Dear Transport for London,

I refer to http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/zi...

The ODA sloped their shoulders and pointed at you. Please help me with my enquiries by answering the questions therein.

Please note that "replies" which involve attachments in proprietary file formats are not acceptable. A reply which is not in plain text format will be deemed to be a refusal to answer. It may well be that the assessments cannot easily be rendered in plain text, in which case Acrobat would be an acceptable format.

Yours faithfully,

David Hansen

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Hansen

 

TfL Ref:  FOI-0856-1112

 

Thank you for your email received by Transport for London (TfL) on 28
September 2011 asking for information about the Olympic Route Network.

 

Your request will be processed in accordance with the requirements of the
Environmental Information Regulations and TfL’s information access
policy. 

 

A response will be provided to you by 26 October 2011.

 

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss this matter further, please
do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Graham Hurt

FOI Case Officer

 

FOI Case Management Team

IACT, General Counsel

Transport for London

[1][TfL request email]

 

 

 

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Dear FOI,

The Environmental Information Regulations are of no interest to me with regard to this matter, this is an FoI enquiry.

Yours sincerely,

David Hansen

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Hansen

Thanks you for your email.

When a request for information is received by TfL, we have a duty to consider the correct legislation that a request should be processed under. This will be either the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI), the Environment Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) or, in the case of personal information, the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).

In this instance because your request relates to measures and activities affecting or likely to affect the elements or surrounding environment it was considered appropriate to assess the information your require under EIR.

Your request will be processed in exactly the same way as an FOI request with the same response deadline of 20 working days.

Yours sincerely

Graham Hurt
FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team
IACT, General Counsel
Transport for London
[TfL request email]

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Dear FOI,

"In this instance because your request relates to measures and activities affecting or likely to affect the elements or surrounding environment it was considered appropriate to assess the information your require under EIR."

This is an enquiry about documentation relating to people. It is nothing to do with "the elements or surrounding environment", it is to do with the impact of your decisions on people.

Yours sincerely,

David Hansen

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Hansen

Thank you for your email. Your comments have been noted.

Your request is currently being dealt with and a response will be provided to you by 26 October 2011.

Yours sincerely

Graham Hurt
FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team
IACT, General Counsel
Transport for London
[TfL request email]

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FOI, Transport for London

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Hansen

TfL ref: FOI-0857-1112

Thank you for your email received by Transport for London (TfL) on 28 September 2011 asking for copies of pedestrian impact assessments with regard to the removal of pedestrian crossings and changes to traffic lights on the Olympic Route Network

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) and TfL’s information access policy.

Unfortunately, from the description provided, we are unable to identify the information you require. We do not carry out, or hold 'pedestrian impact assessments' or have a similar approximation.

If you could explain further what information you require we can look into this further. We do have a Safety Audit which reviews the whole proposal; if a part of a scheme fails this then it must be redesigned so that it doesn’t. Therefore this does not relate purely to pedestrians, however, it does mean that we do not build anything that isn’t safe in these terms.

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 10 November 2011 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 do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Graham Hurt
FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team
IACT, General Counsel
Transport for London
[TfL request email]

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Dear FOI,

The fact that you have not conducted pedestrian impact assessments of your proposals is very revealing in itself.

Extracting the information on pedestrians from your "Safety Audits" would take time. Therefore please supply copies of the whole "Safety Audits". Better still put them on your website, linked from the home page, with a copy of the URL here.

If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear from providing copies of these "Safety Audits" to your employers.

It should take very little time to provide these "Safety Audits". Your reply indicates that you know you have these documents and so they should be readily available. A week at the most is a reasonable time to make them available.

Yours sincerely,

David Hansen

Dear Transport for London,

A gentle reminder that two weeks has now passed.

Yours faithfully,

David Hansen

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 enquiry 'Zil lanes and pedestrian crossings'.

This enquiry is a simple one and should be easy to answer.

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

Yours faithfully,

David Hansen

FOI, Transport for London

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Hansen

 

TfL ref: FOI-0857-1112

 

Thank you for your further email received by Transport for London (TfL) on
23 October 2011 asking for copies of all the safety audits of the Olympic
Route Network (ORN). Please accept my apologies for the delay in replying.

 

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of
the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) and TfL’s information
access policy.  I can confirm TfL does hold the information you require.

 

However, in accordance with the EIR, TfL is not obliged to supply the
information as it is subject to a statutory exception to the right of
access to information under Regulation 12(4)(e) – internal communications.

 

In this instance the exception has been applied as the safety audit
reports you have requested are internal documents, produced as part of the
design process for the ORN.

 

The use of this exception 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 by public authorities,
and the strong public interest in knowing that the ORN will be safely
implemented. As with other large projects the ORN is and will be subject
to further public consultation, which will give members of the public
affected by any changes the opportunity to voice any concerns they may
have and for those concerns to be listened to and addressed.  

 

However, at this crucial time disclosure of the information you have
requested would or would be likely to disrupt TfL’s ability to deliver the
implementation of the ORN, which is a critical requirement for the Games. 
The ORN needs to be in place for the start of the Olympics on 27 July
2012, and any changes to infrastructure will need to happen in advance of
that date. The strict deadlines that are a consequence of that mean that
it would not be possible for TfL to respond to the widespread interest in
the details of road changes which would follow disclosure of the safety
audits, as that would make it impractical to implement the ORN in time. In
this instance the public interest in withholding the audits you have
requested so that the ORN can be delivered successfully and on time,
following further public consultation, outweighs the interest in
disclosure.

 

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

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

James Grant

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

Corporate Governance Directorate

General Counsel

Transport for London

[1][TfL request email]

 

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T Henderson left an annotation ()

I find the response rather worrying and hope that an internal review might reverse the decision to keep the safety audits secret.

I wonder whether TfL are experimenting with ad-hoc pedestrian crossing closures to smooth traffic flow at the Hammersmith flyover closure. There is a report of crossings suddenly closing at

http://w14london.ning.com/profiles/blogs...

David Hansen left an annotation ()

The refusal to release the safety audits confirms that the assessment in them is that Zil lanes and the rest will make the streets more dangerous for people. If that was not the case then TfL would be happy to release them.

This is clearly a political act by people who are supposed to be servants of the public. The wish of powerful companies, Coca-Cola, Kraft, McDonalds and Visa for example, to whisk their cronies around, in 4000 BMW cars, to a large marketing event, to which some synchronised swimming, running and jumping is attached, is clearly considered more important by these so-called public servants than the safety of people trying to walk around London.

The Information Commissioner's Office is too slow to deal with this abuse in a timely fashion. When official channels fail, as in this case, then the public's only recourse is to make the point directly. There are plenty of ways to undertake traffic calming on Zil lanes and the other bits of the cronies' route network. Unless people take direct action in this way it is likely that TfL will have even more blood on their hands.

Dear FOI,

"Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR)".

You really do need to start reading what your employers, one of whom is me, say, instead of trying to make everything fit into a mould convenient for your organisation. I have indicated once before that my enquiry is nothing to do with any environmental information stuff. Rather, my enquiry is about the provision of information to me under Freedom of Information laws.

You clearly have something to hide. If the documents I enquired about concluded that pedestrians would be safer under your plans then you would have rushed to publish them. You have not, so it is perfectly clear that they show pedestrians will not be safer under your plans. You will have the blood of pedestrians on your hands and are trying to prevent the public from discovering this until it is too late, classic decide defend tactics.

Given your reluctance to discuss the truth you should issue me with a proper refusal notice under FOI, not some environmental information stuff which has nothing to do with this subject.

Yours sincerely,

David Hansen

FOI, Transport for London

Our ref: IRV-085-1112

Dear Mr Hansen

Thank you for your request for an internal review which was received by Transport for London (TfL) on 9 January 2012.

You have stated that you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request for information. 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://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/f...

Please note, we are also continuing to deal with your request for an internal review dated 27 November 2011, and I apologise for the delayed response.

Every effort will be made to provide you with a response by 6 February 2012. 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 let me know.

Yours sincerely

Graham Hurt
FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team | Transport for London
Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0TL
[TfL request email]

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Sloane Peter, Transport for London

29 February 2012

 

Our ref: IRV-085-1112

 

Dear Mr Hansen

I am contacting you regarding your request for an internal review of TfL’s
handling of your request for information. Please accept my apologies for
the delay in providing you with this response.

 

You indicated that you were not content with the response to your request
for copies of the Road Safety Audits carried out with respect to the
Olympic Route Network (ORN), including the fact that the request was
handled under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIRs),
rather than the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI). The response was
reviewed by a panel who were not involved in providing the original
response.

 

The panel confirmed that the EIRs were the appropriate legislation for
considering your request. While most requests for information will be
subject to FOI, the EIRs provide the statutory right of access to
information to environmental information (which is exempt from disclosure
under FOI). Under the EIRs, environmental information is defined broadly,
and specifically includes any measures such as policies, plans and
activities affecting, or likely to affect, the elements of the
environment.

 

The ORN does itself constitute a plan or activity likely to affect the
state of the elements of the environment, particularly in view of the
possibility of increased traffic congestion and the resulting effects on
the air and air quality. The Road Safety Audits by extension contain a
wide range of environmental information concerning the effects of the ORN,
so the panel considered that it was appropriate that the request continued
to be considered under the EIRs, but also felt that it might be helpful to
emphasise that the rights to access information under the EIRs are very
substantially similar to those under FOI, and they include the right to
appeal to the Information Commissioner.

 

As part of the review, the panel obtained further clarification from the
business area on the nature of the Road Safety Audits from the TfL
business area involved. Safety Audits are undertaken by qualified
professionals, who evaluate the proposals supplied to them. Their
recommendations are then assessed by the scheme’s designer, who may wish
to respond to the Auditor. The individual responsible for commissioning
the design work (the Client) then reviews the Auditor’s recommendations
and the Designers additional comments, before making a decision on how to
proceed. All three parties must be suitably qualified to make these
decisions. Audits form part of a long established process of design,
validation, auditing, engagement, and legal compliance. For an external
party to view this information, they would have also to be supplied with
the designs, which are necessary to understand the audit. This would be
consistent with the duty under Regulation 9 to provide advice and
assistance to requesters.

The business area concerned has calculated that it would take around 24
hours to collate and prepare the relevant information for publication on
the TfL website. There are 24 audits in total and all the relevant
drawings would have to be collated in their current form and associated
with the relevant audit. There are around 20 such drawings per audit and
the process of collating and preparing them would take a minimum of 2
minutes per drawing, for a total of 24 hours of work.  The panel felt that
this amount of work must be considered in the context of the current
demands on the Olympic Transport team. There are only around 150 days
until the start of the Olympics and TfL and its suppliers must continue to
focus on supporting the implementation of measures critical to the
successful delivery of the Games.

 

The panel also considered that it is relevant that TfL has also undertaken
a detailed public engagement and formal consultation on the proposed
measures between March and December 2011. The comments, thoughts and
concerns of the public have been taken into consideration and resulted in
a number of changes to the original proposals.  Consultation on the ORN is
now complete. TfL is committed to communicating and advising London and
has published a great deal of information regarding measures, impacts and
advice on the website [1]www.tfl.gov.uk.

 

In view of the amount of information and consultation that has already
taken place, the amount of effort that would be required to prepare the
audits and necessary supporting information for release, and the
distraction that this would cause to work that is crucial to supporting
the delivery of the Games, the panel felt that TfL is not obliged to
provide this information at this time by virtue of the exception contained
in Regulation 12(4)(b) – the request must be considered manifestly
unreasonable at this time.

 

The panel also considered the application of the exception contained in
Regulation 12(4)(e), which relates to the disclosure of internal
communications. The panel did accept that the exception was engaged,
because the Road Safety Audits had been developed for internal use and
that there was no intention to publish them. This exception is a qualified
one, which means that the balance of the public interest must be taken
into account when deciding whether information should be withheld. The
panel considered the public interest arguments in the original response to
you and felt that they were very finely balanced.

 

The panel recognised that there is an inherent public interest in the
disclosure of environmental information and that the public interest in
the disclosure of information concerning matters of Road Safety is
particularly strong, especially in view of the scope for enabling scrutiny
on matters and measures likely to impact on public safety. In view of
this, the review felt that it was likely that the balance of the public
interest with regard to this exception actually favours disclosure, but
that this is not possible at this time by virtue of the effect of the
other exception as explained above.

 

The panel has raised these concerns about the public interest with the
Games Transport team, who have confirmed that they would have no objection
to the disclosure of these audits once the Games are complete, when the
preparation of the information would not represent an unreasonable
distraction from the work that they are currently obliged to undertake.

 

The panel determined that, in failing to provide you with a response
within 20 working days, TfL has breached the conditions of Regulation
5(2). The panel also noted that you originally requested a review in
relation to this request on 27 November 2011, and subsequently again on 8
January 2012, after a response had been sent to you. Regulation 11(4)
requires an internal review outcome should have provided to you within 40
working days of 27 November, and that in failing to do this, TfL has
failed to act in accordance with the Regulations. On behalf of TfL, please
accept my apologies for this delay. However, the panel considers that this
response has addressed both of these requests for an internal review.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of this review, you can refer the
matter to the independent authority responsible for overseeing the
enforcement of the Environmental Information Regulations, at the following
address:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

 

A complaint form is available on the ICO’s website ([2]www.ico.gov.uk).

 

Yours sincerely

Peter Sloane

 

Peter Sloane | Senior Information Governance Adviser (Enforcement and
Complaints)

Information Governance | General Counsel | Transport for London

Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0TL

T: 020 7126 4912 | E: [3][email address]

 

TfL has recently adopted an ‘information security classification scheme’
to help protect its information assets. If you work for TfL or one of its
subsidiaries and want to find out how this affects you, see the new
[4]Quick Guide or visit [5]Source for more information.

 

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/
2. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
3. mailto:[email address]
4. http://source.tfl/pdfs/IA_QG1_Informatio...
5. http://source.tfl/OurCompany/Governance/...

T Henderson left an annotation ()

"the Games Transport team, who have confirmed that they would have no objection to the disclosure of these audits once the Games are complete"

I'd be interested to know if you will take them up on their offer. If not, I may make a request.....

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