Questions regarding requesting announcements in London transportation

MindTheGap 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 successful.

Dear Transport for London,

I am writing to you because I have a few questions in case I wanted to request to receive a CD or a zipped file containing announcements used in London transportation.

Firstly, can individuals from the UK only request to get a copy of the files mentioned above? I am not from the UK, however, I find London transportation very attractive and informative.

If I were eligible to get a copy of announcements, would it cost me money? If so, how much?

Let's suppose I requested a copy. Do you send copies within the UK only, or you may send it to individuals from foreign countries? I am from a European country, which I have not mentioned above, just that it isn't not the UK. Would there be shipping fees?

Thank you for reading my letter. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your response in advance.

Yours faithfully,

Thomas

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Thomas

 

Our Ref:         FOI-1475-1718

 

Thank you for your emails received on 13 and 14 September asking for
information about the announcements used on our network.

 

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of
the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and our information access policy. 

 

We can provide a CD of some of the announcements used on our network, if
you could please confirm which announcements you are requesting – for
example bus, London Underground, London Overground, Tram, DLR, River
Services etc. We can send the CD to an international postal address at no
cost to you, when confirming which announcements you would like please let
me know the postal address you would like the CD sent to. Please note that
as whatdotheyknow.com is a public website you may wish to send your
address details from a private e-mail address so that it does not appear
on the website.

 

Section 8(1) of the FOI Act sets out the requirements of a valid request
for information and states that a request must, amongst other things,
“state the name of the applicant and an address for correspondence” so if
you could also please confirm your full name.

 

The FOI Act allows you to request recorded information held by Transport
for London (TfL). There are limits on the time that TfL are required to
spend determining whether TfL holds the information you are requesting and
the time spent locating, retrieving and extracting it. Therefore you
should identify the information that you want as clearly and concisely as
you can, specifying the types of document that you are looking for. You
might also consider limiting your request to a particular period of time,
geographical area or specific departments of TfL.

 

Although your request can take the form of a question, rather than a
request for specific documents, TfL does not have to answer your question
if it would require the creation of new information or the provision of a
judgement, explanation, advice or opinion that was not already recorded at
the time of your request.

 

Please note that the 20 working day deadline for responding to your
request will depend on when we receive satisfactory additional information
to help clarify your request.  

 

If we hear nothing further from you by 6 October 2017 your response will
be treated as a new request.

 

In the meantime, if you have any queries or would like to discuss your
request, please feel free to contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Gemma Jacob

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

[1][TfL request email]

 

 

Dear FOI,

Thank you for your response.

Essentially, I would be inquiring about London Underground announcements, but I have already read other requests about them, and they have not ever been supplied to anybody for some reason as far as I know, but could you please confirm this information? I would like ask for those in the first place, and would be happy to receive them. Besides LU announcements, I would like to have London Overground announcements and bus announcements.

If you do not mind, I would have a question. Are announcements on all London Underground lines "protected" to not be given out, or it is line-specific?

Once I have made a decision on requesting the CD, I will contact you through your private e-mail address, providing you with my full name and postal address.

Thank you for your further response, and thank you for your help.

Yours sincerely,

Thomas

FOI, Transport for London

1 Attachment

Dear Thomas

 

Our Ref:         FOI-1475-1718

 

Thank you for your further e-mail. Your request has been considered in
accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and
TfL’s information access policy. I can confirm we do hold the information
you require.

 

A CD containing the iBus and London Overground announcements is available,
please provide your full name and a postal address that you would like the
CD sent to.

 

It should be noted that the iBus announcements are recorded as fragments.
As a result, some announcements would not feature in full as the full
announcement would just be made up of two or more fragments that have
already been recorded. They were originally recorded for the iBus rollout
over a period of two years in 20 sessions. Numerous CDs and folders were
set up in this process and so unfortunately they are not all held
centrally. Some of the current iBus recordings may also be made up of
fragments that are no longer used.

 

Announcements used on the services that London Overground took over from
Abellio Greater Anglia on 31 May 2015 are not held as audio files. They
are held on a server and we access them through existing server and
rolling stock. I can confirm that we have no current plans to create any
new recordings.

 

Please note that while access to this material will be provided to you
under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, you are not granted any rights
to any of the intellectual property that exists in it or granted any
permission to make secondary uses of it.

 

TfL owns all intellectual property (including, without limitation,
copyright) in the material supplied and will defend such rights.

 

If you wish to make any secondary use of the material provided, you must
first obtain the consent of TfL (which may be withheld) and, if consent is
granted, a fee may be charged, in accordance with the terms of the Reuse
of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005.

 

In accordance with the FOI Act, TfL is not obliged to supply the audio
files for London Underground’s Tube announcements as the information is
subject to a statutory exemption to the right of access to information
under section 43(2).

 

In this instance section 43(2) has been applied as disclosure of the
information requested would be likely to prejudice the commercial
interests of TfL and/or Global Services Ltd. The recordings in question
were provided to London Underground from Global Services Ltd under a
signed contract which contained explicit conditions concerning disclosure
and distribution. This applies to recordings on all of the London
Underground.

 

The contract specifies that the recordings are solely to be used for the
purpose for which they were created and for broadcast on the London
Underground network only. If TfL were to disclose these recordings in
response to an FOI request, it would constitute an actionable breach of
contract and would be likely to result in a valid legal claim against
London Underground or the license to use the recordings being withdrawn,
which would impose additional, unnecessary, costs. TfL wishes to protect
its commercial interests and ability to participate in future commercial
activity. The disclosure of this information would be to the detriment of
present and future business activities for both parties.

 

The use of this exemption is subject to an assessment of the public
interest in relation to the disclosure of the information concerned. TfL
recognises the need for openness and transparency within public
authorities and the degree of public interest concerning London transport
announcements in light of the recent disclosure of iBus announcements.
However, in this instance this is outweighed by the damage that would be
done to TfL’s ability to use these recordings and any future contractual
negotiations that may take place regarding the London Underground
announcements.

 

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable
to access it for some reason, please feel free 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

 

Gemma Jacob

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

[1][TfL request email]

 

 

 

 

Dear FOI,

I am writing to inform you that I sent you an e-mail containing my name and postal address.

What I forgot to include in my e-mail is that the data that the CD contains would be for personal use only.

Yours sincerely,

Thomas

Dear FOI,

If you have received my e-mail and have found the informations I provided you with correct, please let me know if you have sent the CD through mail.

Yours sincerely,

Thomas

Dear FOI,

I am writing to you to inform you that I have received the CD.

Thank you very much for your help.

Yours sincerely,

Thomas

MindTheGap left an annotation ()

I've received a brown envelope containing the CD containing 3 folders: "IBus Announcements (June 2017)", "2016 Dec Station announcements", "2016 New Train Announcements". The envelope also contained a paper with the private e-mail request on it.

Besides the 3 folders, there was a "!Audio_List.txt" file.

"IBus Announcements (June 2017)" contains 16,674 (+ 1 which is another !Audio_List file) audio files (.mp3), and is 441 MB large.
"2016 Dec Station Announcements" contains 1,320 audio files (.wav), and is 112 MB large.
"2016 Dec New Train announcements" contains 307 audio files (.wav), and is 112 MB large.