THINK! Cycle Safety campaign 'Things you shouldn’t get caught between' film

Waiting for an internal review by Department for Transport of their handling of this request.

Andrew Reeves-Hall

Dear Department for Transport,

Regarding the THINK! Cycle Safety campaign 'Things you shouldn’t get caught between' film,
On your website here,
http://www.roadsafetygb.org.uk/news/5336...
You stated,
"Development of THINK! activity is a long, thought-through process involving road safety and communication experts. But ultimately, our approach is led by our target audience. The premise of the cycle campaign was tested with cyclists. Overall they believed that the serious nature of the issue warranted the powerful treatment deployed in the 'Things you shouldn’t get caught between' film."

And,
"An independent research agency will be reviewing its effects on people’s attitudes and claimed behaviour. Withdrawing the film - as some have asked - would limit the evaluation of the campaign’s impact and the insight we would gather to inform future activity. Given the ultimate measure is what happens to casualty numbers, this is too important an opportunity to miss."

Please could you provide me with:
1. The date this film was first proposed;
2. The names of the road safety and communication experts that you consulted;
3. The number of cyclists you tested the premise of this film with and the feedback they gave you;
4. The name of the independent research agency you have contracted with and the contracted fee;
5. The methods and measurements that will be used to assess its effects on people’s attitudes and claimed behaviour;
6. The date and location (web url) where the results of the assessment will be published;
7. The target for the effect this campaign will have on casualty numbers and what amount of a change constitutes success;
8. The total costs to develop the film;
9. The advertising costs to show the film and the places and dates where the advert was shown;
10. The number of emails received after the launch of the film and how many of them expressed an opinion: in support of the film, against the film, or neutral.

Yours faithfully,

Andrew Reeves-Hall

Department for Transport

Dear Andrew Reeves-Hall,

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request for information which
has been allocated reference number P0014106.

A response will be issued to you in due course.

Regards,

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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Jo Parry, Department for Transport

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Reeves-Hall

 

Please find attached the response to your Freedom of Information request
of 14 October about the THINK! cycle safety campaign.

 

All best wishes,

 

Jo

 

[1][IMG]          Jo Parry 
Head of Marketing

5/29, Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 4DR  

0300 330 3000       
[2]Follow us on twitter @transportgovuk 

 

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Andrew Reeves-Hall left an annotation ()

This FOI was used successfully to convince the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to investigate the Think! advert. Ref ASA complaint ID: A16-367646.

Andrew Reeves-Hall left an annotation ()

The ASA ruled on the complaint and stated on 16 January 2017 that:

Our role as an organisation is to help ensure that advertising is responsible, by that we mean legal, decent, honest and truthful. We can intervene if an ad appears likely to be in breach of the UK Codes of Advertising by, for example, being likely to cause serious or widespread offence, being materially misleading or risking causing significant harm.

With regards to your complaint about the Think! ad by the Department for Transport, we decided to put your concerns, along with the others we received, to the independent ASA Council for consideration; the ASA Council is the jury that decides whether advertisements have breached the Advertising Codes. They have now carefully considered the ad and the issues raised, but have concluded that there are insufficient grounds for further ASA intervention on this occasion.

I should explain that the ASA does not intervene where advertising is simply criticised for being in poor taste. The Code requires that ads must not contain anything that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence, but ads may be ‘distasteful’ without necessarily breaching this rule. Complaints about offence often require difficult judgements. Apart from freedom of speech considerations, even well-intentioned and thoughtful people will have different and sometimes contradictory opinions about what constitutes ‘bad taste’ or should be prohibited. We can act if the ad, in our judgement, offends against widely accepted moral, social or cultural standards.

As mentioned above, we received a number of complaints about this ad, which objected that it was offensive, because it blamed the cyclist for their own injury and/or death, when the responsibility in the scenario shown was with the motorist to make a safe turn, and because it trivialised death. Other complainants believed that the ad depicted an example of dangerous driving by the motorist (a ‘left hook’ manoeuvre) and absolved motorists of their responsibilities to adhere to the law or Highway Code, and put vulnerable road users at risk. In this case, Council considered that the ad was intended to raise awareness amongst cyclists of the risks of life threatening harm that could be caused to them if they were caught between a heavy goods vehicle and a left hand turn. They regarded that viewers would be unlikely to have interpreted the ad as a suggestion that the cyclist in this instance was responsible for their own injuries, or that it should not have been the responsibility of the motorist to have made a safe turn. Rather, Council considered that viewers would be likely to have understood the ad to be highlighting the fact that many cyclists are injured or die in these types of scenarios, and was offering advice on how they might protect themselves from this potential harm, by hanging back. Council acknowledged that adherence to the Highway Code was the responsibility of all road users, but considered that the ad's message in this case was concerned with the safety of cyclists. Furthermore, they understand that this ad was part of a wider campaign that also included guidance to motorists, with the overall aim of preventing road traffic collisions and harm to all road users. Council therefore concluded that this ad was unlikely to be seen as irresponsible or cause serious or widespread offence for the reasons suggested.

Council considered that viewers would have interpreted the ad as presenting a serious message about road safety, which was intended to save the lives of cyclists as opposed to trivialise their deaths.

Although Council appreciated that the scenario depicted was not representative of a good standard of driving on the behalf of the motorist, they considered that the ads content was unlikely to cause any road user to abandon their usual, safety-conscious behaviour or otherwise undermine their knowledge of and adherence to the Highway Code or the law in this area. Council have therefore concluded that the ad did not pose a realistic risk of harm to viewers through emulation.

As Council have concluded that there was no breach of the Code, we will not be taking any further action with regards to your complaint. I appreciate that this may not be the outcome you’d hoped for, but we’ve passed on your comments to the advertiser (without revealing your identity) so that they’re aware of your views. We will also continue to monitor the response to this ad.

Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns with us. If you would like more information about us or our work, please do visit our website, www.asa.org.uk.

Yours sincerely,
****
Senior Complaints Executive

Andrew Reeves-Hall

Dear Jo Parry,

Your answer to my question 6 stated:

6. The campaign evaluation will be published on the following page of GOV.uk in February 2017: https://www.gov.uk/government/collection...

It is now March and that webpage has not been updated since May 2016.

When will the answer be put there?

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Reeves-Hall

Andrew Reeves-Hall

Dear Jo Parry,

Still no reply nor update of the website with the evaluation that you promised!
When will it be published?
(last update to that page is 26 May 2016)

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Reeves-Hall

Jo Parry, Department for Transport

Thank you for your email. I am on leave until Monday, 24 April. If you
have an urgent enquiry about the Year of Engineering, please contact Jo
Guthrie at [email address]. Marketing enquiries should be
directed to Dawn Lauder at [email address] in the first
instance.

 

All best wishes,

 

Jo

 

Andrew Reeves-Hall

Dear Department for Transport,

I hope that you had a good holiday; are you now able to tell me when the evaluation will be published as you promised it would be?

Yours faithfully,

Andrew Reeves-Hall

Laura Kane, Department for Transport

Dear Andrew,

We experienced some delays in receiving the final evaluation report for the THINK! cycle safety campaign so were unable to publish the document in February as anticipated.

As we are now in Purdah, unfortunately we are unable to publish anything in the pre-election period, so the document will now be made available following the General Election in June.

Many thanks
Laura

Miss Laura Kane | Senior Marketing Manager, Communications Directorate, Department for Transport
5/29 | 020 7944 4720 |

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Andrew Reeves-Hall

Dear Laura Kane,

Still the information that you promised has not been delivered. Purdah is long over.
I kindly ask that the information be published by this Friday, 30th June.
My next step is filing a complaint to the information commissioner's office.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Reeves-Hall

Laura Kane, Department for Transport

Dear Andrew,

It is still our intention to publish the results from the cycling evaluation and we will do this as soon as possible. As I noted in my earlier email to you, we were unable to publish the results during purdah. Following the election, we now have a new Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, Jesse Norman MP, and the findings from the evaluation need to be shared with him before publication. As I'm sure you can imagine, the Minister has a backlog of departmental business to review. I understand your frustration and I can assure you that we are doing all we can to publish the results as soon as possible.

Many thanks
Laura

Miss Laura Kane | Senior Marketing Manager, Communications Directorate, Department for Transport
5/29 | 020 7944 4720 | 07773 073915

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Andrew Reeves-Hall

Dear Laura Kane,

I have asked the Information Commissioner to investigate the long delays -- the original request was October 2016; with a promise to have the review published by February 2017.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Reeves-Hall

>>>
From: Andrew Reeves-Hall
Date: 2 July 2017 at 10:20
Subject: Report a concern - FOI about THINK! Cycle Safety campaign 'Things you shouldn’t get caught between' film
To: "[email address]" <[email address]>

Hello,

On 14th October 2016, I requested information from the Department for Transport (DfT) regarding the THINK! Cycle Safety campaign 'Things you shouldn't get caught between'.
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/t...

A partial reply came on 11th November 2016. It stated that further information would be published on the DfT website by February 2017 here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/collection...

We are now July 2017 and the information has still not appeared as promised. That page was last updated 26 May 2016.

I have chased several times, and there is a new reason for the delay given every time.

May I ask you to investigate this delay please, so that I can see the information that I asked for?

Thank you,
Best wishes,

~Andrew~
<<<

>>>
From: new casework <[email address]>
Date: 2 July 2017 at 10:20
Subject: We have received your email
To: Andrew Reeves-Hall

Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office. We confirm that we have received your correspondence.
...
<<<

Laura Kane, Department for Transport

I'm out of the office until Monday 3 July, with no access to emails. If
your email is urgent please contact [email address]

Many thanks
Laura

 

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Andrew Reeves-Hall

Dear Department for Transport,

Today I have asked the ICO about their investigation into this lengthy delay. I note that the DfT website page to which you referred me still says the last update was in May 2016 ie no report as you promised.

Yours faithfully,

Andrew Reeves-Hall

Laura Kane, Department for Transport

Dear Mr Reeves-Hall,

I've been passed on the below email from our FOI team.

As I noted in my email on 28 June, it is still our intention to publish the results from the cycling evaluation. Following the appointment of Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, Jesse Norman, our priority has been to clear urgent and immediate business. The cycling evaluation will be submitted to him when he returns from parliamentary recess. Once we have a definitive publication date, I'll be in touch to update you.

Many thanks
Laura

Miss Laura Kane | Senior Marketing Manager, Communications Directorate, Department for Transport
5/29 | 020 7944 4720 | 07773 073915

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Andrew Reeves-Hall

Dear Laura Kane,

Has there been any progress on this? I note that the DfT website has still not been updated with anything further.

I was told by the ICO officer, whom I complained to about the handling of this case, that "I [the ICO] have received a response from DfT and am in the process of drafting my decision notice. I hope to have it issued by the end of this week."

That was 23 October 2017.

Sadly, I have heard nothing further from you or the ICO since then despite several chases.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Reeves-Hall

Laura Kane, Department for Transport

Dear Mr Reeves-Hall,

 

I'm sorry to hear that you have not been updated on the progress of your
complaint. We are working with the ICO to resolve this situation. For your
information, the THINK! cycle safety campaign evaluation has been cleared
for publication and we are now looking for a suitable publication date. As
noted in a previous email, once we have a definitive publication date,
I'll be in touch to let you know.

 

Many thanks

Laura

 

Miss Laura Kane  | Senior Marketing Manager, Communications Directorate,
Department for Transport

5/29 | 020 7944 4720 | 07773 073915

 

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Andrew Reeves-Hall

Dear Laura Kane,

Thank you - good to hear that the information is ready for publication.

As it is relevant to the current discussions by DfT about cycling safety announced in September then can you say whether the info will be published ahead of its report?

Ref
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/gover...

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Reeves-Hall

Laura Kane, Department for Transport

Dear Mr Reeves-Hall,

As I don’t have a confirmed publication date yet I cannot say when it will be published in relation to the cycle safety review I'm afraid. However, I will let you know the publication date of the THINK! cycle safety evaluation as soon as it has been agreed.

Many thanks
Laura

Miss Laura Kane | Senior Marketing Manager, Communications Directorate, Department for Transport
5/29 | 020 7944 4720 | 07773 073915

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Andrew Reeves-Hall

Dear Laura Kane,

Has there been any progress on publishing the info?

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Reeves-Hall

Laura Kane, Department for Transport

Dear Mr Reeves-Hall,

I don't have a confirmed date. I can assure you that you will be the first to know as soon as it's been agreed.

Many thanks
Laura

Miss Laura Kane | Senior Marketing Manager, Communications Directorate, Department for Transport
5/29 | 07773 073915 |

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Andrew Reeves-Hall

Dear Laura Kane,

Exactly 1 year ago I asked when the information would be published (as it was supposed to have been in February 2017).

Today in the news there are stories about the government introducing a 'dangerous cycling' law.

Has there been any progress on agreeing a publication date for the FOI answer?

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Reeves-Hall

Laura Kane, Department for Transport

Dear Mr Andrew Reeves-Hall,

I appreciate your frustration at the delay the publication is causing and I'd like to apologise for that. We plan to publish the results from the creative testing (that led to the development of the campaign) at the same time, in order to give readers a complete picture of the campaign. Once this has been cleared for publication then a suitable date for publication will be agreed. As I've said previously, as soon as we have an exact date I will let you know.

Regarding your second point, cycle safety is a key priority for this department. We are carrying out a review to improve all elements of cycle safety. This includes looking at the case for a new offence, equivalent to causing death or serious injury by careless or dangerous driving, to help protect both cyclists and pedestrians.

Many thanks
Laura

Miss Laura Kane | Senior Marketing Manager, Communications Directorate, Department for Transport
5/29 | 07773 073915 |

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Andrew Reeves-Hall

Dear Laura Kane,

Extra information which is not part of my FOI is being added - I fear you are doing this for the sake of having an excuse for further delay.

I did not want nor ask for that extra information. Please publish the results you said you already have.

Regarding the death by dangerous cycling...

Firstly: 2 drivers of lorries that killed 8 people on the M1 were cleared of dangerous driving despite the use of alcohol and mobile phone by the drivers. Other cases - as discussed in the APPCG inquiry into the Crown Prosecution Service and police - show juries often are hesitant to convict for this crime.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-433...

Secondly: the number of people killed whilst walking by those cycling is dwarfed by those driving. See above re lack of convictions.

Thirdly: the government has not shied away from the "Temporary relaxation of the enforcement of GB domestic drivers’ hours rules" which endangers all of us whether we are walking, cycling or driving.

Lastly: a prominant QC has stated that the proposed dangerous cycling law is 'not remotely likely to save a single life'
http://www.cyclist.co.uk/news/3372/cycli...

Please publish the info I requested, as you promised you would, as you have it to hand.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Reeves-Hall

Laura Kane, Department for Transport

Dear Mr Reeves-Hall,

I can assure you that we are not looking for an excuse to delay publication. The evaluation results show the outcome of the campaign, but in light of the criticism that the campaign received by some, it's important to understand the thinking that went into the development of the creative idea. Also, the information was always planned to be published, it is not the result of your FOI request and it will be published in due course.

As a communications professional, I'm not best placed to comment on the specifics of cycling policy, prosecutions or the law. If you have specific questions or concerns then I'd be happy to direct them to someone who can help.

Many thanks
Laura

Miss Laura Kane | Senior Marketing Manager, Communications Directorate, Department for Transport
5/29 | 07773 073915 |

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Andrew Reeves-Hall

Dear Laura Kane,

Has progress been made in the past 3 weeks to progress this?

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Reeves-Hall

Laura Kane, Department for Transport

Dear Mr Andrew Reeves-Hall,

I've had a chat with a number of colleagues about this and we have agreed a possible live date. We just need to double check what other announcements are happening at that time.

I'll be sure to let you know the date once I have this confirmed.

I hope you have a lovely long weekend.

Many thanks
Laura

Miss Laura Kane | Senior Marketing Manager, Communications Directorate, Department for Transport
5/29 | 07773 073915 |

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Andrew Reeves-Hall

Dear Laura Kane,

I am very disappointed that you mislead me.

The website where you indicated that info, which you were just agreeing the go-live date for, would be published (in February 2017!) now says, "This collection was withdrawn on 31 May 2018. This information is no longer being updated."

Is the information that you have published elsewhere?

If not, then please send the report directly to me via this FOI.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Reeves-Hall

Laura Kane, Department for Transport

Dear Andrew, please leave this with me to investigate. The GOV.uk web pages are continually being reviewed and rationalised to ensure that the information remains relevant and useful, which may be the reason for the message. I can assure you that the results will get published on Gov.uk so once the publication is live I will send you the link so there's no confusion.

Many thanks
Laura

Miss Laura Kane | Senior Marketing Manager, Communications Directorate, Department for Transport
5/29 | 07773 073915 |

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Andrew Reeves-Hall

Dear Laura Kane,

How goes your investigation?

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Reeves-Hall

Laura Kane, Department for Transport

Dear Andrew Reeves-Hall,

It was as I eluded to in my last email - the page in question has been archived due to the irregularity with which the content is updated. We undertake periodic reviews of the pages on GOV.uk to ensure that the information is up to date and relevant. However, this won’t affect the publication of the document; just where you access it from. As mentioned previously, I will send the link to you directly so there's no confusion.

Many thanks
Laura

Miss Laura Kane | Senior Marketing Manager, Communications Directorate, Department for Transport
5/29 | 07773 073915 |

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Andrew Reeves-Hall

Dear Laura Kane,

I am still awaiting that link to the information that you promised.

When can I expect it?

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Reeves-Hall

Laura Kane, Department for Transport

I'm out of the office until Monday 3 December with no access to emails. If
your email is urgent, please contact [email address].

 

Many thanks
Laura

 

Andrew Reeves-Hall

Dear Department for Transport,

I am still awaiting your reply and the publication as promised long ago.
Please tell me when and where the info requested will be published.

Yours faithfully,

Andrew Reeves-Hall

FOI-ADVICE-TEAM-DFT, Department for Transport

Dear Mr Reeves-Hall,

I am sorry for the continued delay in publication of the information you have requested.

I can assure you the department intends to publish the information and we will contact you when it has been published.

Kind regards
FOI Advice Team
Department for Transport

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Andrew Reeves-Hall

Dear FOI-ADVICE-TEAM-DFT,

Why do you continue to delay publication?
When will it be published?
Could you advise if this is a matter for the information commissioner to investigate and/or some other oversight organisation?

You have repeatedly promised - for years - to publish the report but without specifying when nor actually doing so.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Reeves-Hall

Andrew Reeves-Hall

Dear FOI-ADVICE-TEAM-DFT,

I note that there has been no reply to my previous message of 4 March 2019.

Today in the post I received a letter from my MP, Kit Malthouse, whom I asked on 18 January 2019 to chase up on this request.

My message to Kit in January, for reference:
>>>
The information that is held by the government has still not be supplied, as promised - over 2 years later!
May I ask Kit to address this significant delay and get the information published ASAP?

The correspondence with DfT FOI is here:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/t...

Notably,
14 Oct 2016 - FOI submitted regarding THINK! Cycle Safety campaign 'Things you shouldn't get caught between'.
11 Nov 2016 - partial reply, with remainder to be published on DfT website by February 2017
2 July 2017 - Request ICO to investigate delay as well past February 2017
4 Dec 2017 - Notified the DfT has "cleared for publication" the info requested (but did not publish it yet)
29 Mar 2018 - Agreed a possible live date (ie for publication)
11 Aug 2018 - DfT remove all info from the website where DfT intended to publish the information!
12 Sep 2018 - Notice that the website had been archived; direct link to requested info promised (but not delivered)
18 Jan 2019 - "I can assure you the department intends to publish the information and we will contact you when it has been published."
Best wishes
<<<

Kit's reply to me today:
>>>
"I raised your concerns about the delay in publication of information and have now received the enclosed reply from Jesse Norman MP, the Minister of State in the Department for Transport. With best wishes, (signed) Kit Malthouse"
<<<

Kit attached the letter from Jesse Norman who wrote:
>>>
"Thank you for your letter of 7 February 2019, enclosing correspondence from your constituent, Mr Andrew Reeves-Hall of [address], about the THINK Cycle Safety campaign.
I understand Mr Reeves-Hall's frustration at the delay in publishing the evaluation results from the campaign. I would like to assure you that the Department has every intention of publishing the document at an appropriate time.
As noted in my previous correspondence to you dated 9 January 2018, a member of the Department is in direct contact with Mr Reeves-Hall and will notify him as soon as a publication date has been agreed.
(signed) As ever, Jesse Norman"
<<<

Again, please note above that there has been no reply from said member of the Department, and indeed the emails now go to a generic address, "FOI-ADVICE-TEAM-DFT".

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Reeves-Hall

Andrew Reeves-Hall

Dear FOI-ADVICE-TEAM-DFT,

Have I missed your reply?

I hope that with new prime minister Johnson in office that now is an "appropriate" time to publish the information that I requested and the government states that they hold.

When will the info be published?

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Reeves-Hall

Andrew Reeves-Hall

Dear FOI-ADVICE-TEAM-DFT,

You have yet to respond and we are once again approaching the anniversary of my FOI request.

I have once again written to my MP, Kit Malthouse just now:
>>>
Hello Kit,

May I ask you to once again progress the DfT to provide the information they hold, which I requested years ago in an FOI?

I fail to understand why the government continually refuses to follow the FOI law and provide the information?

To be clear: despite Jesse Norman's assurance in his letter, no one from DfT is in direct contact with me.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/t...
Thank you,
~Andrew~
<<<

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Reeves-Hall