Our ref: FOI-0179-1718
Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 26 April 2017 asking for audio announcements.
Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and TfL’s information access policy. I can confirm we do hold some of the information you require.
CDs containing the iBus, London Overground, Tramlink, River Services and Woolwich Ferry announcements has been sent to you in the post. Please note that while access to this material will be provided to you under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, you are not granted any rights to any of the intellectual property that exists in it or granted any permission to make secondary uses of it.
TfL owns all intellectual property (including, without limitation, copyright) in the material supplied and will defend such rights.
If you wish to make any secondary use of the material provided, you must first obtain the consent of TfL (which may be withheld) and, if consent is granted, a fee may be charged, in accordance with the terms of the Reuse of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005.
It should be noted that the iBus announcements are recorded as fragments. As a result, some announcements would not feature in full as the full announcement would just be made up of two or more fragments that have already been recorded. I have also included a list of the announcements for your reference.
London Overground / TfL Rail
Announcements used on the services that London Overground took over from Abellio Greater Anglia on 31 May 2015 are not held as audio files. They are held on a server and we access them through existing server and rolling stock. I can confirm that we have no current plans to create any new recordings.
In regard to the DLR audio announcements for the trains and stations, we do not hold this information. The on train announcements for DLR are not held in any central repository and are not ‘recorded ‘ as such. These are done digitally as needed by typing them into a system, combining previously typed announcements where necessary. It is therefore not possible to provide an audio recording, as requested. The station announcements are held on a central system but not in a form that allows them to be distributed.
In accordance with the FOI Act, TfL is not obliged to supply the audio files for London Underground’s Tube announcements as the information is subject to a statutory exemption to the right of access to information under section 43(2). This exemption also applies to old announcements which are no longer in use.
In this instance section 43(2) has been applied as disclosure of the information requested would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of TfL and/or Global Services Ltd. The recordings in question were provided to London Underground from Global Services Ltd under a signed contract which contained explicit conditions concerning disclosure and distribution.
The contract specifies that the recordings are solely to be used for the purpose for which they were created and for broadcast on the London Underground network only. If TfL were to disclose these recordings in response to an FOI request, it would constitute an actionable breach of contract and would be likely to result in a valid legal claim against London Underground or the license to use the recordings being withdrawn, which would impose additional, unnecessary, costs. TfL wishes to protect its commercial interests and ability to participate in future commercial activity. The disclosure of this information would be to the detriment of present and future business activities for both parties.
The use of this exemption 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 within public authorities and the degree of public interest concerning London transport announcements in light of the recent disclosure of iBus announcements. However, in this instance this is outweighed by the damage that would be done to TfL’s ability to use these recordings and any future contractual negotiations that may take place regarding the London Underground announcements.
Emirates have asserted that they hold the copyright on the recordings and have never released them to us for purposes other than use in operating the Air Line. For the reasons stated above in relation to London Underground announcements, we consider that s43(2) also applies to these announcements.
This service is not operated by TfL and therefore we do not hold their announcements.
If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable to access it for some reason, please feel free to contact me.
Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.
FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
Transport for London