Definition of Bus services subject to the ENCTS

Doug Paulley made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to North Yorkshire County Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear North Yorkshire County Council,

Please provide the process you go through to determine whether a bus service is such that it attracts remuneration for holders of ENCTS passes, or whether it is exempt as it is classed as "services operated primarily for the purposes of tourism" (exempt from obligations under the ENCTS scheme under Travel Concessions (Eligible Services) Order 2002 as amended by the Travel Concessions (Eligible Services) (Amendment) Order 2009).

I wish to know please how you define and determine what the definition is of a service operated for the purposes of tourism, compared to a normal route that is subject to the ENCTS. Please advise what process you go through in your decision and definition
of this and what factors you take into consideration.

I am disturbed to note from the DalesBus website that the 823/825 DalesBus services through my home town of Wetherby are now listed as exempt services as they are dubbed "services operated primarily for the purposes of tourism", even though West Yorkshire Combined Authority disagrees. Please provide all documents and
communications you hold relating to the classification of this bus route; and all factors that were taken into consideration when classifying this route. I am particularly interested in all communications you have had with West Yorkshire Combined Authority and its precursor authorities on this issue over the past several years, also communications with the Department for Transport on this issue.

The DalesBus website says "The Corporate Director BES and Executive Members considered a report on this and judged that some DalesBus services were operated primarily for the purposes of tourism". I wish to see this report, the agenda, minutes and all other papers provided prior to or tabled at the meeting at which it was considered, all notes - handwritten or otherwise - taken by any Council officer, executive member, employee or other responsible individual during or leading up to the meeting, and all communications - internal and external - that led to this decision regarding the 823 / 825.

Please provide copies of the requisite statutory equality impact assessments, considering what impact the decision not to extend ENCTS status for this service has on those with the protected characteristics of age and disability, and what considerations were undertaken to ensure NYCC remains in compliance of their requirement to advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it as set out in Public Sector Equality Duty under S149 of the Equality Act 2010.

Please also provide all material that explores or explored the obligation on the Council to make reasonable adjustments to enable disabled people to access your services under Section 20 of the Equality Act, and the impact this has on your assessment of routes as elegible or otherwise for ENCTS status.

I note from the Government consultation that resulted in the exemption of "tourism" services the Government stated the following:

"We believe this proposal will only affect services which are clearly tourist sightseeing services. By this we mean the type of services which charge premium fares and may provide a commentary or tour. Similarly, a service wil l be excluded where it only operates because the vehicle is of historic value, rather than because of the local service it provides."

"The Department’s view is that this exemption would not in any way exclude normal local bus services that charge standard fares but which happen to stop at tourist or historic destinations."

( http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.u... )

Please advise me whether the Dalesbus service 823 / 825:

1) charges a "premium fare" in excess of that charged for equivalent distances on buses subject to the ENCTS

2) provides a commentary or a tour

3) is provided using vehicles "of historic value"

Please tell me what consideration was made of these three key descriptors of "tourist sightseeing services" when the decision was taken to make the Dalesbus 823/825 exempt from the ENCTS on the "tourist" exemption.

Please indicate what processes you have in place (through statutory requirement or otherwise) to enable members of the public to challenge such a decision.

Yours faithfully,

Doug Paulley

Data Management Officer, North Yorkshire County Council

Dear Mr Paulley

Thank you for your request for information below of which we acknowledge receipt.

Your request has been passed to the appropriate officer to provide a response as soon as possible, and in any event within 20 working days, as required by the relevant legislation.

Kind regards

Paul Atkinson, for

Data Management Officer
North Yorkshire County Council
01609 533219 [email address]

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Data Management Officer,

I note you are required to respond "promptly" and that the 20 working day limit is intended as a long stop;

To that purpose, you may be interested to know that my Freedom of Information Request to West Yorkshire Combined Authority on the same issue has today been responded to in full and with compehensive and useful information: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2...

It will be interesting to contrast and compare this with NYCC's response, which I hope is forthcoming shortly?

Thank you

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

Data Management Officer, North Yorkshire County Council

Dear Mr Paulley,

Thank you for your email.

Your FOI is in the final stages of processing and a response is due to you on or before 23 March.

Kind regards

Paul Atkinson, for

Data Management Officer
North Yorkshire County Council
01609 533219 [email address]

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Data Management Officer,

Thank you;

This is academic, but you say "Your FOI is in the final stages of processing and a response is due to you on or before 23 March." - 23rd March has gone. Your response has to be "promptly and in any case within" 20 working days. This 20 working day "long stop" is the 30th of March; though the primary responsibility is to respond "promptly" as I am sure you are aware.

Thanks

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

Data Management Officer, North Yorkshire County Council

Dear Mr Paulley,

Sorry about that - my mistake - your response is due on or before 30 March.

Kind regards

Paul Atkinson, for

Data Management Officer
North Yorkshire County Council
01609 533219 [email address]

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

John Laking, North Yorkshire County Council

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Paully,

 

I am in receipt of your Freedom of Information Act request, which has been
acknowledged and now has the reference N9421

 

For ease of response I have numbered the paragraphs in your request (as
below) and these are used in referencing the response.

 

Please note that in the attachment, where necessary, we have removed
officer and third party names from the information disclosed to you as we
consider these to be the personal data. As such we are withholding this
information under section 40 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000
which exempts personal information from disclosure if disclosure would
breach one or more principles of the Data Protection Act 1998. In this
case we consider that disclosure would breach the first principle, namely
that personal information must be fairly and lawfully processed and must
meet one of the conditions for processing as provided by schedule 2 of the
Act. In this case we consider that the disclosure would be unfair and
unlawful and none of the conditions for processing would be met.

 

I have attached a copy of the appeals procedure for your information.

 

 

1. The processes NYCC go through to determine service eligibility are
provided in the reports attached dated 12/9/2014 and 30/1/15

2. This information is contained in the attached reports of 12/9/2014 and
30/1/2015.

3. The attached report taken to Executive Members and the Corporate
Director on 30 January 2015 includes this service. This report pack
includes the Report; and appendices as follows: Appendix 1 updated
analysis of Survey Data; Appendix 2 detailed responses to consultation;
Appendix 3 Table of Leisure Bus Services and proposed action; Appendix 4
finalised Equality Impact Assessment. Also attached is all emails and
correspondence to West Yorkshire Combined Authority and a copy of the
comments in their response to the consultation.

4. Report included in 3 above. Attached is the Agenda, and Summary of
Actions from the meeting. A letter from Baroness Kramer was produced at
the meeting but I do not yet have permission to disclose this. However
permission to disclose this letter has been requested. There is no other
correspondence specific to 823/825.

5. Final Equality Impact Assessment included in report of 30 January 2015
attached at 3Above

6. The Draft and final Equality Impact Assessments are attached and as
included in the report of 30 January 2015

7, 8, 9, 10— comments noted

11. (1. 2. 3) NYCC does not have any information as to the level of a
‘premium fare’ nor whether there is a” commentary or a tour” provided, nor
whether the vehicle used is “of historic value

12. The term “tourist sightseeing services” is not pertinent in
interpreting the Regulations so was not considered

13. For these decisions members of the public can ask for a copy of the
Decision Record (attached) Should you wish to formally challenge the
Council’s decision there is the right to Judicial Review and should you
wish to proceed with this NYCC would strongly advise you obtain
independent legal advice in this regard

 

 

Policy Development Manager

Integrated Passenger Transport

 

 

Dear North Yorkshire County Council,

1.  Please provide the process you go through to determine whether a bus
service is such that it attracts remuneration for holders of ENCTS passes,
or whether it is exempt as it is classed as "services operated primarily
for the purposes of tourism" (exempt from obligations under the ENCTS
scheme under Travel Concessions (Eligible Services) Order 2002 as amended
by the Travel Concessions (Eligible Services) (Amendment) Order 2009).

 

2.  I wish to know please how you define and determine what the definition
is of a service operated for the purposes of tourism, compared to a normal
route that is subject to the ENCTS. Please advise what process you go
through in your decision and definition of this and what factors you take
into consideration.

 

3.  I am disturbed to note from the DalesBus website that the 823/825
DalesBus services through my home town of Wetherby are now listed as
exempt services as they are dubbed "services operated primarily for the
purposes of tourism", even though West Yorkshire Combined Authority
disagrees. Please provide all documents and communications you hold
relating to the classification of this bus route; and all factors that
were taken into consideration when classifying this route. I am
particularly interested in all communications you have had with West
Yorkshire Combined Authority and its precursor authorities on this issue
over the past several years, also communications with the Department for
Transport on this issue.

 

4.  The DalesBus website says "The Corporate Director BES and Executive
Members considered a report on this and judged that some DalesBus services
were operated primarily for the purposes of tourism". I wish to see this
report, the agenda, minutes and all other papers provided prior to or
tabled at the meeting at which it was considered, all notes - handwritten
or otherwise - taken by any Council officer, executive member, employee or
other responsible individual during or leading up to the meeting, and all
communications - internal and external - that led to this decision
regarding the 823 / 825.

 

5.  Please provide copies of the requisite statutory equality impact
assessments, considering what impact the decision not to extend ENCTS
status for this service has on those with the protected characteristics of
age and disability, and what considerations were undertaken to ensure NYCC
remains in compliance of their requirement to advance equality of
opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic
and persons who do not share it  as set out in Public Sector Equality Duty
under S149 of the Equality Act 2010.

 

6.  Please also provide all material that explores or explored the
obligation on the Council to make reasonable adjustments to enable
disabled people to access your services under Section 20 of the Equality
Act, and the impact this has on your assessment of routes as elegible or
otherwise for ENCTS status.

 

7.  I note from the Government consultation that resulted in the exemption
of "tourism" services the Government stated the following:

 

8.  "We believe this proposal will only affect services which are clearly
tourist sightseeing services. By this we mean the type of services which
charge premium fares and may provide a commentary or tour. Similarly, a
service wil l be excluded where it only operates because the vehicle is of
historic value, rather than because of the local service it provides."

 

9.  "The Department’s view is that this exemption would not in any way
exclude normal local bus services that charge standard fares but which
happen to stop at tourist or historic destinations."

 

10. 
([1]http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.u...
)

 

11.  Please advise me whether the Dalesbus service 823 / 825:

 

1) charges a "premium fare" in excess of that charged for equivalent
distances on buses subject to the ENCTS

 

2) provides a commentary or a tour

 

3) is provided using vehicles "of historic value"

 

12.  Please tell me what consideration was made of these three key
descriptors of "tourist sightseeing services" when the decision was taken
to make the Dalesbus 823/825 exempt from the ENCTS on the "tourist"
exemption.

 

13.  Please indicate what processes you have in place (through statutory
requirement or otherwise) to enable members of the public to challenge
such a decision.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Doug Paulley

 

 

 

Access your county council services online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
at [2]www.northyorks.gov.uk.

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If you receive an automatic response stating that the recipient is away
from the office and you wish to request information under either the
Freedom of Information Act, the Data Protection Act or the Environmental
Information Regulations please forward your request by e-mail to the Data
Management Team ([3][North Yorkshire County Council request email]) who will
process your request.

North Yorkshire County Council.

References

Visible links
1. http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.u...
2. http://www.northyorks.gov.uk/
3. mailto:[North Yorkshire County Council request email]

Dear North Yorkshire County Council,

Thank you for the information, which is interesting and illuminating.

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

I am writing to request an internal review of North Yorkshire County Council's handling of my FOI request 'Definition of Bus services subject to the ENCTS'.

1. You have not provided all the communications you have had with organisations, such as the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. For example, WYCA had this correspondence with your Local Authority on this issue : https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2... Yet you haven't released this correspondence to me. I have to wonder at the efficacy of your search, and what other material of which I am not aware has similarly not been supplied to the various elements of my request. I would appreciate it if you could please go through my request again and ensure that all information I requested has indeed been released to me.

2. In one of the responses you included in the information, I see reference to a Local Government Ombudsman report / investigation. Yet in response to my request for information, "Please indicate what processes you have in place (through statutory requirement or otherwise) to enable members of the public to challenge
such a decision." You only made reference to the Judicial Review process. I am sure you are aware that the Judicial Review process is always intended as a "last resort". The mention of the Havant LGO report suggests that there are alternative statutory mechanisms for challenging your decision; and a brief perusal of the report (as Googled) suggests that the LGO may be part of one such mechanism. Given that the LGO investigated the limiting of bus concessions to people, does this not indicate that the LGO and perhaps your statutory complaints procedure can also be used?

As for your argument that the definition of "tourism sightseeing services" is irrelevant: I am somewhat speechless - but that is perhaps for other processes than this one examining your response to my FoI request.

Given that you responded to my FoI request on the last possible day, right up against the "long stop" as required by the Freedom of Information Act - "promptly and in any case within" 20 working days - I hope that you will be able to conduct a full review of your handling of this FoI request well within the guidelines set by the Information Commissioner.

Thank you

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

Yours faithfully,

Doug Paulley

Data Management Officer, North Yorkshire County Council

Dear Mr Paulley,

Thank you for your email requesting a review of our response to your FOI N9421.

We will respond to you in due course.

Kind regards

Paul Atkinson, for

Data Management Officer
North Yorkshire County Council
01609 533219 [email address]

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Gadawodd Doug Paulley anodiad ()

Time since Internal Review: 20wd up 29 April. 40wd up 28th May.

Data Management Officer, North Yorkshire County Council

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Paulley

I write further to your email of 30 March 2014 in which you express
dissatisfaction regarding the Council’s response to your FOI request
N9421. I have considered the points you raised and have responded below.

1.    You have not provided all the communications you have had with
organisations, such as the West

Yorkshire Combined Authority. For example, WYCA had this correspondence
with your Local Authority on

this issue :
[1]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2...

20Reply%20Mr%20D%20Paulley%2026%20March%202015.pdf

Yet you haven't released this correspondence to me. I have to wonder at
the efficacy of your search, and

what other material of which I am not aware has similarly not been
supplied to the various elements of my

request. I would appreciate it if you could please go through my request
again and ensure that all

information I requested has indeed been released to me.

 

The email to which you refer is included on page 9 of the PDF document FOI
N9421.pdf. I have reattached this document for ease.

 

2.    In one of the responses you included in the information, I see
reference to a Local Government

Ombudsman report / investigation. Yet in response to my request for
information, "Please indicate what

processes you have in place (through statutory requirement or otherwise)
to enable members of the public

to challenge such a decision." You only made reference to the Judicial
Review process. I am sure you are

aware that the Judicial Review process is always intended as a "last
resort". The mention of the Havant LGO

report suggests that there are alternative statutory mechanisms for
challenging your decision; and a brief

perusal of the report (as Googled) suggests that the LGO may be part of
one such mechanism. Given that

the LGO investigated the limiting of bus concessions to people, does this
not indicate that the LGO and

perhaps your statutory complaints procedure can also be used?

 

The Council accepts that the corporate complaints procedure and local
government ombudsman procedures could be used in relation to the way a
decision is made (but not in relation to the actual decision which was
made). I apologise on behalf of the Council for this oversight.
Information on both of these procedures is readily available at:

[2]http://www.northyorks.gov.uk/article/262...

 

[3]http://www.lgo.org.uk/

 

I hope this addresses your concerns however please do not hesitate to
contact me if you have any outstanding concerns.

 

If you remain dissatisfied you have the right to seek an independent
review from the Information Commissioner. Requests for a review by the
Information Commissioner should be made in writing directly to:

 

The Information Commissioner

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

[4][email address]

Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 (national rate)

Fax: 01625 545 510

 

Yours sincerely

 

Louise Jackson

Senior Information Governance Officer

Tel: 01609 798233

 

Access your county council services online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
at [5]www.northyorks.gov.uk.

WARNING

Any opinions or statements expressed in this e-mail are those of the
individual and not necessarily those of North Yorkshire County Council.

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and solely
for the use of the intended recipient. If you receive this in error,
please do not disclose any information to anyone, notify the sender at the
above address and then destroy all copies.

North Yorkshire County Council's computer systems and communications may
be monitored to ensure effective operation of the system and for other
lawful purposes. All GCSX traffic may be subject to recording and/or
monitoring in accordance with relevant legislation.

Although we have endeavoured to ensure that this e-mail and any
attachments are free from any virus we would advise you to take any
necessary steps to ensure that they are actually virus free.

If you receive an automatic response stating that the recipient is away
from the office and you wish to request information under either the
Freedom of Information Act, the Data Protection Act or the Environmental
Information Regulations please forward your request by e-mail to the Data
Management Team ([6][North Yorkshire County Council request email]) who will
process your request.

North Yorkshire County Council.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2...
2. http://www.northyorks.gov.uk/article/262...
3. http://www.lgo.org.uk/
4. mailto:[email address]
5. http://www.northyorks.gov.uk/
6. mailto:[North Yorkshire County Council request email]