diamond geezer

 Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Anyone can make a Freedom of Information request to Transport for London.
Dear Transport for London,

If possible could I have a list of all stops where busses can terminate. For example I know the bus route 188 terminates at Russell Square and North Greenwich, but the 188 can also terminate at Canada Water and Waterloo.

Yours faithfully

TfL always respond promptly and politely to each request.
Dear Mr Reed

Thank you for your email received on 20 October 2015 asking for information about Terminating Bus Stops.

Your request will be processed in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy.

A response will be provided to you by 17 November 2015. 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 to see if this helps you.

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

Yours sincerely

They then have 20 working days to dig deep into their corporate resources to search out the information requested.
Dear Mr Reed

Thank you for your email received on 20 October 2015 asking for information about Terminating Bus Stops.

Your request has been considered under the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and our information access policy. I can confirm that we do hold the information you require.

A bus service can be terminated at any bus stop on the network.

If this is not the information you are looking for please do not hesitate to contact me.

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

Yours sincerely

Sometimes, you feel, they're taking the piss.


Issued on the same day, the following request (I can assure you) has nothing to do with me.
Dear Transport for London,

Please can I have copies of all documents and correspondence (including emails, meeting agendas and minutes, and press lines) created or sent between 01 October 2015 and 18 October 2015 that relate to, or mention the bus stops E, G and/or M on Bow Road.

Yours faithfully

TfL got back with the usual reassurance, then waited a whole month before responding thus.
Thank you for your email received on 20 October 2015 asking for information about Bus Stops E, G and M on Bow Road.

Your request has been considered under the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and our information access policy. I can confirm that we do hold the information you require. However to answer your request 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 a request 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 do this would exceed 18 hours which, at £25 per hour (the rate stipulated by the Regulations), exceeds the ‘appropriate limit’.

You have requested copies of all documents and correspondence (including emails, meeting agendas and minutes, and press lines) created or sent between 01 October 2015 and 18 October 2015 that relate to, or mention the bus stops E, G and/or M on Bow Road. Whilst we believe your request relates to changes made as part of the Cycle Superhighway, you have not limited your request to this, or any other topic. Therefore in order to fully respond to your request we would need to carry out searches for any documents which mention these bus stops in any way, across many different departments within TfL.

To help bring the cost of responding to your request within the £450 limit, you may wish to consider narrowing its scope so that we can more easily locate, retrieve and extract the information you are seeking. For example you may wish to reduce the amount of information requested by refining your request 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 bus stops we may be more easily able to respond to these than to a request for any information held.

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

Yours sincerely

Unless the complainant replies to clarify their woolly-framed query, we may never discover what's been being said about my three local bus stops, dammit.

See how important it is to narrow down your initial question to something the administrators can't wriggle out of.

Be precise, pinpoint what it is you really want to know, and ask carefully.


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