Service cancellations Forest Hill trains station.

CATHERINE SCHOFIELD made this Freedom of Information request to Transport for London

Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Transport for London should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

CATHERINE SCHOFIELD

Dear Transport for London,

Please could you confirm how many service cancellations there have been on Overground and Southern trains at Forest Hill station in the past 3 years ending Oct 2020.

Yours faithfully,

Catherine Schofield

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Ms Schofield

TfL Ref 1715-2021

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 27 November 2020 asking for information about train service cancellations from Forest Hill train station in the last three years.

Please think carefully about whether the request is essential at this current time, as answering FOI requests will require the use of limited resources and the attention of staff who could be supporting other essential activity. Where requests are made, please note that our response time may be impacted by the current situation and so you may wish to reconsider the timing of this request. Please notify us as soon as possible if you would like to withdraw your request at the current time.

Should you wish to proceed with the request we will aim to issue a response by 30 December 2020.

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 http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/transpar... to see if this helps you.

We will publish anonymised versions of requests and responses on the 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

2 Attachments

 

Dear Ms Schofield

 

TfL Ref 1715-2021

 

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 27
November 2020 asking for information about train service cancellations
from Forest Hill train station in the last three years.

 

I can confirm that we do hold some of the information you require.
However, to provide the information you have requested would exceed the
‘appropriate limit’ of £450 set by the Freedom of Information (Appropriate
Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004.

 

Under section 12 of the FOI Act, we are not obliged to comply with
requests if we estimate that the cost of determining whether we hold the
information, locating and retrieving it and extracting it from other
information would exceed the appropriate limit. In this instance, we
estimate that the time required to answer your request would exceed 18
hours which, at £25 per hour (the rate stipulated by the Regulations),
exceeds the ‘appropriate limit’.

 

We estimate it would take in excess of 30 hours to answer your request for
information on the number of service cancellations from Forest Hill train
station over the three year period you’ve asked about.  This is because
the figures you’ve asked for would need to be extracted from archived data
held on industry systems by Network Rail. Due to the size and complexity
of the data this is not an insiginficant task, involving multiple levels
of queries on the databases to extract information and then validate/match
to the right service/location codes required. Often, the size of the files
requires significant processing time.

           

Performance data held by Network Rail on industry systems is vast and is
regularly archived adding complexing to any historical data requests. We
do keep historical records of performance information ourselves of course
but only at route level and we don’t hold information for Southern
services.

 

We’ve put together a guide to help members of the public to obtain some of
this publicly available information themselves, which we have attached,
however the information is generally available only for the previous 100
days.

 

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) produce key statistics which are
available by train operator on their website which you may find useful.
The links for London Overground for years 2018/19 and 2019/20 are as
follows:

 

[1]https://dataportal.orr.gov.uk/media/1387...

 

[2]https://dataportal.orr.gov.uk/media/1879...

 

To help bring the cost of responding to your requests within the £450
limit, you may wish to consider refining your requests to concentrate on
matters which are important to you.

 

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. If you have specific questions relating to these
topics we may be more easily able to respond to these than to a request
for any information held.

 

If you are considering submitting a further FOI request please think
carefully about whether the request is essential at this current time, as
answering FOI requests will require the use of limited resources and the
attention of staff who could be supporting other essential activity. Where
requests are made, please note that our response time may be impacted by
the current situation.

 

If you are not satisfied with this response please see the attached
information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Sara Thomas

 

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

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CATHERINE SCHOFIELD

Dear Transport for London,

Train companies surely must be monitored to see whether they deliver e.g. 99% or 75% service levels against the scheduled service.

Please can you explain why this request is taking so long, and why it will take so long to collate information that I believe already exists.

Best regards,
Catherine Emma Schofield

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 'Service cancellations Forest Hill trains station.'.

[ GIVE DETAILS ABOUT YOUR COMPLAINT HERE ]

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

Yours faithfully,

CATHERINE SCHOFIELD

FOI, Transport for London

TfL Ref: IRV-052-2021

Thank you for your email which was received by Transport for London (TfL) on 19 January 2021.

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

A 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 16 February 2021. 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 Adviser
FOI Case Management Team
Transport for London

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CATHERINE SCHOFIELD

Dear FOI,

Please could you answer my FoI request. It is not acceptable to hold back information. I do not understand why it would take so long to provide an answer to something that can be provided on a single spreadsheet. Also, I believe TFL or whoever will already have this information because they will track the performance of train companies as a standard measure.

When should I expect to see the information I have requested.

Yours sincerely,

CATHERINE SCHOFIELD

FOI, Transport for London

TfL UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Ms Schofield

 

I am contacting you with regards to your email of 19 January 2021.
Following your email a review has been carried out by individuals who were
not involved in the handling of your request (the panel). You have
disputed the response provided to you which advised that your request was
being refused under section 12 of the FOI Act due to the appropriate cost
limit being exceeded (FOI-1715-2021).

 

In your original request of 27 November 2020 you asked for the following -
"Please could you confirm how many service cancellations there have been
on Overground and Southern trains at Forest Hill station in the past 3
years ending Oct 2020"

 

To provide a little more context regarding section 12 of the Act, it
allows a public authority to refuse to deal with a request where it
estimates that it would exceed the appropriate limit to-

 

(a) either comply with the request in its entirety or;

(b) confirm or deny whether the requested information is held.

 

The relevant Regulations which define the appropriate limit for section 12
purposes are The Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate
Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004.

 

The estimate must be reasonable in the circumstances of the case and where
we claim that section 12 is engaged, we should, where reasonable, provide
advice and assistance to help the requestor to refine the request so that
it can be dealt with under the appropriate limit. The relevant Regulations
which define the appropriate limit for section 12 purposes are The Freedom
of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees)
Regulation.

 

Regulation 4(3) of the Fees Regulations states that a public authority can
only take into account the costs it reasonably expects to incur in
carrying out the following permitted activities in complying with the
request:

 

• determining whether the information is held;

• locating the information, or a document containing it;

• retrieving the information, or a document containing it; and

• extracting the information from a document containing it.

 

We do not have to make a precise calculation of the costs of complying
with a request; instead only an estimate is required. However, it must be
a reasonable estimate.

 

As part of this review the panel liaised with the appropriate subject
matter expert at Arriva Rail London, namely the Head of Concession
Management regarding the application of section 12 to your request.
Following our discussions the panel concluded that the historic
information you seek is not in fact actually held by TfL and in this
instance section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act has been incorrectly
applied to your request. Please accept our sincere apologies for any
confusion or inconvenience that may have been caused with our response to
FOI-1715-2021.

 

To explain further, raw data regarding service performance at Forest Hill
is collected and held by Network Rail. TfL are periodically provided with
current overview performance data for routes or lines as a whole by
Network Rail, but not specifically for individual stations or service
codes. The level of historic data you require is archived on an industry
system by Network Rail, therefore it falls outside of TfL’s obligations
under the Freedom of Information Act as the level of recorded information
you seek covering a period of 3 years is held by another party and is not
specifically collected or held on TfL’s behalf.

 

If you still require the data, an FOI request can be made directly to
Network Rail using the following link -
[1]https://www.networkrail.co.uk/who-we-are...

 

The panel did note however that in the response to FOI-1715-2021 it was
outlined that there is a substantial amount of service performance
information already available in the public domain. The response even went
as far as to provide some basic guidance instructions on how to filter the
published information to provide some relevant historic performance data,
which we hope you found useful. Therefore the panel agree that s16 of the
FOI Act was satisfactorily met concerning the provision of advice and
guidance to a requester.

 

I hope the above response has provided a better clarity regarding the
information you seek, however if you are dissatisfied with the internal
review actions to date please do not hesitate to contact me
([2][TfL request email]) or alternately 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
([3]www.ico.org.uk).

 

Yours sincerely

 

Emma Flint

Principal Information Access Adviser

FOI Case Management Team

Transport for London

[4][TfL request email]

 

 

TfL UNCLASSIFIED

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References

Visible links
1. https://www.networkrail.co.uk/who-we-are...
2. mailto:[TfL request email]
3. http://www.ico.org.uk/
4. mailto:[TfL request email]
5. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tfl/