Tyne and Wear Metro's Rule Book and Metro Working Timetables (WTT's)
Dear Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive,
I would be obliged if you could forward a copy of:
(1) Tyne and Wear Metro's complete Rule Book;
(2) Metro Working timetables (WTT's) for Weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays. They would contain all train workings both in service and Depot workings.
Your e-mail has been forwarded to me as the person within Nexus responsible for responding to FOI requests on behalf of the organisation.
I attach as requested working timetable.
In relation to the Rule Book having considered your request Nexus considers that the exemption under S38 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 applies, namely that its disclosure would, or would be likely to,
(a) endanger the physical or mental health of any individual; or
(b) endanger the safety of any individual, and, on that basis would not propose to release the information.
By way of background I can confirm the Rule Book contains more than simply 'rules' ,for instance the documentation contains a host of technical and procedural information pertinent to metro only. It is a 'controlled' document within Nexus which can only be amended via it's 'Rules and Review committee ' and is therefore a highly sensitive and important document in relation to the running of the Metro light rail system.
It is the view of Nexus that disclosure of this document and its release into the public domain would allow individuals access to confidential information which would potentially provide information to those who may wish to take action to endanger the physical health of members of the public travelling on the system or members of staff working on the system. At this moment in time the alerts in place country wide have meant that Nexus has to be extra vigilant in the running of its operations. Nexus is a member of the local resilience forum and takes an active role in the planning in relation to transport emergencies within Tyne and Wear and is therefore are fully aware of the consequences of an emergency should one occur in relation to public transport within its area.
Since the exemption from disclosure is only a qualified exemption it is also necessary to consider the 'public interest' test which applies in such circumstances. The principle behind the FOIA is to release information unless there is a good reason not to. Nexus has weighed the public interest in disclosing the document against the public interest in maintaining the exemption, and has considered arguments both in favour of disclosure and non -disclosure. In relation to favouring disclosure, Nexus has considered both the need for accountability that applies to public authorities and also the provision of better information to the public. In relation to non-disclosure Nexus has considered the fact that the safety of its railway operations could potentially be compromised, and in addition the safety of members of the public and Nexus staff. Nexus concludes that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure in this instance.
Can I clarify that Nexus does not consider that you have asked for the documentation for anything other than your own requirements and its concerns apply to the release of the document into the public domain .
If you are unhappy with the way this matter has been handled you have the right to request that the decision be considered internally by Nexus by writing to the; Administration Manager, Nexus, Nexus House, Newcastle Upon Tyne,
Alternatively please respond to this e-mail and I will forward the information internally to the Administration Manager.
If after pursuing the Nexus internal process you remain dissatisfied you have the right to apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision as whether your request for information has been dealt with in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Contact details for the Information Commissioner are as follows; Information Commissioner Office, Wycliffe House, Wycliffe Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire,
Head of Legal Services
Nexus, Nexus House, St James' Boulevard, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 4AX
Telephone 0191 2033239 / Fax 0191 2033180