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Being a good neighbour

London is a busy cosmopolitan city with a world famous transport system connecting communities, businesses and visitors right across the city. If you‘re from London, there’s a good chance you live close to a station.

Tube Lines endeavours to be a good neighbour and we work hard to minimise our impact on your local environment.

If you experience any adverse changes to your environment which you think may be caused by the Tube, we welcome your comments and will investigate accordingly.

We have a dedicated helpline to respond to any enquiries and concerns that you have about the Tube. We’ve also compiled a useful list of common issues which we are regularly asked about. Before contacting us, please try and identify your problem, providing as much information as you can (including photographic evidence, where possible).  This will assist our helpline operators and reduce the time taken to investigate.

The helpline can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 08700 70 24 24 or by emailing helpline@tubelines.com.

Common issues we’re regularly asked about:

Rats

General Information

There are an estimated 60 million rats in the UK – that’s one for each person. The most common is the Brown Rat – this is mainly nocturnal and has a highly evolved lifestyle allowing it to colonise and adapt to the urban/rural environment.

The average lifespan of a rat is around 20 months. They breed continuously throughout the year and live wherever there is good supply of food.

Rats eat the equivalent of 10% of their body weight daily, consuming rubbish, leftover dog/cat food, bird food and even dog excrement. Research suggests they can forage for food up to 250 metres from their nest.

Rats on the Underground

Rats cause damage to railway infrastructure and carry a number of diseases which can put our workforce at risk. We take pest control extremely seriously and undertake thousands of scheduled pest control visits throughout the year across London.

Rats and your property

If you discover rats in your garden or property they will have probably been attracted by a food source. You should immediately identify and eliminate these food sources permanently. Food sources can include:

  • Domestic rubbish
  • Leftover dog/cat/pet food
  • Birds – including pigeons and chickens
  • BBQ waste
  • Household compost
  • Dog excrement

Tube Lines encourages all of its neighbours to liaise directly with their local borough or county Environmental Health Department. They are a source of local information and expertise and will help residents in controlling rats. Some local authorities provide free domestic pest control, however some charge for this service.

If you live in rented accommodation, sheltered housing or part of a housing association you should speak to the property owner or representative from the management company. Pest control is normally organised on a tenant’s behalf and often covered by any management charge or re-charged proportionally depending on the maintenance arrangements.

What Tube Lines can do to help

In addition to our regular pest control programme, Tube Lines can carry out further control on rats on our land. Tube Line’s pest control for rats is undertaken by trained pest controllers who will deploy a number of tamper and pet-proof bait boxes containing poison.

Our pest controllers will normally attend within seven days using unmarked vehicles. They will not visit you at your property and are not authorised to undertake pest control on domestic properties. Any bait boxes installed may not be visible from your property.

The bait boxes will then be maintained until the local rat population is under control. This typically takes between 4-6 weeks but can take significantly longer if other food sources are not eliminated or other pest control is not undertaken.

It is possible that the problem may reoccur. Should this happen please contact Tube Lines again with the original reference number to help us improve our service.

Contact the Tube Lines helpline:

The helpline can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 08700 70 24 24 or by emailing helpline@tubelines.com.

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Foxes

General Information

There are believed to be up to 500,000 foxes in the UK. They are mainly nocturnal but are seen during the day. They have adapted well to living in the urban environment and are regularly seen in London.

The average lifespan of a fox is around 32 months. They breed once a year mating early in the new year and giving birth in their dens during the spring. The young fox pups will be dependent on their parents until the middle of the year.

Foxes have a distinct screech or bark which is heard particularly in the autumn and winter.

In London, research shows the largest component of their diet is scavenged items such as meat, bones, bread and bird food. Wild mammals, birds and invertebrates are also common. Foxes will patrol their local territory foraging for food up to several kilometres from their den if food cannot be sourced locally.

Urban foxes normally build their dens on waste land or in gardens using existing structures such as garden sheds or decking for further protection.

Foxes are sometimes associated with much anti-social behaviour toward humans and pets. A good source of information can be found at:

http://www.thefoxwebsite.org/index.html

Foxes on the Underground

Foxes do not cause damage to railway infrastructure and are only a very occasional nuisance. While we take pest control extremely seriously and undertake thousands of scheduled pest control visits throughout the year we do not control foxes.

Foxes and your property

If you discover foxes in your garden they will have probably been attracted by a food source. You should immediately identify and eliminate these food sources permanently. Food sources can include:

  • Domestic rubbish and food waste
  • Leftover dog/cat/pet food
  • Bird food from the bird table
  • Nuts from feeding squirrels
  • Birds – including pigeons and chickens
  • BBQ waste
  • Poorly constructed compost bins containing cooked food waste

Tube Lines encourages all of its neighbours to liaise directly with their local borough or county Environmental Health Department. They are a source of local information and expertise and will help residents with further advice on foxes.

If you wish to exclude foxes from your property there are a wide range of deterrent products now available commercially. It is unlikely you will be able to erect a fox-proof fence to exclude foxes.

What Tube Lines can do to help

Tube Lines does not control the fox population on or near its land.

The boundary fence which protects the railway is not designed to restrict fox movements and will not be modified or upgraded to exclude foxes.

Contact the Tube Lines helpline:

The helpline can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 08700 70 24 24 or by emailing helpline@tubelines.com.

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Grey squirrels

General Information

There are believed to be around 2.5 million grey squirrels in the UK. Grey squirrels are not native to the UK but have adapted well to living here displacing the native population of red squirrels.

The lifespan of a grey squirrel is believed to be around 8-10 years. They breed once or twice a year, mating early in the new year and giving birth in their dreys high in trees during the spring and mid-summer. The young squirrel kittens will be dependent on their parents for between 6-8 weeks.

Grey squirrels typically eat nuts, seeds and fruit in season. In urban areas their food intake is distorted now by the prevalence of people feeding garden birds and or squirrels directly.

Generally grey squirrels have no anti-social behaviour towards humans or pets. Occasionally they have been known to nest in lofts or garden sheds causing some minor damage to the property.

Grey squirrels on the Underground

Grey squirrels do not generally cause damage to railway infrastructure and are only a very occasional nuisance. We take pest control extremely seriously and undertake thousands of scheduled pest control visits throughout the year across London. We do not routinely control grey squirrels and would only do so when they are causing damage to railway infrastructure.

Grey squirrels and your property

If you see grey squirrels in your house or garden they will have probably been attracted by either a food source or in the winter by a female looking for somewhere to nest. If you wish to minimise the number of squirrels you should immediately identify and eliminate these food sources permanently. Food sources can include:

  • Leftover rabbit/guinea pig food
  • Bird food from the bird table
  • Water left out for garden birds
  • Nuts from feeding squirrels
  • Bird feed – including pigeons and chickens
  • Fallen fruit or nuts from garden trees/bushes

Tube Lines encourages all of its neighbours to liaise directly with their local borough or county Environmental Health Department. They are a source of local information and expertise and will help residents with further advice on grey squirrels.

If you wish to exclude grey squirrels from your property there are a wide range of deterrent products now available commercially. It is unlikely you will be able to erect a squirrel proof fence.

What Tube Lines can do to help

Tube Lines does not control the grey squirrel population on or near its land unless that population is directly interfering with railway operations.

The boundary fence which protects the railway is not designed to restrict grey squirrel movements and will not be modified or upgraded to exclude squirrels.

Contact the Tube Lines helpline:

The helpline can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 08700 70 24 24 or by emailing helpline@tubelines.com.

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Pigeons

General Information

There are believed to be around 500,000 urban pigeons in the UK.

The lifespan of a pigeon is believed to be around 22 months. They breed almost continuously during the spring and summer months with up to six broods of eggs being laid. Urban pigeons are direct descendants of rock pigeons and retain their ancestor’s instincts to roost and nest in the urban equivalent of cliff faces such as window sills, structural ledges and bridge structures. They are believed to mate for life and prefer to roost and nest in communities of 50-500 birds. The size of the community is often dictated by the roosting/nesting space.

Urban pigeons will eat seeds, nuts and fruit in season. In urban areas their food intake is distorted now by the prevalence of people feeding garden birds and/or squirrels directly, which they take advantage of.

Generally pigeons have no direct anti-social behaviour towards humans or pets. The pigeon and its waste can carry a number of diseases and infections which can be passed onto humans normally via direct contact with faeces. A build-up of pigeon waste on a pavement beneath a railway bridge or other structure is a significant slip hazard to pedestrians and needs to be dealt with swiftly to avoid accidents.

Pigeons on the Underground

Pigeons do not generally cause damage to railway infrastructure but are a significant nuisance. We take pest control extremely seriously and undertake thousands of scheduled pest control visits throughout the year across London. We do not routinely control pigeons on the underground but prefer to adopt deterrence methods. These include pigeon netting, roosting spikes and physical exclusion. In some larger maintenance buildings, hawks are flown to deter roosting.

Investigations are on-going into a variety of pigeon scarers and their suitability and effectiveness for use in the railway and station environment.

Pigeons and your property

If you see pigeons on your house or garden they will have probably been attracted by either a food source or roosting/nesting. If you wish to minimise the number of pigeons you should immediately identify and eliminate these food and roosting locations permanently. You should avoid direct contact wherever possible with pigeons and their faeces due to the diseases associated with them.

Tube Lines encourages all of its neighbours to liaise directly with their local borough or county Environmental Health Department. They are a source of local information and expertise and will help residents with further advice on pigeons.

If you wish to exclude pigeons from your property there are a wide range of deterrent products now available commercially.

Housing Association, sheltered housing or those in rented accommodation should speak to the property owner’s representatives or Management Company as pest control is normally organised on a tenant’s behalf and either covered within any management charge or re-charged proportionally depending on the maintenance arrangements.

What Tube Lines can do to help

Tube Lines does not routinely control the pigeon population on or near its land and structures unless that population is directly interfering with railway operations. We deny them roosting habitats where roosting, nesting or fouling is unhygienic to customers or staff.

Please report pigeons roosting on our structures and pigeon waste on public pavements, walkways and platforms which may become slipping hazards.

If a building or structure is protected by pigeon netting and you witness a pigeon entrapped and in distress then please contact Tube Lines as we have a legal duty to minimise distress to animals and birds. Most bridges have a unique identifying number and letter code which would help us to confirm the location and minimise response times. Alternately contact the RSPCA who may be able to assist with a rescue of a pigeon caught behind netting and in distress.

Contact the Tube Lines helpline:

The helpline can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 08700 70 24 24 or by emailing helpline@tubelines.com.

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Japanese Knotweed

General Information

Japanese Knotweed was imported to the UK during the Victorian era as a garden ornamental plant.

It is predominantly found on urban brown field sites but occurs all over the UK apart from high mountains.

It can be identified by its characteristic heart shaped leaves. During the spring and summer it grows in very vigorous clumps up to 100mm per day. During the winter the stalks die back and appear similar to canes.

Although infertile in the UK, the plant can quite easily spread by vegetative means (small parts of leaf or stalk being accidentally transferred).

It has been traditionally very difficult to eradicate and can if left unchecked can cause structural damage to buildings.

Japanese Knotweed on the Underground

Tube Lines completed a highly successful network wide eradication programme in 2010 on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly Lines. There is always a chance that it may return and we monitor our land constantly.

Japanese Knotweed and your property

Japanese Knotweed does pose a minor structural risk to your property. During a house sale it is normally included within the solicitor’s enquiries and can with some mortgage lenders cause difficulties with house conveyance.

Control is now readily achievable using professional eradication contractors.

Tube Lines encourages all of its neighbours to liaise directly with their local borough or county Environmental or Parks Department. They are a source of local information and expertise and will help residents with further advice on Japanese Knotweed.

Housing Association, sheltered housing or those in rented accommodation should speak to the property owner’s representatives or Management Company as this control work is normally organised on a tenant’s behalf and either covered within any management charge or re-charged proportionally depending on the maintenance arrangements.

What Tube Lines can do to help

Tube Lines has eradicated Japanese Knotweed on its railway infrastructure and we continue to monitor this to ensure it remains the case. Any recurring cases will be dealt with immediately to protect the railway and our neighbours.

Contact the Tube Lines helpline:

The helpline can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 08700 70 24 24 or by emailing helpline@tubelines.com.

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Flying insects

General Information

There are very few flying insects which cause disruption to the Underground network. The most noticeable of these are bees, wasps and flying ants. The trackside environment is a valuable habitat for all types of wildlife and residents will only become aware of insects as part of their normal lifecycle when they swarm.

Flying insects on the Underground

Flying insects do not normally disrupt normal railway operations. We do control flying insects if they become a nuisance to passengers. Where possible, honey bees are removed as a swarm in association with a local beekeeping association. Wasp nests are normally controlled at source with a pesticide. Due to the requirement for good drainage it is unlikely that any problem with mosquitoes or other biting gnats would be directly associated with the Underground. Mosquitos and other similar biting insects require still stagnant water. Garden ponds and water butts within domestic properties are the most likely source of local infestations.

Flying insects and your property

If you discover that flying insects are causing a real nuisance then control is best completed and carried out by a trained and qualified pest controller.

Tube Lines encourages all of its neighbours to liaise directly with their local borough or county Environmental Health Department. Some local authorities provide free domestic pest control, however some charge for this service.

If you live in rented accommodation, sheltered housing or part of a housing association you should speak to the property owner or representative from the management company. Pest control is normally organised on a tenant’s behalf and often covered by any management charge or re-charged proportionally depending on the maintenance arrangements.

What Tube Lines can do to help?

In addition to our regular pest control programme, Tube Lines will control flying insects if they are legitimate nuisance or danger to the travelling public or local residents. Their presence is not sufficient justification for their control.

Our pest controllers will normally attend within seven days using unmarked vehicles. They will not visit you at your property and are not authorised to undertake control or removal of flying insects on domestic properties.

It is possible that the problem may reoccur. Should this happen please contact Tube Lines again with the original reference number to help us improve our service.

Contact the Tube Lines helpline:

The helpline can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 08700 70 24 24 or by emailing helpline@tubelines.com.

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Brown Tail Moths

General Information

Brown Tail Moths are native to the UK and feed on certain types of hedgerow bushes (Roseace). During their caterpillar stage the moths live in colonies within large silken ‘tents’ and feed on the bushes.

The microscopic hairs shed by the caterpillar moths can cause a health risk for people with respiratory problems or allergies.

Any person suffering from allergy or respiratory distress should seek urgent medical assistance as soon as possible.

Tube Lines cooperates with all of London’s local and health authorities to control Brown Tail Moth infestations which occur occasionally dependant on specific seasonal climatic variations.

Brown Tail Moth on the Underground

Brown Tail Moths are rarely found on Underground trackside vegetation. If required, Tube Lines cooperates with London Borough and Health authorities to ensure quick and safe removal.

Brown Tail Moths and your property

If you discover Brown Tail Moths on your property you should avoid any contact with the caterpillars or tents. Removal of the tents and caterpillars is a specialist job and is best carried out by a trained and qualified pest controller.

Tube Lines encourages all of its neighbours to liaise directly with their local borough or county Environmental Health Department. They are a source of local information and expertise and will help residents in controlling Brown Tail Moths. Some local authorities provide free domestic pest control, however some charge for this service.

If you live in rented accommodation, sheltered housing or part of a housing association you should speak to the property owner or representative from the management company. Pest control is normally organised on a tenant’s behalf and often covered by any management charge or re-charged proportionally depending on the maintenance arrangements.

What Tube Lines can do to help

In addition to our regular pest control programme, if you spot Brown Tail Moths on our land we will arrange to remove them as quickly as possible.

Our pest controllers will normally attend within seven days using unmarked vehicles. They will not visit you at your property and are not authorised to undertake control or removal of Brown Tail Moths on domestic properties.

It is possible that the problem may reoccur. Should this happen please contact Tube Lines again with the original reference number to help us improve our service.

Contact the Tube Lines helpline:

The helpline can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 08700 70 24 24 or by emailing helpline@tubelines.com.

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Oak Processionary Moth

General Information

The Oak Processionary Moth is an alien species to the UK and is considered a pest. Oak Processionary Moths tend to live in large communities of hundreds of caterpillars. They are not exclusive to oak trees and can be found on other trees.

The microscopic hairs shed by the caterpillar during the early summer can be a health risk for people with respiratory conditions or allergies. Any person suffering from allergy or respiratory distress should seek urgent medical assistance as soon as possible.

Oak Processionary Moth on the Underground

Infestations of the Oak Processionary Moth have been found on the Piccadilly Line in West London. The moth does not disrupt normal railway operations. However oak trees are present in the trackside environment and Tube Lines are actively controlling Oak Processionary Moth infestations to prevent wider environmental damage.

Tube Lines cooperates with all of London’s local and health authorities to control Oak Processionary Moth infestations which occur occasionally dependant on specific seasonal climatic variations. The current outbreak is managed by the Forestry Commission.

If you see Oak Processionary Moths on trees either on or near the railway you should contact the local authority and us as soon as possible to ensure safe removal.

Oak Processionary Moth and your property

If you discover Oak Processionary Moths on your property you should avoid any contact with the caterpillars or tents. Removal of the tents and caterpillars is a specialist job and should be carried out by trained and qualified pest controllers.

Tube Lines encourages its neighbours to liaise directly with their local borough or county Environmental Health Department. They are a source of local information and expertise and will help residents in controlling Oak Processionary Moths. Some local authorities provide free domestic pest control, however some charge for this service.

If you live in rented accommodation, sheltered housing or part of a housing association you should speak to the property owner or representative from the management company. Pest control is normally organised on a tenant’s behalf and often covered by any management charge or re-charged proportionally depending on the maintenance arrangements.

What Tube Lines can do to help?

In addition to our regular pest control programme, if you see Oak Processionary Moths on our land we will arrange to remove them as quickly as possible.

Our pest controllers will normally attend within seven days using unmarked vehicles. They will not visit you at your property and are not authorised to undertake control or removal of Oak Processionary Moths on domestic properties.

It is possible that the problem may reoccur. Should this happen please contact Tube Lines again with the original reference number to help us improve our service.

Contact the Tube Lines helpline:

The helpline can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 08700 70 24 24 or by emailing helpline@tubelines.com.

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Trees

General Information

Over half of the Underground is actually above ground. The trackside land provides useful green space for local communities and a valuable habitat for wildlife, plants and trees.

Trees on the Underground

Tube Lines are a proud holder of the ISO 14001 standard for Environmental Management Systems. We understand the benefit the trackside environment has on conservation and wildlife and look to minimise work in these locations wherever possible.

Trees do cause damage to railway infrastructure and interfere with normal operations and sometimes tree felling and clearance work is unavoidable. Tube Lines closely manages trees to minimise the effects and inspects its tree stock every four weeks to ensure all trees are not a danger to the railway and minimise the disturbance.

Where trees are felled on an embankment we will endeavour to replant at the same location. If this is not possible, we work with Woodland Trust and the London Wildlife Trust and plant two new trees for every one felled as close to the original site as possible.

If work is required on trees, this is undertaken by highly trained and experienced tree surgeons under the supervision of the Environmental Supervisor and as required by specialist consultants. We never do work that isn’t required.

Leaves on the Underground

Leaves can cause serious operational risk to the railway. During the autumn falling leaves build up on the rail and are pulverised by train wheels. A thin film of material coats the track and interferes with the train’s ability to brake and accelerate. The only reliable way to deal with this issue is to fell trees to a density where falling leaves do not build up.

Trees and your property

Trees located on Tube Lines land may affect your property in a number of ways:

  • Subsidence – If you believe a tree maybe causing subsidence to your property you should seek advice from your house/home insurer in the first instance. During their investigations they will investigate whether trees in the locality (including trees on their railway) are a contributory factor. If this is the case they will contact Tube Lines directly to ascertain if any actions can be carried out to minimise the effect. Please note the felling of trees is not automatically undertaken as this has the potential to make subsidence worse.
  • Leaves – Falling leaves are legally described as a “natural process”. Tube Lines is not responsible for leaves, seeds, nuts or fruits that fall from trees on its land. As a result, Tube Lines does not clean up leaves on other land and we do NOT undertake work to trees to minimise leaf, nut, seed, or fruit fall.
  • Trees or branches overhanging property boundary – Under common law Tube Lines is required to prune back branches overhanging property boundaries when requested by the resident. Tube Lines at its discretion may decide to undertake further works to the tree for the health, safety and/or wellbeing of the tree and this includes permanently felling the tree to ground level.
  • Dead or potential tree falls – Contact the Tube Lines helpline and we will arrange an inspection. If we consider the tree to be a risk we will undertake works to remedy the situation in a timely and professional manner.
  • TV, satellite and mobile phone signals – Signal strength is affected by a number of different variables and possessing a TV licence does not guarantee a signal. Tube Lines is under no duty or obligation to ensure our trees or other operations do not interfere with your signal or network coverage.
  • Trees shading garden or property – There is no right to light under common law. Tube Lines does not undertake work to trees to improve light to residents’ gardens. Although we appreciate the nuisance that limited light may cause residents the benefits of trees so far outweigh the negatives that we do NOT undertake work to trees to improve the amount of daylight received by residents.
  • Birds roosting/singing/bird droppings – Birds that roost and nest in trees will sing as part of the ‘dawn chorus’. This, and bird droppings, are legally described a “natural process”. Tube Lines will not undertake any works to trees on our lands that control or displace birds and will not pay for cleaning bird droppings.
  • Unsightly trees – The benefit of trees on our land far outweigh the negatives; we do NOT undertake work to trees to improve the view from residents’ properties.
  • Tree pollen – Falling tree pollen in the spring is in law described as a “natural process”. Tube Lines will not fell trees on its land to reduce the amount of pollen.
  • Stacked branches and logs – Whenever possible and safe, Tube Lines stack branches and logs in the vicinity of tree works. This is to minimise the expense of the works and help reduce our carbon footprint by reducing waste going to landfill. This also maximises the ecological potential of the railway environment by providing wood waste suitable for a variety of rare wildlife species to colonise. Tube Lines holds an exemption for disposing of tree waste in this way from the Environment Agency, the enforcing and licensing authority for waste disposal matters in England.
  • Dead trees – Tube Lines inspects all of its trees every four weeks to ensure they are not posing a risk to the railway and adjoining properties or people. We recognise rarity and the special value that standing dead timber provides for wildlife. As long as the tree is not endangering the railway or other adjacent landowners for the public we will endeavour to leave dead trees in situ.
  • Excessive track noise caused by tree felling – Trees are only felled when necessary – to eliminate leaves on the line (see above), embankment stability and/or civil engineering requirements. Occasionally trees are felled to allow for the building of new structure or equipment rooms. A lot of consideration is given prior to felling the trees. Trees do not offer much protection from noise and it is unlikely you will experience more noise than during the winter when the leaves have fallen from the trees.
  • Trees felling - tree preservation orders and conservation areas – Tube Lines as proud holder of the internationally recognised ISO 14001 standard for Environmental Management Systems, cares about the trackside environment and the benefit of conservation and wildlife. Very few trees on the railway network are covered by tree preservation orders administered by the local authority. Where trees are covered by such legislation then Tube Lines will liaise with the local authority and ensure all applicable laws, regulations and orders are complied with. For trees not covered by TPO or Conservation Area status then Tube Lines works closely with the local authority, prior to work commencing, and we endeavour to gain their acceptance of the scheme. However there is no requirement for us to do so.
  • Tree felling  – How do I find out about the tree felling behind my house? – You will have received a letter from Tube Lines 2-4 weeks before works commence. This details the work being undertaken, the duration and a contact number. These letters are delivered by hand and the addresses recorded to ensure they are received even if not read by the occupants of the properties. Please note that these letters are communications so you are aware of the work we are undertaking and not consultations. Any works being undertaken are not optional and are required for the safe and efficient running of the Underground.
  • Minimising the effects of tree felling work on wildlife – The vast majority of tree felling work is undertaken during the winter. This is widely accepted as best practice to minimise the impact on the environment. Tube Lines surveys all sites prior to work commencing to minimise the effects on the environment. Where badgers and other protected species maybe present we undertake special investigations and will plan and undertake our work to minimise disturbance. We liaise with the regulators and sometimes voluntary conservation organisations as required. As work commences on site, all staff receive a number of briefings to reinforce their conservation training and are under a standing instruction to stop works if they believe they are unnecessarily disturbing wildlife or an absolute duty to suspend work if they believe they have disturbed any protected species of wildlife.
  • Tree felling devaluing property – Tube Lines is undertaking its lawful activities and duties when carrying out tree works. We are not liable for any perceived or actual loss of value and do not compensate residents for the loss of trees. Tube Lines replant trees on site where possible.
  • Trees felled at night – Certain work cannot take place during train operating hours. Tube Lines endeavours to minimise work carried out overnight to avoid disturbance to residents. Where possible preparatory work will be completed in advance during the day so night work is kept to the minimum. You will receive a letter detailing the intended works 2-4 weeks before work begins. These letters are delivered by hand and the addresses recorded to ensure they are received even if not read by the occupants. Please note that these letters are communication of the work not consultation.
  • Buying or using logs from the Underground – The costs of extracting timber from the railway and the limited access to embankments prevents us making timber available to local residents. Tube Lines will continue to monitor this situation.
  • Emergency Services and military radio communications network providers/maintainers – Please contact Tube Lines if you believe the presence of trees is restricting or preventing effective emergency communications. We will work with you to minimise these effects depending on the circumstances and we will undertake works to remedy the situation in a timely and professional manner.

Contact the Tube Lines helpline:

The helpline can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 08700 70 24 24 or by emailing helpline@tubelines.com.

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Security

General Information

Over half the Underground network is above ground. To prevent trespassers from accessing the track and putting themselves at danger and disrupting services, Tube Lines maintains over 146 kilometres of fences of different types.

Fences on the Underground

When an Act of Parliament is passed to create a railway, the responsibility for maintaining a safe boundary to protect the railway from trespassers almost always falls to the railway company responsible for the line.

To ensure that the fences are complete and have not been damaged, Tube Lines inspects all of its fences once every four weeks. If at any time you see a fence damaged or insecure, or any gate left open, unlocked or unattended on any part of the London Underground network, please contact Tube Lines 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 08700 70 24 24 or by emailing helpline@tubelines.com.

We will respond with urgency to undertake a repair 24 hours a day 7 days a week. (Sometimes the repair will be a temporary fix depending on the nature of the fence and location awaiting a permanent fix on the next available working shift.)

Fences and your property

Fences are erected, maintained and replaced alongside running lines, depots, sidings and other buildings by Tube Lines to prevent access from trespassers.

The boundary fence erected is not designed to control domestic pets. It remains the duty and responsibility of the property owner to erect a fence to keep domestic pets from accessing the railway. The boundary fence is not designed or intended in any way to control the movement of wild animals.

The fence that you may have at the bottom or side of your garden is there to protect the railway. It may have some deterrent effect from intruders but that is not its purpose. Fortunately due to the quality of the fence installed the incidence of intruders gaining access to domestic properties from the railway is relatively uncommon. However, it is still your responsibility to protect your property via fences and other appropriate security measures as you see fit and within the law and Tube Lines will not upgrade its fences to protect domestic or non-Tube Lines business properties.

Tube Lines encourages all of its neighbours to liaise directly with their local Metropolitan Police Service Crime Prevention Officer. They are a source of local information and expertise and will help residents in protecting their property from intruders. If you have been a victim of crime Tube Lines will actively cooperate with any Police investigations where appropriate.

If you live in rented accommodation, sheltered housing or part of a housing association you should speak to the property owner or representative from the management company. Fencing and other security measures are normally organised on a tenant’s behalf and often covered by any management charge or re-charged proportionally depending on the maintenance arrangements.

What Tube Lines can do to help

If at any time you see a fence damaged or insecure or any gate left open, unlocked or unattended on any part of the London Underground network, please contact Tube Lines 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 08700 70 24 24 or by emailing helpline@tubelines.com.

Our trained and experienced fence repair teams will respond with urgency to undertake a repair 24 hours a day 7 days a week, normally attending within four hours of a report being received. They may use marked, unmarked, or contractors’ vehicles. They will not visit you at your property and are not authorised to undertake any repairs or improvements to domestic fences. (Sometimes the repair will be a temporary fix depending on the fence and location, awaiting a permanent fix on the next available working shift.) The fence repair teams do not normally need to access the fence from your property as they usually repair the fence from the railway side.

It is possible that the problem may reoccur. Should this happen please contact Tube Lines again with the original reference number to help us improve our service.

Contact the Tube Lines helpline:

The helpline can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 08700 70 24 24 or by emailing helpline@tubelines.com.