FOI request detail

West Anglia and Gospel Oak - Barking rail enhancements

Request ID: FOI-0084-1718
Date published: 01 August 2017

You asked

Thank you for your response to my information request. With regard to item (1), West Anglia capacity enhancement, the link you provided is to a summary brochure, rather than economic case documents. Does TfL hold any, or the, economic case documents.

We answered

Our ref: FOI-0084-1718


Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 11 April 2017 asking for the economic case for the West Anglia capacity enhancement. I am sorry for the delay in replying.


Your request has been considered under the requirements of the Environmental Information Regulations and our information access policy.


I can confirm that we do hold the information you require, however, in accordance with the EIR Regulations, we are not obliged to supply the economic case document as it is subject to a statutory exception to the right of access to information, under Section 12(4) (d).


TfL’s Crossrail 2 team’s involvement in the economic case work for four-tracking was via its role within the West Anglia Taskforce (a coalition of many public and private sector agencies and stakeholders). The economic appraisal work – which TfL did alongside other Taskforce members – did not complete. It did not consider potential impacts associated with the new franchise on that line, nor was it subject to the usual review by DfT. Recent Crossrail 2 scheme development work has meant that some of the assumptions behind the scenarios examined (both costs and benefits) are out of date.


Various options are still being considered, and it is vital that we fully understand the absolute and relative advantages and disadvantages of all of the options before reporting any findings.


Release of the information held, which is incomplete and has in part been superseded, could lead to incorrect assumptions and conclusions being made. The Information Commissioner’s guidance on Regulation 12(4)(d) says that the need for public authorities to have a ‘thinking space’ for policy development was recognised in the original proposal for the Directive that led to the Environmental Information Regulations. The proposal stated:


“It should also be acknowledged that public authorities should have the necessary space to think in private. To this end, public authorities will be entitled to refuse access if the request concerns material in the course of completion or internal communications. In each such case, the public interest served by the disclosure of such information should be taken into account.”


Furthermore, the Information Commissioner’s guidance on Regulation 12(4)(d) states:


“Material which is still in the course of completion can include information created as part of the process of formulating and developing policy, where the process is not complete.”


This exception is subject to a public interest test, which requires us to assess whether the public interest in applying the exception outweighs the public interest in disclosure. In this instance, it is considered that the public interest favours the publication of this information, when complete and according to the pre-determined schedule, rather than in response to your request, to ensure the information is provided accurately and in an accessible manner.


Please see the joint statement from Government and the Mayor earlier this week:


They agreed a way forward in the coming months to examine ways to improve affordability while maximising the key benefits of the scheme, learning lessons ‎from Crossrail 1, ahead of this autumn’s Budget. The outcome will be a fresh consultation on the project, hopefully early next year.


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


Yours sincerely


Graham Hurt


FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

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