Dear Road Safety Trust,

An undated announcement on your website stated:[1]

"Following consultation with the sector, the theme chosen for this year is 'Innovative traffic calming and provision for vulnerable road users'... Applications must be received by Friday 21 June [2019]."

A further undated notice on the Transport Britain website stated that:[2]

"Due to close on 21 June 2019, the 'Innovative Traffic Calming and Provision for Vulnerable Road Users' grant programme is aiming to generate new ideas and knowledge... Applicants must outline the outcomes and impact for road safety in their submissions, how outcomes are calculated and what they will achieve... Recipients of the grant programme will find out in November."

These were followed by a subsequent undated statement on your website, which said:[3]

"The Road Safety Trust, a charity dedicated to making the UK's roads the safest in the world, is awarding £837,900 to a total of six organisations across the UK in February 2020 to help improve road safety... Sally Lines, Chief Executive of Road Safety Trust said: "The standard of applications was really high in 2019 with over 20 applications received under the theme 'Innovative traffic calming and provision for vulnerable road users'."

There are no further details of these grants or what their outcomes are intended to be, either on the Road Safety Trust's website, or among the out-of-date information on the 360Giving downloadable data.[4]

Accordingly, under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, please may I have:

(1) The lead organization details, project summary, project objectives, and requested amount for each of the 20 applications for the 'Innovative traffic calming and provision for vulnerable road users' programme, which closed on 21 June 2019.

(2) The full Section one online form information detailed in the "How to apply" page of your website[5] for each of the six organizations who received an award.

(3) The amount awarded to each of those six organizations.

(4) The remaining contents of the successful six applications, particularly the information in Section two (no more than four sides of A4 plus appendices) of "Knowledge of the relevant literature or practice".

The reason I am making this request are concerns over the potential for programmes of research to be conducted that delay the implementation of effective road safety measures for which there is already sufficient evidence. This would seem to wholly undermine the remit of the Road Safety Trust.

Please provide the information in each part of this request as it becomes available. As almost all the organizations concerned are, themselves, public bodies and subject to the Freedom of Information Act, I anticipate very little difficulty in releasing this information.

[1] "Priority funding themes for 2019 and 2020 announced" -- https://www.roadsafetytrust.org.uk/news/...

[2] "Road safety trust grant programme protects vulnerable road users" -- https://www.transport-britain.co.uk/road...

[3] "University of West England set to improve safety at side road junctions" -- https://www.roadsafetytrust.org.uk/news/...

[4] https://www.roadsafetytrust.org.uk/360gi... and http://data.threesixtygiving.org/

[5] "How to apply for the 2020 theme" -- https://www.roadsafetytrust.org.uk/how-t...

Yours faithfully,

Julian Todd

info, The Road Safety Trust

1 Attachment

To: Julian Todd

 

Ref No: RSTFOI11052020

 

Tuesday 12th May 2020

Dear Mr Todd,

 

Thank you for your email of Friday 8th May bank holiday requesting the
following information:

 

(1) The lead organization details, project summary, project objectives,
and requested amount for each of the 20 applications for the 'Innovative
traffic calming and provision for vulnerable road users' programme, which
closed on 21 June 2019.

 

(2) The full Section one online form information detailed in the "How to
apply" page of your website[5] for each of the six organizations who
received an award.

 

(3) The amount awarded to each of those six organizations.

 

(4) The remaining contents of the successful six applications,
particularly the information in Section two (no more than four sides of A4
plus appendices) of "Knowledge of the relevant literature or practice". 

We are treating your correspondence as a request for information under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000.  You should expect to receive a further
reply from the Trust within 20 working days from the day when your request
was originally received, which was the next working day Monday 11th May
2020.

 

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

 

Yours sincerely,

Sally Lines OBE MSc

Chief Executive

 

Registered charity number: 1156300

Company number: 8837451

Twitter   https://twitter.com/RoadSafetyTruUK

Website: www.roadsafetytrust.org.uk

Registered Office: Critchleys LLP, Beaver House, 23-38 Hythe Bridge
Street, Oxford OX1 2EP

 

 

show quoted sections

Sally Lines, The Road Safety Trust

1 Attachment

To: Julian Todd

 

Ref No: RSTFOI11052020

 

Thursday 4^th June 2020

 

 

Dear Mr Todd,

 

Further to our email of 12^th May 2020 regarding your FOI request, this is
to let you know that we are considering an exemption which is qualified
for part(s) of the requested information.

We will be in touch again within 20 working days of next Monday, 8^th June
2020.

 

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

 

Yours sincerely,

Sally Lines OBE MSc

Chief Executive

 

 

Sally Lines OBE MSc

Chief Executive

 

 

Registered charity number: 1156300

Company number: 8837451

Twitter   [1]https://twitter.com/RoadSafetyTruUK

Website: [2]www.roadsafetytrust.org.uk

Registered Office: Critchleys LLP, Beaver House, 23-38 Hythe Bridge
Street, Oxford OX1 2EP

 

References

Visible links
1. https://twitter.com/RoadSafetyTruUK
2. http://www.roadsafetytrust.org.uk/

Dear Sally Lines,

I have just had a moment to look at your reply of 4 June 2020 to my FOI request made on 8 May 2020 where you stated: "We will be in touch again within 20 working days of next Monday, 8th June 2020."

Under Section 10 of the Act, "a public authority must comply with section 1(1) promptly and in any event not later than the twentieth working day following the date of receipt". In this case the day was 8 June 2020.

As you can see, there is no additional time allowed for applying exemptions, and I have no idea where someone could have obtained this notion.

Can you please send me any of the easy-to-disclose requested material you have processed so far, and deal with the harder stuff as soon as you can?

Yours sincerely,

Julian Todd

Sally Lines, The Road Safety Trust

Dear Mr Todd

Thank you for your email. Under s10(3) of FOIA, a public authority which is considering the application of a qualified exemption (i.e. one which is subject to the public interest test) is entitled to an extension of time which is reasonable in all the circumstances to consider the public interest test.

The ICO's guidance on this point says that whilst FOIA does not define what is "reasonable", their view is that an additional 20 working days (so 40 working days in total) should normally be sufficient.

I am sorry if my email was not clear - as we are considering the application of certain qualified exemptions to the information you have requested, we are availing of the additional time permitted for consideration of the public interest test pursuant to s10(3) of FOIA.

We will of course be in touch as soon as we have completed the processing of your request.

Kind regards

Sally Lines OBE MSc
Chief Executive
[mobile number]

Registered charity number: 1156300
Company number: 8837451
Twitter   https://twitter.com/RoadSafetyTruUK
Website: www.roadsafetytrust.org.uk
Registered Office: Critchleys LLP, Beaver House, 23-38 Hythe Bridge Street, Oxford OX1 2EP

show quoted sections

Dear Sally Lines,

I am not sure which version of the FOIA we're looking at here, but my version of Section 10(3) (Time for compliance with request) says:

"""
[T]he public authority need not comply with section 1(1)(a) or (b) until such time as is reasonable in the circumstances; but this subsection does not affect the time by which any notice under section 17(1) (Refusal of request) must be given.
"""

Clearly I have not received a section 17(1) (Refusal of request) within the time limit.

The time limit at which a response is due is "promptly", ie close as possible to day zero as possible, although you may reasonably take up to 20 days in the circumstances to handle all the exemptions etc. Your mistake seems to have been to take the limit of day 20 as the starting point, and then put another 20 days on top of that, by counting the same 20 day thing twice.

I am very happy to be flexible in terms of my request if you are open about the challenges in running your office in these difficult times, if it results in some accountability of what these grants are being used for, but I think I've got a reasonably good grasp of this law.

Yours sincerely,

Julian Todd

Sally Lines, The Road Safety Trust

Dear Mr Todd,
Thank you for your email and comments, which come as we are in the final stages of compiling a substantive response to your original FOI request received 11th May and which we have been working on since. Unfortunately it is taking some time for our small team of just 5 people and 2.75 FTE staff in the Trust to process your request at this otherwise busy time of servicing our 27 ongoing projects through Covid-19 delays and disruption, so a flexible approach is appreciated, thank you.
In the meantime, the information on 360Giving has been updated and dates have been added to our news releases on the website so thank you for pointing those omissions out to us.
I hope to be in touch again in response to your request by the end of next week.
With Kind Regards

Sally Lines OBE MSc
Chief Executive

Registered charity number: 1156300
Company number: 8837451
Twitter   https://twitter.com/RoadSafetyTruUK
Website: www.roadsafetytrust.org.uk
Registered Office: Critchleys LLP, Beaver House, 23-38 Hythe Bridge Street, Oxford OX1 2EP

show quoted sections

Sally Lines, The Road Safety Trust

4 Attachments

Dear Mr Todd,

Please find attached our response to your FOI request dated 8^th May 2020.

With Kind Regards

 

Sally Lines OBE MSc

Chief Executive

 

 

Registered charity number: 1156300

Company number: 8837451

Twitter   [1]https://twitter.com/RoadSafetyTruUK

Website: [2]www.roadsafetytrust.org.uk

Registered Office: Critchleys LLP, Beaver House, 23-38 Hythe Bridge
Street, Oxford OX1 2EP

 

References

Visible links
1. https://twitter.com/RoadSafetyTruUK
2. http://www.roadsafetytrust.org.uk/

Dear The Road Safety Trust,

Thank you for your reply on 7 July to the FOI request I made on 8 May 2020.

I am writing to request an internal review concerning the decision to exempt Part 4, the literature review of the six successful applicants under Sections 41 and 43 of the Act.

Quite clearly the actual information within the literature review is not confidential, since it is merely an account of information (literature) in the public domain. It is therefore difficult to see how such a small quantity of it (no more than four sides of A4 plus appendices) could constitute itself into confidential information whose release would be an actionable breach of confidence.

Similarly, there is no logic that I can see that means that this literature review relates to a commercial interest after the grant has been decided, especially as you expect that it will be included in a final report of the project.

For sure, before the grant is decided the contents of an application could prejudice commercial interests if published and seen by another competitor applicant. But now they have been read, judged and funded, there can be no commercial harm if they are published so that the wider public can make up their own mind about their innovativeness. I would point out that the applicants knew that they were applying to a body that was subject to FOIA. Indeed, half of the winners are themselves public bodies who are similarly subject to the FOIA and have no reason to expect that this information should be kept confidential.

Please pass this complaint on to the person who is in charge of internal reviews.

Yours faithfully,

Julian Todd

Dear Sally Lines,

I sent my request for an internal review to my FOI request for the literature reviews of the successful applicants three weeks ago on 17 July. Do you have an estimate for when I am due a response?

Yours sincerely,

Julian Todd

RST Info, The Road Safety Trust

8 Attachments

Dear Mr Todd

 

Please see letter and information attached.

 

Regards

The Road Safety Trust

 

Sign up for our [1]eBulletin

Follow us on  [2]Twitter

Visit our [3]Website

 

Registered office: Colwyn Chambers, York Street, Manchester, M2 3BA

Registered charity number: 1156300    Company number: 08837451

 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.roadsafetytrust.org.uk/subsc...
2. https://twitter.com/RoadSafetyTruUK
3. http://www.roadsafetytrust.org.uk/

Dear Mr Sutherland,

Thank you for your review about the of my FOI request regarding the literature reviews of the application forms. I can see why the LCC application is somewhat embarrassing. I would point out that it's not actually possible to tell if a proposal is very novel without conducting a literature review. The odds are that whatever idea this is, it was already tried out in somewhere like Oslo in 1976 and reported in detail in the Journal of Traffic Engineering. Never has it been easier to look these things up. But as Professor Westheimer once said: "A month in the laboratory can often save an hour in the library."

Yours sincerely,

Julian Todd