Old Bus WTTs

Tom Farooqi made this Freedom of Information request to Transport for London

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 refused by Transport for London.

Dear Transport for London,

During the time, that FOI stopped emailing out the bus WTTs due to them being planned to put on the now available online feature of the TFL site, while that was on going all requests for bus WTTs had this sentence in them " In Lee Hill's response of 14 March 2014 he says "I can confirm that the intention to publish covers both current and former bus schedules (where held). "

This meant that the FOI team were refusing requests on the basis that the information
was intended for future publication, when the project was working on
publishing only current requests.

As yet, nothing non-current has appeared on the website as stated in my responses giving during that time. On the other hand, nor has any indication been given that the position on such material has changed from that stated in the FOI responses above. I am therefore requesting that TfL should clarify its position on this or could the public start allowing for these under FOI requests which are with in the cost limit of £450?

Can you also, prove evidence to this point outlined in previous replies from your self . "If we ask requesters to limit their request to a
smaller number of working timetables we expect that we will receive multiple requests from people working in concert, or using pseudonyms,
which would again breach the cost limit. Even if the requests are made by a few unconnected individuals, the requests might be expected to continue until the requester was satisfied that they had copies of all available working timetables. "

The fact is that TFL is a publicly run organisation, and as under the FOI act, you have to provide any information held that requester request on, and a reply was made to my self from you back in 2013 that old WTTs date back on the system to 2006.

Therefore since this matter has not been resolved, may I please make a small request for bus WTTs for routes:

All WTTs held for route 195 under Ealing Community Transport (ECT)

All WTTs held for route 435 Under First

All WTTs held for route 805 Under Bhart

All WTTs held for route 293 Under Quality Line (Epsom Coaches)

All WTTs held for routes 383/606 Under Sullivan Buses

All WTTs held for route E6 Under Travel London.

Yours faithfully,

Tom Farooqi

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Farooqi

 

TfL Ref: 2841-1718

 

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 8
January 2017 asking for information about Working Time Tables.

 

Your request will be processed by TfL, the Greater London Authority and
its subsidiaries to provide you with a response in accordance with the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 and our information access policy.

 

A response will be sent to you by 5 February 2018. 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

 

 

Sara Thomas

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

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FOI, Transport for London

1 Attachment

 

Dear Mr Farooqi

 

TfL Ref: 2841-1718

 

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 8
January 2017 asking for bus Working Time Tables (WTTs).

 

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of
the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. I can
confirm we do hold the information you require.  You asked for bus WTTs
for routes: All WTTs held for route 195 under Ealing Community Transport
(ECT); All WTTs held for route 435 Under First; All WTTs held for route
805 Under Bhart; All WTTs held for route 293 Under Quality Line (Epsom
Coaches); All WTTs held for routes 383/606 Under Sullivan Buses; All WTTs
held for route  E6 Under Travel London.

 

However, we are refusing your request under section 14(1) of the Act.  We
consider that providing the requested information would place an
unreasonable burden on us. Our principal duty is to provide an effective
transport service for London and we consider that answering this request
would represent a disproportionate effort. It would be a significant
distraction from our work managing the TfL network, requiring
re-allocation of already limited resources and placing an unacceptable
burden on a small number of personnel. We do wish to clarify that whilst
we consider that your request falls under section 14(1) of the FOI Act,
this does not reflect a conclusion that it has been your intention to
deliberately place an undue burden on our resources.

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) guidance states that one of
the indicators of a request which may fall under section 14(1) is that it
“appears to be part of a completely random approach, lacks any clear
focus, or seems to have been solely designed for the purpose of ‘fishing’
for information without any idea of what might be revealed.”

 

The ICO guidance provides the following examples of a ‘fishing expedition’
request which may fall under section 14(1) if it:

 

- Imposes a burden by obliging the authority to sift through a substantial
volume of information to isolate and extract the relevant details;

 

- Encompasses information which is only of limited value because of the
wide scope of the request;

 

- Creates a burden by requiring the authority to spend a considerable
amount of time considering any exemptions and redactions.

 

Our view is that all three of these examples apply in this instance. Your
request covers all current and old Working Time Tables for seven bus
routes over a number of years. Searching through our records to locate and
extract them would be a significant task, and the out of date timetables
would not hold any current transport-user value. We consider the burden of
retrieving, reviewing and redacting any personal data would be
disproportionate to the benefit of providing the  timetables. Therefore,
due to the wide and unfocused scope of your request, we are refusing it
under s.14 of the FOI Act. If you would like to re-submit a more focused,
specific request then we will, of course, consider it. For example, a
request for information on a particular, specific current bus route.

 

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to
appeal.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Sara Thomas

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

 

 

 

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Dear Transport for London,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Transport for London's handling of my FOI request 'Old Bus WTTs'.

They hold the information requested, however will not disclose it, not due to the fact that it is more then the £450 limit per request but because it will cause a burden!!! Well all their cases causes burden but it is a public body and they need to provide the information requested. It is the law.

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

Yours faithfully,

Tom Farooqi

M Clary left an annotation ()

I was surprised to find this answer, because it seems to have been written without referring to other requests for WTTs. Specifically, my request made on 26 October 2016, responded to in July 2017. I quote:-
"Whilst we are not able to justify the expense of extracting the non-current working timetables in response to individual requests, there is a plan to extract the scheduling information as a result of some future system maintenance. You have referred to the possibility of crowdsourcing the extraction of this data and this would provide an opportunity for a site such as mjcarchive to receive a copy of this data on a non-exclusive basis, in the expectation that mjcarchive would in turn make it available to others to download from the site. It is expected that a decision on the
maintenance will be taken in the next three months, and we will contact you again at this time to advise you of the expected schedule."

I have heard nothing since July 2017, despite requesting an update three months later.

The answer also refers to the time taken to redact personal details. The documents that Mr Farooqi is requesting are old equivalents of documents now made available as a matter of course for live services on the TfL website. As several hundred can appear at one go I would be surprised if any redaction has had to take place on them, thus I would also be surprised if any was necessary for the older documents.

FOI, Transport for London

Thank you for your request for an internal review which was received on 5 February 2018

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 5 March 2018. 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.

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me.

Yours sincerely

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

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FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Farooqi

 

IRV-148-1718

 

I am contacting you regarding the internal review of your request for
information concerning old bus working time tables (FOI-1750-1718). This
review has been carried out by an independent panel following your email
of 5 February 2018. The panel have reviewed all the information held in
relation to your request.

 

Transport for London (TfL) receive in excess 2500 requests under the
Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations each
financial year and this year it is estimated that we will received over
3000. A number of these requests come from transport enthusiasts and their
requests for information have shaped our proactive publication of
information.  We are very enthusiastic about public transport ourselves
and we recognise that people are interested in London’s iconic transport
network. In addition we are publishing more and more information solely
for the benefit of transport enthusiasts, including working timetables.

 

TfL’s FOI Case Management Team adhere to the Information Commissioners
guidance on the application of section 14(1) under the Freedom of
Information Act. The guidance sets outs the following points with regards
to dealing with vexatious requests:

 

·         Under s14(1) of the Act, public authorities do not have to
comply with vexatious requests. There is no public interest test

·          

·         Section 14(1) may be used in a variety of circumstances where a
request, or its impact on a public authority, cannot be justified

·          

·         Section 14(1) can only be applied to a request itself and not
the individual making it

·          

·         Sometimes a request maybe so patently unreasonable or
objectionable that it will obviously be vexatious

 

·         A request appears to be part of a completely random approach,
lacks any clear focus, or seems to have been solely designed for the
purpose of ‘fishing’ for information without any idea of what might be
revealed.

 

Due to the above factors the panel agreed that in this instance it was
correct to consider your request as vexatious. As explained in the
response of 5 February your request covers all current and old Working
Time Tables for seven bus routes over a number of years. Searching through
our records to locate and extract them would be a significant task, and
the out of date timetables would not hold any current transport-user
value. We consider the burden of retrieving, reviewing and redacting any
personal data would be wholly unreasonable and  disproportionate to the
benefit of providing the timetables. Additionally to try and answer your
request would place an unjustified and distracting burden on staff time
and resources.

 

As a large portion of the information you seek are out of date timetables,
we believe that this is essentially a frivolous request that does not help
anyone plan a journey or assess the provision of transport services in
London and is solely for individual benefit.  Therefore your complaint has
not been upheld on this occasion.

 

If you would like to re-submit a more focused, specific request then we
will be happy to consider it. For example, a request for information on a
particular, specific current bus route.

 

For further information on s14 of the FOI act please refer to the ICO’s
guidance using the following link -

 

[1]https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisatio...

 

If you are dissatisfied with the internal review actions to date
(IRV-148-1718) 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
([2]www.ico.org.uk).

 

Yours sincerely

 

Emma Flint

Principal Information Access Adviser

Transport for London

[3][TfL request email]

 

 

 

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