Discussions with British Parking Association

R Bostock made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Transport

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

The request was partially successful.

Dear Department for Transport,

The British Parking Association stated on their website on December 5th last year that they were in talks with the Department of Communities and Local Government regarding parking enforcement on railway land. The webpage can be found here:
http://www.britishparking.co.uk/press-re...

However, I understand that matters regarding the Railway Byelaws still fall within the remit of the Department for Transport. Therefore the talks referred must in fact have been with yourselves rather than the DCLG.

Please would you provide copies of all correspondence, as well as minutes of all meetings, in which this issue was discussed with the BPA.

Many thanks.

Yours faithfully,

R Bostock

Department for Transport

Dear R Bostock,

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request for information which
has been allocated reference number P0014806.

A response will be issued to you in due course.

Regards,

Ivan Pocock
Department for Transport
FOI Advice Team
Information & Security Division
Zone D/04
Ashdown House
Sedlescombe Road North
St Leonards on Sea
East Sussex
TN37 7GA

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Rail-franchise-correspondence, Department for Transport

2 Attachments

Dear R Bostock,

 

Please find attached a response to your Freedom of Information Act
request, reference number F0014806.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

[1]cid:image001.png@01D2DDDD.693CD130          Mr Craig Welsh 
Correspondence Manager,
Passenger Services 

4/14, Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road,
London, SW1P 4DR  
[2]Follow us on twitter
@transportgovuk 

 

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Rail-franchise-correspondence, Department for Transport

2 Attachments

Dear R Bostock,

 

Please find attached a response to your Freedom of Information request.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

[1][IMG]          Mr Michael Evans 
Correspondence Manager, Briefing & Public Affairs,
Passenger Services 

4/15, Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 4DR
[2]Follow us on twitter @transportgovuk 

 

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Dear Department for Transport,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Transport's handling of my FOI request 'Discussions with British Parking Association'.

My request was given a blanket refusal on the grounds a) the information was expressly given to the department in confidence; b) the information relates to the formulation of government policy.

As for (a): clearly not all the information requested would have been given to the department in confidence. The discussions will have been two-way, meaning some of the information requested will have originated from the Department. Furthermore, much of the "confidential” communication will have been centred around issues raised by members of the public, a large proportion of which has already been aired on internet forums and other media. Disclosure of this information could not, therefore, amount to an actionable breach of confidence. A blanket refusal is therefore not justified.

As for (b): Talks between the DfT, DVLA and BPA have been taking place behind closed doors since at least 2015. We are now told these talks relate to the formulation of government policy. Proper transparency is now crucial because public confidence in the process has been critically damaged by the following factors:-

i) Members of the public have been reporting problems with Byelaws enforcement for over 3 years. They have consistently been given the brush-off, and in some cases actually lied to (examples available upon request). This stonewalling has inevitably fed the suspicion that something is being hidden – even that there is some sort of collusion or cover-up going on behind the scenes. Only by demonstrating that nothing is being hidden will confidence be restored and the public reassured that the issues they have raised are being treated seriously.

ii) The DfT has shown itself to be easily bamboozled by TOCs (examples available). It was only because of considerable persistence by members of the public that TOCs' false representations and legal misinterpretations came to be noticed. On past performance the public cannot be confident that the DfT is not being bamboozled again.

iii) The Government has been in talks with the Rail Delivery Group, which represents TOCs, and the British Parking Association, which is the trade organisation for the private parking companies who manage station car parks on behalf of TOCs. The other side of the equation – the consumer – has been excluded. This is one-sided. It looks very much as though the government is biassed in favour of the TOCs. Additionally, in your Public Interest Test you state:
"release of information contained in e-mails between the DfT and BPA/RDG concerning on-going
policy work could have a bearing on the stakeholders providing full and frank opinions on policy
proposals in future."
This tells us that the DfT not only reveals its on-going policy development to these stakeholders but also actively seeks their opinions; whereas consumers are kept in the dark about any policy proposals and are therefore denied any opportunity to comment. Again, it looks very much as though the DfT is not interested in consumers' views but intends instead to come up with a fait accompli which may well be biassed in favour of the TOCs.

For these reasons the DfT's blanket refusal to disclose any information about these discussions is so strongly contrary to the public interest that it far outweighs the factors against disclosure.

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,

R Bostock

Dear Rail-franchise-correspondence,

I have not received an acknowledgment to my request for an internal review. Please would you confirm you are dealing it.

Yours sincerely,

R Bostock

Rail-franchise-correspondence, Department for Transport

Dear R Bostock,

Thank you for your email regarding your request for an Internal Review of your Freedom of Information Request F0014806 of 5 May 2017.

I can confirm that an Internal Review is currently in progress and we aim to respond to you by 8 August (20 working days).

Kind regards

Michael Cook

Mr Michael Cook | Correspondence Manager, Briefing & Public Affairs, Passenger Services, Department for Transport
4/12 | |

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Rail-franchise-correspondence, Department for Transport

1 Attachment

Dear R Bostock,

 

It is taking us longer than anticipated to issue a full response to your
Internal Review request: F0014806 and I apologise for the delay. We intend
to respond to you in full within the next 10 working days. If we are
unable to do so within this timeframe, we will keep you informed.

 

Kind regards,

 

[1][IMG]          Mr Michael Evans 
Correspondence Manager, Briefing & Public Affairs,
Passenger Services 

4/15, Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 4DR
[2]Follow us on twitter @transportgovuk 

 

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Dear Rail-franchise-correspondence,

Thank you for letting me know.

Yours sincerely,

R Bostock

Rail-franchise-correspondence, Department for Transport

Dear R Bostock,

I am writing to provide you with an update on your Internal Review request.

We have yet to complete our review, and we will need to extend our response time, in order to be as thorough as possible. We intend to issue a full response to you as soon as possible, and by no later than 5 September 2017. I am sorry for the further delay.

Kind regards,

Mr Michael Evans
Correspondence Manager, Briefing & Public Affairs, Passenger Services

Department for Transport
4/15, Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road,
London, SW1P 4DR
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Rail-franchise-correspondence,

Thank you for letting me know.

Yours sincerely,

R Bostock

Rail-franchise-correspondence, Department for Transport

2 Attachments

Dear R Bostock,

 

Please find attached a response to your Internal Review request.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

[1][IMG]          Mr Michael Evans 
Correspondence Manager, Briefing & Public Affairs,
Passenger Services 

4/15, Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 4DR
[2]Follow us on twitter @transportgovuk