Dear Glasgow City Council,

Having recently visited your fine city for the first time, my GPS took me down a bus route, not once but twice resulting in fines being issued.

Having submitted an appeal advising that I had by no means done this on purpose I was essentially been advised that ignorance, gps and failure to spot the signs was no excuse. Thus I paid the fines despite feeling that this was unfair and unjust.

So having sought some legal advice, I am looking to challenge this in court with a judicial review and have been advised by my MP to submit a Freedom of Information request in regards to the statistics relating to these bus camera fines. If this has happened to me, then clearly it has happened to others visiting the city.

10 minutes on Google found well over 100 people admitting that their GPS had guided them down these streets and like myself they had not seen the signs until it was too late, yet their appeals had been denied regardless. There seems to be a lot of evidence online that visitors are failing to act on the signage present.

Another search showed that Glasgow City Council provided "a three week 'amnesty' where they would not be fined" in the case of the Nelson Mandela Place cameras.

My first request is to ask the reason why this amnesty was provided.

My second request is for bus lane contravention statistics.

Demographic 1: The number of charges, by month, issued between July 1st 2014 to July 1st 2015 against drivers resident in Glasgow for bus lane contraventions.

Demographic 2: The number of charges, by month, issued between July 1st 2014 to July 1st 2015 against drivers non resident in Glasgow for bus lane contraventions.

With the above statistics I would also request you to provide the number of successful appeals for each demographic.

We are trying to establish if the bus lane charges unduly punish drivers from outside of the city. The representing solicitor has asked me to make clear that we are looking to examine if these figures correlate. One would expect to see equal percentage increase or decrease of fines across both demographics if the signage and system is adequate.

If there is not, then the signage and systems are clearly not adequate for visitors to the city and the only reason why a drop would be seen for Glasgow residents is through learning / previous fines / word of mouth etc.

I hope this explains why these figures of a public interest and await your reply.

Yours faithfully,

Julian Young

Customer Care Centre, Glasgow City Council

New Service Request was submitted: RQST00005137768
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Just noticed a crucial spelling error. The second demographc should read 'against drivers NOT resident in Glasgow'.

Demographic 2: The number of charges, by month, issued between July
1st 2014 to July 1st 2015 against drivers not resident in Glasgow
for bus lane contraventions.

Thanks.

Customer Care Centre, Glasgow City Council

We received your email regarding: RQST00005137768
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FOI_CCT, Glasgow City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Young

 

Thank you for your email received on 10 August 2015 requesting information
under the Freedom of Information Act.

 

Please find attached your response

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Freedom of Information Team

On behalf of Corporate Services

 

Glasgow - UK Council of the Year 2015

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Dear FOI_CCT,

I tried to provide some context to the question so as to make it quite crystal clear, however it seems I have not been clear enough. Let me reword this again.

For my request for bus lane contravention statistics.

Demographic 1: The number of charges, by month, issued between July 1st 2014 to July 1st 2015 sent to addresses with postcodes from G1 through G90 for bus lane contraventions.

Demographic 2: The number of charges, by month, issued between July 1st 2014 to July 1st 2015 sent to addresses excluding postcodes from G1 through G90 for bus lane contraventions.

With the above statistics I would also request you to provide the number of successful appeals for each demographic.

Yours sincerely,

Julian Young

Dear FOI_CCT,

We would also like the name of the individual that composed the last response please.

Yours sincerely,

Julian Young

FOI_CCT, Glasgow City Council

Dear Mr Young

The Council's position is that the personal details of employees are covered by the Personal Data exemption under Section 38(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

For our review procedure refer to our response to your request.

Please see attached response to your Freedom of Information request.

Regards

FOI Team

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Dear FOI_CCT,

I'm not looking to appeal, I am clarifying, as I explained in my first request I am ...

"trying to establish if the bus lane charges unduly punish drivers from outside of the city"

By stating that the Glasgow Council do not store information on "residence" it's clear Glasgow City council are deliberately attempting to mis-understand the question in an attempt to avoid providing the information, I thought it was fairly clear that I was implying that the address you send the charge to, i.e. the resident of the household the charge letter is sent to.

So I have now clarified this with my follow up reply explaining in simple terms how you can do this using the Postcode.

Please provide the statistics as requested.

Yours sincerely,

Julian Young

FOI_CCT, Glasgow City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Young,

We refer to your e-mails of 30 August (copied below) and 1 September (from which this response is forwarded) , as follows:

"I tried to provide some context to the question so as to make it quite crystal clear, however it seems I have not been clear enough. Let me reword this again.

For my request for bus lane contravention statistics.

Demographic 1: The number of charges, by month, issued between July 1st 2014 to July 1st 2015 sent to addresses with postcodes from G1 through G90 for bus lane contraventions.

Demographic 2: The number of charges, by month, issued between July 1st 2014 to July 1st 2015 sent to addresses excluding postcodes from G1 through G90 for bus lane contraventions.

With the above statistics I would also request you to provide the number of successful appeals for each demographic."

Whilst we can ask Glasgow Parking to conduct a search of their records for Penalty Charge Notices issued to postcodes within G1 - G90 and outwith G1 - G90, please be advised that this breakdown will not identify "drivers from outside of the city". Postcodes beginning with 'G' extend far beyond the Glasgow boundary.

For your assistance, we have obtained a map showing the postcodes relating specifically to the City of Glasgow (copy attached).

Can you please clarify whether you wish us to progress your request as submitted, or if you wish to revise your request, based on postcodes within the city of Glasgow?

As a further caveat, we are advised that the information which Glasgow Parking can provide will be based on the addresses of the registered keeper of a vehicle - this could be business premises, car rental premises etc, so information is not always recorded for the home address of the driver of the vehicle at the time of an infringement.

Please send your reply to '[email address]', quoting our reference FOI 5137768.

We await your further advices.

Kind regards,

Freedom of Information Team
On behalf of Land and Environmental Services

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Dear FOI_CCT,

Many thanks for your assistance with this.

I can see your point, however most G postcode out of towners will probably be more familiar with Glasgow than the rest of the country.

For the sake of argument though, let's include postcodes G82, G83, G84 and G63 in demographic 2 as they are very far reaching indeed.

Basing the address on the registered keeper of the vehicle is ideal. Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Julian Young

FOI_CCT, Glasgow City Council

Dear Mr Young,

Thanks for your response.

We will progress your request as quickly as possible on the basis you have outlined.

Kind regards,

Freedom of Information Team
On behalf of Land and Environmental Services

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FOI_CCT, Glasgow City Council

Dear Mr Young,

We refer to your e-mail below, in which you clarify your request for information as follows:

Demographic 1: G1 - G62 inclusive + G64 - G81 inclusive + G85 - G90 inclusive

Demographic 2: All other addresses, including G82, G83, G84 and G63

Following a sample search of their records, Glasgow Parking have provided the following response:

Whilst postcodes are included within the addresses of vehicle keepers contained within the Parking Notice Processing System, postcodes are not captured separately for record purposes within the database. In other words, the system does not record information based on vehicle keeper address details.

In order to compile the information you have requested, records would require to be searched per bus lane, per month, per individual postcode (the system does not allow a combined search for all postcodes within a grouping, say G1 - G62). The Parking Notice Processing System holds data for 2 years.

For example, for "Demographic 1":
Per bus lane = 16 camera enforced bus lanes in Glasgow; per month = 24 months; per post code = 86 searches as the system does not allow for a start, finish.

16 bus lanes x 24 months = 384 x 86 postcodes = 33,024 searches. Allowing even 1 minute per search, this would equate to 550 hours of work.

On this basis, the Council has calculated that the cost of providing information for the first part of your request would be £8,250. This figure has been calculated in accordance with the Fees Regulations made under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. This includes the costs which would be incurred in locating, retrieving and collating the information, and staff time. The staff time charged reflects the true pay scale of the member(s) of staff who would be involved capped at a ceiling of £15 per hour per staff member.

This process would require to be repeated in order to provide responses to your subsequent question.

For that reason, whilst the Council has the option of complying with requests where the costs exceed £600, on this occasion we have decided not to, due to the resources (both financial and human) which voluntary compliance would divert from our core business.

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information Team
On behalf of Land and Environmental Services

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Dear FOI_CCT,

Many thanks for your reply.

As a software engineer and database specialist, what you are telling me seems rather exaggerated. One has not needed to do individual searches a minute on individual data elements since the advent of computing, an average PC can perform 50 trillion instructions per second.

In this instance you would create databases queries based on two data sources. As I can see from previous FOI queries regarding bus lane statistics, the data is clearly accessible in a database format and you do not require individual searches. I trust you may have been ill advised in this matter since once a single query has been created that query can then be applied for each bus lane camera.

If you still insist that this is a reasonable cost then please, to clarify this cost can you please ask your technical team to provide us with the Database type and the database(s) schema used for storing both the bus lane information and any third party data source (i.e. postcodes) required. No need for any data in this instance.

If possible can you also provide any technical information that has been supplied to you by your technical team to date in regards to making these enquiries, of course redacting the names.

I am sure you are in agreement that this information is absolutely vital to public interest and I fear you have been ill advised of the costs and time associated in making such enquiries.

Failing the above I will be requesting an internal review as well as publicly petitioning to the Scottish public (in particular Glaswegians) for this information to be released. And if necessary personally financing for all of the information to be mined (and of course vigorously examining the methods used) as well as raising all of the above to the attention of the media to support this cause.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

Julian Young

FOI_CCT, Glasgow City Council

1 Attachment

 

 

Please see attached response to your Freedom of Information request.

 

Regards

 

FOI Team

On Behalf of Land and Environmental Services

 

 

 

Glasgow - UK Council of the Year 2015

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Dear FOI_CCT,

Can you please provide the database schema for the information stored. Can you also advise which department provided the quotation of the costs and time required.

Yours sincerely,

Julian Young

Dear FOI_CCT,

A wee reminder that a reply is now overdue from yourselves. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Julian Young

FOI_CCTResponse, Glasgow City Council

 

Dear Mr Young

 

 

Glasgow City Council do not own the database, therefore is not in a
position to provide the information requested.  The database is commercial
property that belongs to I.C.I.S. Software Ltd. therefore in accordance
with Section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002  the
information you are requesting for is not held by the Council.

 

Glasgow City Council, Customer & Business Services Parking provided the
quotation.

 

For your right to review refer to our original response.

 

Regards

 

 

FOI Team

On Behalf of Land and Environmental Services

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dear FOI_CCTResponse,

Can you please advise whether this software in question allows you to run SQL queries on the data?

Yours sincerely,

Julian Young

FOI_CCT, Glasgow City Council

Dear Mr Young.

In response to your question below, SQL is not a term that the users of the software you refer to are familiar with therefore Glasgow City Council does not hold the information which you have requested in accordance Section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act.

Regards

FOI Team

On Behalf of Land and Environmental Services

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Dear FOI_CCT,

That explains a lot, apologies, I had thought that you had a flexible software and database that you would both be able to access and able to run reports on but it is clear that this is a huge restriction on your ability to analyse the statistics. That is making more sense. OK would it therefore be possible to provide the originally requested information for a single city centre bus lane camera? Specifically the Nelson Mandela Place camera.

Yours sincerely,

Julian Young

FOI_CCT, Glasgow City Council

Dear Mr Young,

For clarity state exactly the information you are seeking with a time frame regarding the Nelson Mandela Place camera.


FOI Team
On Behalf of Land and Environmental Services

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Dear FOI_CCT,

The year to date would be ideal.

Many thanks,

Julian

FOI_CCT, Glasgow City Council

Dear Julian,

Year to date for what?

Regards

FOI Team
On Behalf of Land and Environmental Services

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Dear FOI_CCT,

As per your suggestion dated 2nd of October 2015....

Demographic 1: The number of charges, by month, issued between July 1st 2014 to July 1st 2015 sent to addresses with postcodes from G1 - G62 inclusive + G64 - G81 inclusive + G85 - G90 inclusive

Demographic 2: The number of charges, by month, issued between July 1st 2014 to July 1st 2015 sent to any other addresses not included in the demographic above.

Yours sincerely,

Julian Young

FOI_CCT, Glasgow City Council

1 Attachment

 

 

Please see attached response to your Freedom of Information request.

 

Regards

 

FOI Team

On Behalf of Land and Environmental Services

 

 

 

Glasgow - UK Council of the Year 2015

show quoted sections

 

Dear FOI_CCT,

Many thanks for your response.

As per your reply on 11th September 2015 whereby you clarified the issue of residence I would remind you that you have already previously written to me to advise....

"As a further caveat, we are advised that the information which Glasgow Parking can provide will be based on the addresses of the registered keeper of a vehicle - this could be business premises, car rental premises etc, so information is not always recorded for the home address of the driver of the vehicle at the time of an infringement"

To which I have previously advised that this would be OK.

Yours sincerely,

Julian Young

FOI_CCT, Glasgow City Council

Dear Mr Young,

Refer to our response of 2nd October 2015.

Regards

FOI Team
On Behalf of Land and Environmental Services

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Dear FOI_CCT,

That response relates to ALL bus lane cameras.

Yours sincerely,

Julian Young

Dear FOI_CCT,

Thank you for your response indicating I should look at your response from 2nd of October 2015. How is that relevant to my new question? Are you stating that you will not consider a reduced scope? Are you stating that the reduced scope is of the same cost? Apologies but I don't understand your answer.

Yours sincerely,

Julian Young

FOI_CCT, Glasgow City Council

Dear Mr Young,

We don’t understand your request. If you have a specific question then submit it as per Part 1 (3) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. We are entitled to expect clarity of requests as per Section 8 (1) and (2) (c) of the Act.

Regards

FOI Team
On Behalf of Land and Environmental Services

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Dear Glasgow City Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Glasgow City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Bus Lane Fine Statistics'.

I failed to observe signs for a bus lane when visiting Glasgow and got myself caught in a one way bus lane system, twice. Having appealed to the council against the fines I was advised that the signage was adequate. and therefore I must have seen them. In order to properly ascertain that the signage is adequate both for visitors to Glasgow and residents of Glasgow I have asked for some important and relevant statistics regarding the demographic of bus lane charges.

Despite this being both pertinent to my appeal as well as in the public's interest I have been advised that the costs would be too much.

I have since asked on a number of occasions now if the quote could be reduced by only retrieving statistics for a single camera however it seems that due to either a communication breakdown or a lack of ability for the FOI team to review email history that I am going in circles with this request.

I would ask that the handling of this request, the emails and the decision be reviewed.

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

Yours faithfully,

Julian Young

Customer Care Centre, Glasgow City Council

New Service Request was submitted: RQST00005579117
You can simply reply to this Email, and your reply
will automatically be associated with this Service Request

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FOI Reviews, Glasgow City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Young

I refer to your request for a formal review of the decision made in
connection with your Freedom of Information Request and attach herewith
acknowledgement letter for your information.

Regards

 

FOI Review Team

Glasgow City Council

[1]www.glasgow.gov.uk

 

Glasgow - UK Council of the Year 2015

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References

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FOI Reviews, Glasgow City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Young

 

On behalf of Carole Forrest, Director of Governance and Solicitor to the
Council, please find attached Glasgow City Council's response to your
request for review of your information request.

 

Regards

 

FOI Review Team

Glasgow City Council

[1]www.glasgow.gov.uk

 

Glasgow - UK Council of the Year 2015

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Raemond Bradford left an annotation ()

Hi Julian

Thank you for submitting this request and obtaining that useful data. You may be interested in a similar request submitted to Plymouth City Council - it showed that 3/4 of vehicles caught were registered outside of Plymouth.
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/b...

In addition, a Plymouth PCN fine dataset shows a (50%) spike in fines during the holiday month of August.

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