List of funded bus services

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Merseytravel,
Please can you provide a list of both:
Bus services fully funded by yourself (with monthly average passenger numbers for each service) &
Bus services partially funded by yourself (with descriptions of which sections are funded and the reasoning and also monthly average passenger numbers for the funded sections)

Yours faithfully,

Mark Smith

Henderson, Andrew, Merseytravel

Dear Mr Smith

LFS/AH/RSN17615

Thank you for your email, which has been received by Merseytravel.

Your request is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 / Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and will be answered within twenty working days.

If you have any queries about this request do not hesitate to contact me. Please quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Kind regards,

Andy Henderson

Senior Information Management Officer | Merseytravel | Mann Island, PO Box 1976, Liverpool, L69 3HN
Office: 0151 330 1679 | Email: [email address]

Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Henderson, Andrew, Merseytravel

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Smith

LFS/AH/RSN17615

Thank you for your recent request made under the Freedom of Information Act.

Please find attached details and patronage figures for subsidised bus services, as well as a description of each of the partly-funded (‘deminimis’) routes.

Merseytravel views the details of the patronage of deminimis routes as potentially commercially sensitive, and must give consideration to Section 43 of the Act. This is because these contracts are to amend an existing commercial route operated for profit by the respective bus operator. Section 43 is a qualified, prejudice-based exemption, and is therefore subject to a public interest test. The Information Commissioner’s Office has issued guidance on Section 43, which can be viewed on their website at this link: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/gui...

The public interest argument for disclosure is that it allows a greater degree of scrutiny over how public money is spent in the delivery of Merseytravel’s work, while contributing to transparency over how decisions have been reached. It is important that public authorities allow their decisions to be scrutinised by the public to ensure that funds are managed appropriately.

The public interest factors to withhold the information relate to the prejudicial impact that the disclosure would have on the commercial interests of any person (including the public authority itself). It would not, for example, be in the public interest to disclose information about a particular commercial body if that information was not common knowledge and would be likely to be used by competitors in a particular market to gain a competitive advantage. Disclosure under the Act is viewed as to the world at large, not simply to the individual requester, and consideration must therefore be given to how it may be used by any party.

In this particular case, passengers on deminimis routes are customers purchasing commercial tickets from the bus operator. Disclosure under the Act must be viewed as to the world at large and consideration must be given to how this information could be used by anyone, including rival operators. The requested information is not public knowledge, and would allow other operators an insight into the business dealings of the service provider that they would not otherwise be afforded. Disclosure would be likely to damage the commercial interests of the bus operators by allowing their competitors an unfair advantage in the delivery of a commercial service, and would also be likely to prejudice Merseytravel’s ability to reach agreements with operators to provide deminimis arrangements going forward due to concerns that similar information may be disclosed in the future.

It is Merseytravel’s opinion that, in this instance, the balance of factors against disclosure of the information outweighs those in favour of release, and is therefore relying on Section 43(2) to withhold the requested information on the patronage of deminimis routes.

I trust that the information supplied is of interest to you.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review, which should be addressed to:
Mrs Julie Watling
Legal, Democratic Services & Procurement Manager
Merseytravel
PO Box 1976
Liverpool
L69 3HN
[email address]

If you are not content with the result of your internal review, you also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner, whose address is
The Information Commissioner’s Office,
Wycliffe House,
Water Lane,
Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF
www.ico.gov.uk

Kind regards,

Andy Henderson

Senior Information Management Officer | Merseytravel | Mann Island, PO Box 1976, Liverpool, L69 3HN
Office: 0151 330 1679 | Email: [email address]

Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

The information supplied continues to be protected by copyright. You are free to use it for your own purposes, including for private study and non-commercial research and for any other purpose authorised by an exception in current copyright law. Documents (except photographs) can also be used in the UK without requiring permission for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for example, commercial publication would require the permission of the copyright holder.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Henderson, Andrew,
Thanks you for the information and thanks for the explanation.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Smith