London TravelWatch when he did not receive a response.  This is because TfL manage Crossrail complaints and not MTR.  The caseworker found that MTR had forwarded the complaint to TfL who investigated as to where the complaint had gone.  Mr B’s complaint was found and satisfactorily addressed.  The pathway for complaints between MTR and TfL has also been improved which should prevent future delays for passengers who send complaints to MTR in error.
  3. Mr C appealed to London TravelWatch as he had not had a respond to his complaint. On appeal, the caseworker was informed that a response had been sent from TfL. The caseworker asked for a copy of the original email to provide Mr G with the evidence that it had indeed been sent and to the correct email address.

TfL Underground

  1. Mrs B appealed to London TravelWatch because she did not believe that TfLs response addressed her concerns about her local underground station.  The caseworker felt that TfL’s response was very detailed but not directly relevant.  The caseworker contacted TfL and a comprehensive investigation took place.  This was performed over a period of time and included peak, off peak, late night and weekend travel.  Mrs B was happy with the outcome.
  2. Mrs S was passed back and forth between c2c and TfL regarding his complaint about the information displayed on the screens at Upminster station.  On receipt of this appeal, London TravelWatch approached TfL as they have responsibility for the information displayed on the screens at Upminster Station although c2c have responsibility for other areas.  TfL confirmed that they would update their staff concerning giving the correct information.  They also confirmed that that Upminster was part of a 40 station upgrade programme.  Mrs S was satisfied with this response.

TfL Bus

  1. Mr G was unhappy with the generic response to his complaint about the performance of his bus route so appealed to London TravelWatch.  We asked TfL to respond to the specific delay Mr G had mentioned and if there were any forthcoming improvement measures.  TfL indicated that two sets of roadworks on that route were causing issues.   These roadworks in addition to heavy traffic caused the delay outlined in Mr G’s complaint.  TfL also indicated that Mr G’s route was due for performance evaluation and this would be done once the route is clear of these two major roadworks.
  2. Mr G was unhappy that TfL’s response regarding the occasional lack of bus blinds on the buses on his route was vague and unsatisfactory.  The caseworker appealed and asked to know which buses on this route were without correct bus blinds and when these were to be installed.  TfL confirmed that the bus blinds should be in place on all buses on Mr G’s route by the end of April 2017.
  3. Mrs A wanted to be given a definite date when countdown screen at her bus stop would be repaired and working again. TfL were unable to give her a definite date so she appealed to London TravelWatch.  The case was kept open while the caseworker tried to obtain a date.  We were able to obtain a more specific time frame but not an actual date.  Therefore, the passenger remained unsatisfied.
  4. Mr P wanted to know why his bus had been curtailed and complained to TfL.  He was advised of the difficulties of road works on his route.  Mr P was unsatisfied with the response so appealed to London TravelWatch.  Due to the time that had elapsed from when the journey took place to when the caseworker made an appeal, it took time for TfL to find the issue with the particular bus Mr P had used.  It was discovered that the bus was curtailed as the road works had caused severe traffic tailbacks.  Curtailing the bus did cause problems for those on board but it was the best way to ensure passengers in the opposite direction were not left without a service as their buses were stuck in the traffic jam.

TfL Congestion Charge

  1. Mr A, resides in the congestion charge area, but could not make the changes required to his personal profile on his congestion charge web account.  Mr A tried to contact TfL IT but received no response.  After receiving an appeal, the London TravelWatch caseworker contacted TfL congestion charge who could investigate the passenger account and the lack of responses to his complaint. The congestion charge department contacted Mr A to help resolve the issues with his online account and amend his personal profile.  Mr A was satisfied with this outcome.
  2. Mrs L is a car owner who lives in the congestion zone and has always been in receipt of the resident discount for her car.  She started receiving unpaid congestion zone charges after her resident discount failed to automatically renew.  Mrs L did not receive a response from TfL and so appealed to London TravelWatch.  The caseworker appealed and then chased for a response.  TfL advised that they were experiencing a backlog of these cases as they had switched to a new system that didn’t export some residents’ data automatically.  They applied the appropriate discount and removed all outstanding charges.  TfL also refunded Mrs L for all of the expenses she incurred while waiting for the problem to be resolved.  Mrs L was happy with the outcome.
  3. London TravelWatch received two further cases similar to the two above.  These cases were not dealt with within the 10 day time period but were settled to the appellants satisfaction. The issues the congestion charge team experienced with the new system appears to have been resolved.

TfL Overground

Mr S complained that he could not leave his bike at this station due to other cycles that were left, and apparently, abandoned in the cycle racks leaving no room for others.  TfL had said that they would look into it but the abandoned bikes remained.  The caseworker appealed and the TfL exec team contacted the station manager to put the 14 days removal notices on the bikes that appeared to have been abandoned.  After this time had elapsed, TfL had a contractor remove the cycles.  The station manager also had the area tidied up and took photos so both TfL and London TravelWatch had the evidence that the work had been completed to pass to the passengers.  This process did take time but TfL continually updated the caseworker of progress who, in turn, could keep the passenger informed.  The passenger was satisfied as he could see progress being made and was happy with the outcome.

TfL Oyster

  1. Three cases were kept open by the caseworkers until the appellant confirmed that refunds and direct contacts from TfL staff had been made.
  2. Ms W thought she qualified for an 18+ Oyster card but her application was refused.  Ms W then paid full price for her tickets until she was told by her school that she qualified for a 16+ Oyster card.  Ms W complained to TfL who offered her a £20 good will gesture.  Ms W thought this an unsatisfactory amount considering the much higher costs she had to pay for full price tickets due to TfL’s error, so she appealed to London TravelWatch.  The caseworker spent time liaising with TfL about this case that is why the case was open longer than usual.  Eventually a sum was negotiated and agreed upon that was much more satisfactory to Ms W who was pleased to accept the increased offer.

TfL Streets

Mr P advised his London TravelWatch caseworker that he needs more time than most people when corresponding.  This is the reason that this case was open longer than usual

TfL general

Mr L was unhappy with the way the consultation for the Archway gyratory system had been managed but more so, with the responses he had received from TfL.  The caseworker knew that the response would be delayed as TfL were working on providing a similar response to politicians’ questions and wanted to ensure consistency.  The caseworker advised the passenger of this known delay at the outset and the passenger confirmed that he was happy to wait.