News from Britain August to October 2019

New London Overground ticket machines make it easier to support Railroad Children charity

Railway Children is an international charity working to help vulnerable children sheltering in and around railroad stations and fights for children at risk of abuse and exploitation on the streets in the UK as well as in Africa and India. Customers at London Overground stations are now able to make donations to help support the Railway Children international charity after a new feature was added to ticket machines across the network.

People using ticket machines at 81 stations now have the option to add a donation when topping up Oyster cards, with 100% of the donation paid directly to the charity. The feature has been developed in partnership with Railway Children, Arriva Rail London (operators of the London Overground network) and ticket machine manufacturer Worldline.

London Overground’s West Hampstead station becomes step-free

From October 11th new passenger elevators from street to platform began providing step-free access. For the first time customers using the London Overground station at West Hampstead will now benefit from easier and more accessible journeys as Transport for London (TfL) opened new passenger elevators providing step-free access from street to platform. Both platforms are now served by the two new passenger elevators helping ensure the station is accessible to all customers, including disabled or older customers, parents or carers with strollers, and people with heavy luggage. West Hampstead joins the growing number of accessible TfL stations and supports the Lord Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy of making the transport network more accessible and inclusive.

Transport for London works with Ordnance Survey to reduce disruption from vehicles striking bridge

From October 9th verified, free-to-use, data on height restrictions of tunnels and bridges became available in Greater London to enhance safety and help vehicles avoid unnecessary collisions that impact drivers and rail passengers. ‘I encourage all freight operators to use this data to ensure their systems are consistently accurate, helping drivers and their vehicles avoid unnecessary collisions, which can impact both drivers and rail passengers’ urged Emily Herreras-Griffiths, Travel Demand Management Interim Programme Director, at Transport for London.

Freight and fleet operators can now access better information about height restrictions for tunnels and bridges across London, thanks to the Ordnance Survey permitting TfL to release a new free-to-use dataset. Available via our-open-data, this provides freight and delivery operators, as well as developers and academics, with more detailed information about height restrictions on low bridges, tunnels and barriers across London roads. The data covers all bridge structures within the Greater London boundary/M25 with structures grouped into five specific groups. These bridges can suffer from strikes by oversized vehicles, such as HGVs or cranes, despite signage on the approaches.

Releasing the data will allow fleet operators to ensure that vehicles of certain heights are not diverted under the structures incorrectly, potentially causing significant structural damage and delays. Analysis by TfL suggests that, on average, there are at least two bridge strikes a month across London. Bridge strikes can be dangerous and not only cause delays to road users, but also to people traveling on Tube or rail services which often run across them.

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Revised: Nov 2019