Closure of Station Approach, Yiewsley to public service vehicles from 15th January 2020

Chris Hogan made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Transport for London

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Gwrthodwyd y cais gan Transport for London.

Dear Transport for London,

From 15th January 2020, presumably in response to safety concerns to passengers and vehicles over the deteriorating road surface, TfL contractors Metroline West and Abellio London ceased to serve the bus stops outside West Drayton station.

You are requested to provide the following:
Any correspondence with Network Rail, London Borough of Hillingdon and Thames Water prior to 15th January 2020 in respect of this intended closure to buses.

Any written documents (minutes, e-mails, etc.) within TfL regarding the closure of the two bus stops and the diversion of services 222, 350, U1, U3 and U5.

Instructions to your two contractors (Metroline West and Abellio London) issued to them immediately prior to the closure of the bus stops and diversion of the services.

Yours faithfully,

Christopher Hogan

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Christopher Hogan

 

Our ref: FOI-0340-2122/GH

 

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 16
May 2021 asking for information about the closure of Station Approach,
Yiewsley to public service vehicles.

 

Should you wish to proceed with the request we will aim to issue a
response by 11 June 2021 in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act
2000 and our information access policy. We publish a substantial range of
information on our website on subjects including operational performance,
contracts, expenditure, journey data, governance and our financial
performance. This includes data which is frequently asked for in FOI
requests or other public queries. Please check
[1]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/transpar... to see if this helps you.

 

Please think carefully about whether the request is essential at this
current time, as answering FOI requests will require the use of limited
resources and the attention of staff who could be supporting other
essential activity. Where requests are made, please note that our response
time may be impacted by the current situation and so you may wish to
reconsider the timing of this request. Please notify us as soon as
possible if you would like to withdraw your request at the current time.

 

We will publish anonymised versions of requests and responses on the
[2]www.tfl.gov.uk website. We will not publish your name and we will send
a copy of the response to you before it is published on our website.

 

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss this matter further, please
do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Graham Hurt

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/transpar...
2. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/
3. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tfl/

FOI, Transport for London

1 Atodiad

Dear Christopher Hogan

 

Our ref: FOI-0340-2122/GH

 

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 16
May 2021 asking for information about the closure of Station Approach,
Yiewsley to public service vehicles.

 

Your request has been considered under the requirements of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and our information access policy.

 

I can confirm that we do hold the information you require. However, to
provide the information you have requested would exceed the ‘appropriate
limit’ of £450 set by the Freedom of Information (Appropriate Limit and
Fees) Regulations 2004.

 

Under section 12 of the FOI Act, we are not obliged to comply with
requests if we estimate that the cost of determining whether we hold the
information, locating and retrieving it and extracting it from other
information would exceed the appropriate limit. In this instance, we
estimate that the time required to answer your request would exceed 18
hours which, at £25 per hour (the rate stipulated by the Regulations),
exceeds the ‘appropriate limit’.

 

The person who was mainly responsible for liaising with any of the parties
mentioned in your request has now left TfL. As it is likely that other
members of staff would also have been involved, to answer your request we
would need to carry out an email search across all employees (as we are
unable to focus such a search on specific teams). This would inevitably
identify a large number of emails which would all need to be manually
checked to see if they were relevant to your request, which would take an
excessive amount of time.

 

We can, however, advise that the bus stops have been closed and the buses
diverted away from the station due to the sub base of the carriageway
failing under the continued weight of buses and Cross Rail/HS2
construction traffic using the road. The issue with the carriageway has
been ongoing for some years and the owner of the carriageway(Network
Rail/Cross Rail/HS2) have been in negotiation with Hillingdon borough to
carry out the required full reconstruction of the carriageway.

 

We anticipate that these bus stops will reopen by mid-June 2021.

 

If you are considering submitting a further FOI request within the £450
limit, you may wish to consider refining your requests to concentrate on
matters which are important to you. We also request that you please think
carefully about whether the request is essential at this current time, as
answering FOI requests will require the use of limited resources and the
attention of staff who could be supporting other essential activity. Where
requests are made, please note that our response time may be impacted by
the current situation.

 

If you are not satisfied with this response please see the attached
information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Graham Hurt

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tfl/

Dear Transport for London,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

In your refusal of this request, you stated that TfL anticipates the bus stops being returned by "mid-June 2021" (taken to be 14th June 2021). This is factually incorrect as there is no possibility of reconstructing Station Approach and part of High Street, Yiewsley (the latter being outside MTR Crossrail's leased area) in the next ten days. My understanding is that the London Borough of Hillingdon has requested TfL funds "public realm improvements" at Station Approach, Yiewsley to bring the northern entrance of West Drayton station to a similar standard as other Crossrail stations (my LBH Councillor specifically mentioned the work at Hayes & Harlington station). Network Rail has said that it will not commence the remedial works at Station Approach until TfL has found the finance for the "public realm improvements" to avoid undertaking two sets of works at same part of the station. It has been suggested to me that this is unlikely to be until 2022.

Your Internal Review Officer is requested to provide documentation to support your assertion contained in your refusal that Station Approach will be reconstructed in the next ten days, or alternatively provide accurate information.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Yours faithfully,

Christopher Hogan

FOI, Transport for London

TfL Ref: IRV-010-2122

Thank you for your email which was received by Transport for London (TfL) on 3 June 2021.

You have stated that you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

A review will be conducted by an internal review panel in accordance with TfL's Internal Review Procedure, which is available via the following URL:

http://content.tfl.gov.uk/internal-revie...

Every effort will be made to provide you with a response by 1 July 2021. However, if the review will not be completed by this date, we will contact you and notify you of the revised response date as soon as possible.

Your new FOI request will be dealt with and responded to separately to your internal review.

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Emma Flint
Principal Information Access Adviser
FOI Case Management Team
Transport for London

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Hogan

 

I am contacting you with regards to your email of 3 June 2021. Following
your email a review has been carried out by individuals who were not
involved in the handling of your request (the panel). You have disputed
the response provided which advised that your request was being refused
under section 12 of the FOI Act due to the appropriate cost limit being
exceeded (FOI-0340-2122).

 

Your original request of 16 May 2021 asked for the following –

 

From 15th January 2020, presumably in response to safety concerns to
passengers and vehicles over the deteriorating road surface, TfL
contractors Metroline West and Abellio London ceased to serve the bus
stops outside West Drayton station.  You are requested to provide the
following:

 

Any correspondence with Network Rail, London Borough of Hillingdon and
Thames Water prior to 15th January 2020 in respect of this intended
closure to buses.

 

Any written documents (minutes, e-mails, etc.) within TfL regarding the
closure of the two bus stops and the diversion of services 222, 350, U1,
U3 and U5.

 

Instructions to your two contractors (Metroline West and Abellio London)
issued to them immediately prior to the closure of the bus stops and
diversion of the services

 

To provide you with a little more context with regards to your request for
information, section 12 of FOIA allows a public authority to refuse to
deal with a request where it estimates that it would exceed the
appropriate limit to-

 

(a) either comply with the request in its entirety or;

(b) confirm or deny whether the requested information is held.

 

The estimate must be reasonable in the circumstances of the case and where
we claim that section 12 is engaged, we should, where reasonable, provide
advice and assistance to help the requestor to refine the request so that
it can be dealt with under the appropriate limit. The relevant Regulations
which define the appropriate limit for section 12 purposes are The Freedom
of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees)
Regulation.

 

Regulation 4(3) of the Fees Regulations states that a public authority can
only take into account the costs it reasonably expects to incur in
carrying out the following permitted activities in complying with the
request:

 

• determining whether the information is held;

• locating the information, or a document containing it;

• retrieving the information, or a document containing it; and

• extracting the information from a document containing it.

 

We do not have to make a precise calculation of the costs of complying
with a request; instead only an estimate is required. However, it must be
a reasonable estimate.

 

A realistic estimate is one based on the time it would take to obtain the
requested information from the relevant records or files as they existed
at the time of the request, or up to the date for statutory compliance
with the request. We are not obliged to search for, or compile some of the
requested information before refusing a request that we estimate will
exceed the appropriate limit. Instead, we can rely on having cogent
arguments and/or evidence in support of the reasonableness of its
estimate. However, it is likely that we will sometimes carry out some
initial searches before deciding to claim section 12. This is because it
may only become apparent that section 12 is engaged once some work in
attempting to comply with the request has been undertaken. If we do start
to carry out some searches without an initial estimate, we can stop
searching as soon as we realise that it would exceed the appropriate limit
to fully comply with a request and we are not obliged to search up to the
appropriate limit.

 

When requests for email correspondence are received the FOI Case
Management team may use a search tool called eDiscovery. This allows us to
conduct companywide email searches using keywords, dates and email
addresses. The more specific a requester can be as to what they are
looking for, the more we can narrow the search and therefore stand a
better chance of a more relevant or focused result. eDiscovery will return
a volume of ‘hits’ and each ‘hit’ is a single email, although that email
will often consist of a chain of emails containing a keyword search term
at least once. We do not have a centralised record repository of
correspondence solely on this subject matter which can be used to address
your request and so to locate this information would require us to conduct
a remote email search across our email records and accounts.

 

Using the keyword information contained within your FOI request of 16 May,
the FOI Case Management Team ran a search for all emails in which the
suffix of @Hillingdon.gov.uk and/or @networkrail.co.uk are either a sender
or recipient between the provided dates of 1 December 2019 and 15 January
2020 with the keyword “bus stop”.  This company wide search produced
thousands of ‘hit’ results.

 

Additionally an email file can consistent of a multiple of emails within a
chain and so the number of email files located does not reflect the number
of specific, individual emails. Many of the results will not be relevant
to a request and this volume of information would require comprehensive
review by the FOI Case Management Team as each email caught by the search
would need to be manually reviewed to determine whether it fell within the
scope of your request.  As advised the person who was primarily
responsible for liaising with the third parties mentioned in your request
no longer works at TfL. Therefore our only recourse was to conduct a
companywide email search as it is highly likely that other members of
staff would also have been involved.  However the panel believe that the
bus stops have been reopened in June.

 

To confirm, these searches were conducted remotely by the FOI Case
Management Team. There is no other centralised process that could be
undertaken to collate information that would be relevant to your request
and it is for this reason that we recommend that requesters outline
clearly and concisely exactly the information that they require,
preferably making reference to specific documentation, as wide ranging
correspondence requests do often lead to concerns about the processing
time necessary to fulfil them. Due to the nature of correspondence
requests, it is often inevitable that a significant volume of information
not relevant to the specific subject matter is caught by a search by
virtue of commonly recurring keywords that are used to identify the
material. However, the process of reviewing and extracting the relevant
material caught by a remote email search and then collating it in response
to an FOI request is entirely manual and it is this process that leads to
the cost limit being breached.

 

Given all the considerations above the panel are satisfied that s12 has
been correctly applied to your request in its entirety. Finally as s12 of
the Freedom of Information Act is not a qualified exemption it does not
require consideration of the public interest test.

 

We appreciate that the above response may come as a disappointment
therefore when considering this review response and the all explanations
provided to you the panel suggest that if you wish to make a new FOI
request, you either remove requests for ‘all correspondence’ covering an
undetermined period of time or greatly narrow the scope of the
correspondence you seek and consider what information is of a priority to
you at the stage. Framing a question with ‘all notes’ or ‘all records’
naturally casts a wide net and it is a far better use of the resources
available to you under the FOI Act to be as narrow and specific as you are
able to allow a focused search for the information you are interested in
and allow us to assist you.

 

Correspondence requests by their very nature can incorporate large volumes
of information, much of which would be likely to be irrelevant or of very
limited interest or value. We encourage requesters to take into account
the guidance and advice provided by the Information Commissioners Office
(ICO) such as the “dos and don’ts” published on its website in order to
make the best use of the processing time available under the FOI Act. It
can be far more productive to request specific reports, documents or ask
direct questions rather than cast a wide email search as the burden
created by these can often result in consideration of an exemption on the
basis of the time required to complete.

 

The following link to the ICO website provides advice on how to make an
FOI request -
[1]https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/off...

 

I hope the above response has provided a better clarity regarding the
information you seek, however if you are dissatisfied with the internal
review actions to date please do not hesitate to contact me or alternately
you can refer the matter to the independent authority responsible for
enforcing the Freedom of Information Act, at the following address:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

 

A complaint form is also available on the ICO’s website (www.ico.org.uk).

 

Yours sincerely

 

Emma Flint

Principal Information Access Adviser

FOI Case Management Team

Transport for London

[TfL request email]

 

 

 

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References

Visible links
1. https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/off...
2. http://www.forcepoint.com/

Dear Transport for London,

In view of the fact that you withdrew your previous instruction to contractors Metroline West and Abellio London effective from the start of service on Friday 11th June 2021 before the so-called repairs to the unsafe roadway were undertaken by Network Rail, and residents of Yiewsley and West Drayton are now able to interchange between bus and train effectively, I do not intend to refer this matter further to the Information Commissioner. Network Rail, who was much more forthcoming in its disclosures on the same subject under the FOI, told me that no physical works had taken place for nearly a complete year before re-opening of Station Approach, Yiewsley to buses. I suspect the true reason you are refusing my request is that you have something to hide and do not want your incompetence further highlighted. No doubt the Mayor is proud of you.

The whole episode of inconveniencing passenger journeys from 15th January 2010 to 10th June 2011 shows how hollow is your "Every Journey Matters" strapline.

Yours faithfully,

Christopher Hogan