District Line Gradient Profile

Alan Hingston made this Freedom of Information request to Transport for London

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was refused by Transport for London.

Dear Transport for London,

Please can you provide a track gradient profile (vertical alignment with transitions, with 1 in *** information and position) for the District line, specifically the section between Wimbledon to Earls court.

Yours faithfully,

Alan Hingston

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Hingston

 

TfL Ref: FOI-0291-1920

 

Thank you for your email received by Transport for London (TfL) on 26
April 2019.

 

Your request will be processed in accordance with the requirements of the
Freedom of Information Act and TfL’s information access policy. 

 

A response will be sent to you by 28 May 2019.

 

We publish a substantial range of information on our website on subjects
including operational performance, contracts, expenditure, journey data,
governance and our financial performance. This includes data which is
frequently asked for in FOI requests or other public queries. Please check
[1]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/transpar... to see if this helps you.

 

We will publish anonymised versions of requests and responses on the
[2]www.tfl.gov.uk website. We will not publish your name and we will send
a copy of the response to you before it is published on our website.

 

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss this matter further, please
do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Eva Hextall

FOI Case Officer

 

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Hingston

 

TfL Ref: FOI-0291-1920

 

Thank you for your email received by Transport for London (TfL) on 26
April 2019.

 

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of
the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. I can
confirm that we hold the information you require. You asked:

 

Please can you provide a track gradient profile (vertical alignment with
transitions, with 1 in *** information and position) for the District
line, specifically the section between Wimbledon to Earls court.

 

In accordance with the FOI Act we are not obliged to supply track
gradients profiles as it is subject to statutory exemptions to the right
of access to information, under Section 38(1)(b) and Section 24 of the
Act.

 

In this instance the exemption has been applied as disclosure of the
information requested would be likely to adversely affect the safety and
security of TfL employees and members of the general public as well as
national security.

Disclosure of this information to you has to be regarded as a disclosure
to ‘the public at large’. This information could potentially be obtained
and utilised by individuals who may wish to use this technical information
to cause disruption or harm to the London Underground network.

Disclosure of information could compromise security and safety
preparedness on London Underground’s network and would place members of
the public and TfL staff at risk by highlighting areas on the network
which could be susceptible to being targeted. It is our concern that the
release of details about the operating environment could be combined with
other information already in the public domain to help plan an attack.

Whilst we make no suggestion that you would use the information for
anything other than your own personal interest and the use you outlined in
your request, the London Underground system is an attractive terrorist
target for several reasons including its importance to London and the
knock on effect to the nation’s economy if it is disrupted, the publicity
gained from attacking an iconic transport system and the attractiveness of
the system for a mass casualty attack due to its open, mass transport
nature. It is also important to the functioning of London and its economy.

The use of these exemptions is subject to an assessment of the public
interest in relation to the disclosure of the information concerned. We
recognise the need for openness and transparency by public authorities,
but in this instance the public interest in applying the exemption, in
order to minimise risks to operational resilience, safe operation of the
London Underground network, the welfare of staff and members of the
general public, outweighs the public interest in disclosure.

In applying this exemption we have taken into account the tribunal
decision referred to in the following link:
[1]http://informationrights.decisions.tribu...

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable
to access it for some reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to
appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would
like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Eva Hextall

FOI Case Officer

 

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear Eva,

Thank you for your reply on my FOI request, however, reading the attached document you linked in your reply it talks about speeds. I understand the reasons as to why you wouldn't want these getting out for the general public but I was asking for the line gradients (the height of the rails and the steepness they rise/fall).

A similar request was granted back in 2015 for the Metropolitan line to which I have included the link below.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/m...

Yours sincerely,

Alan Hingston

FOI, Transport for London

Thank you for your request for an internal review which was received on 10 May 2019.

You have stated that you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

The review will be conducted by an internal review panel in accordance with TfL’s Internal Review Procedure, which is available via the following URL:

http://content.tfl.gov.uk/internal-revie...

Every effort will be made to provide you with a response by 7 June 2019. However, if the review will not be completed by this date, we will contact you and notify you of the revised response date as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

Emma Flint
Principal Information Access Advisor
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel

show quoted sections

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Hingston

 

I am contacting you with regards to your request for an internal review
concerning the response provided to FOI-0291-1920. This review has been
carried by an independent panel following your email of 10 May 2019
regarding the application of section 38(1)(b) and s24 to withhold the
information you have requested. The panel have reviewed the information
held and liaised with the appropriate subject expects within TfL regarding
disclosure concerns.

 

Section 38(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) provides an
exemption from disclosing the requested data if such disclosure would
endanger any individual. In order to engage this exemption a public
authority must demonstrate that there is a causal link between the
endangerment and disclosure of the information. A public authority must
also show that disclosure would or would be likely to have a detrimental
effect on the physical or mental health of any individual, or the safety
of any individual. The effect must be more than trivial or insignificant.

The exemption does not necessarily deal with what are commonly thought of
as health and safety matters and focuses on two particular areas where
disclosure of information would or would be likely to:

 

•           endanger the physical or mental health of any individual, or

•           endanger the safety of any individual.

 

In particular the focus of section 38 is on information whose disclosure
might pose a risk and this may include sites which could be targets of
sabotage, risking the physical safety of staff or information whose
disclosure might have an adverse effect on public health. The safety and
security of the public who travel on and the employees who work on our
network is something we take very seriously. We operate many different
layers of security and in 2016 we had a security review of the disclosure
of information surrounding our operating network into the public domain.
As outlined in our response to FOI-0291-1920 the disclosure of information
which could create a higher risk to drivers, staff and public safety, is
considered a very high risk indeed.

 

To reiterate we make no suggestion that you would use this information for
anything other than your own interests, however as advised in our response
to FOI-0291-1920 a disclosure under FOI is always regarded as a
‘disclosure to the public at large’. Individuals with a malicious intent
could use the information being sought to cause harm to individuals or
disruption to our network.

 

As a qualified exemption section 38 is subject to a public interest test.
This means that even if the information requested is exempt we as a public
authority must decide whether the public interest in maintaining the
applied exemption is greater than the wider public interest in knowing the
information. Again, we are not suggesting in any way that you would misuse
this information and we apologise if the non disclosure of “track gradient
profile (vertical alignment with transitions, with 1 in *** information
and position) for the District line, specifically the section between
Wimbledon to Earls court.” that you have requested has caused any
inconvenience. However in this instance the panel agree that whilst we
strive to be a transparent authority in supporting individuals who have a
keen interest in London transport, the interests of a select few
individuals or transport enthusiast groups is not outweighed by the
greater interest in maintaining the safety of our network and minimising
the risk of harm to individuals.

 

In light of the current treat levels in the UK being classed as severe by
MI5, the public interest in protecting individuals and infrastructure is
high and our upmost priority. Apart from individual and private interests
there is no wider public interest in the disclosure of this information.
Therefore the panel have concluded that the application of section
38(1)(b) is appropriately engaged.

 

Further examples of the application of section 38(1)(b) can be viewed in
the following published Information Commissioners decision notice -
[1]https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

 

Section 24 exempts information from the right of access if the exemption
is required for the purpose of safeguarding national security. The panel
consider that disclosure of the requested information would allow
potential attackers to maximise the harm from an attack, by using accurate
information of our tracks and train network. This in turn could assist in
the planning of an attack to inflict the most harm. In addition,
disclosure of the information requested in FOI-0291-1920 into the public
domain combined with already publically available information, could
create a ‘mosaic’ affect that could be used to draw conclusions that could
be used to plan future attacks. Any documents that would outline in detail
our train network to a possible attacker would become more attractive, and
therefore more likely to be acted upon, as they would have a greater
expectation of success in causing maximum harm and disruption.

 

Each day around 25 million journeys are made across TfL’s network and a
planned attack directed at the running of the network may cause harm to
national security by disrupting the operation of London’s transport
network, with consequent economic loss. The panel therefore consider that
disclosure of information that would assist a third party to mount an
attack would be exempt under Section 24.

 

Section 24 is subject to a public interest test and the panel recognises
that there is a limited public interest amongst enthusiasts and specialist
groups in understanding how our network operates. However, the panel
consider that there is a stronger public interest in protecting national
security, which would be undermined by the disclosure of the requested
information

 

I hope the above provides satisfactory clarification, however if you are
dissatisfied with the internal review actions to date you can refer the
matter to the independent authority responsible for enforcing the Freedom
of Information Act, at the following address:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

 

A complaint form is also available on the ICO’s website (www.ico.org.uk).

 

Yours sincerely

 

Emma Flint

Principal Information Access Adviser

FOI Case Management Team

Transport for London

[TfL request email]

 

 

show quoted sections

 

References

Visible links
1. https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...
2. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tfl/