Freedom of Information request - iBus Announcements including Covid-19 Announcements
Request ID: FOI-0226-2021
Date published: 15 June 2020
I would like to request (ideally downloadable) a copy of all London iBus announcements, including all "special" announcements (e.g. 'please hold tight while the bus is moving' ones that were previously trialled), including but not limited to the recently added iBus announcements with messages about Coronavirus and travelling only where essential.
I am aware that Covid-19 is affecting your ability to respond to FOI requests, but I still wish to proceed with my request.
Our ref: FOI-0226-2021/GH
Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 16 May 2020 asking for iBus announcements.
Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. I can confirm that we do hold the information you require
However, we are refusing your request under section 14(1) of the Act. We consider that providing the requested information would place an unreasonable burden on us at this time. As you will be aware, it is essential for London, and in particular for all critical workers, that we continue to provide a safe transport network that enables them to make the journeys they need to and our staff are working hard to support them and protect all Londoners. We consider that answering this request would represent a disproportionate effort and would require the redirection of limited specialist resources and the attention of staff away from their core functions who could be supporting other essential activity.
We do wish to clarify that whilst we consider that your request falls under section 14(1) of the FOI Act, this does not reflect a conclusion that it has been your intention to place an undue burden on our resources.
On the specific application of section 14(1) we have been steered by the ICO guidance on the use of that exemption that can be found on its website here: https://ico.org.uk/media/1198/dealing-with-vexatious-requests.pdf
To be clear, it is the current context in which the request has been made that is central to our decision to apply the exemption set out in section 14(1) in response to your request.
We have responded to several hundred requests for audio recordings over many years. However, due to alternative working arrangements aligned with the Government’s measures to tackle the coronavirus, the FOI Case Management Team do not currently have access to the necessary hardware required to create CDs of audio announcements in response to FOI requests and so we are unable to process these requests remotely.
Additionally, whilst we have also explored alternative technological solutions, it is an unavoidable consequence that processing requests of this nature would require critical employees to be diverted from their operational responsibilities and, in the current circumstances, we consider that our priority must remain on providing and maintaining an effective transport system to essential workers across the capital and that our limited resources are utilised as effectively as possible to ensure that happens. Therefore we are refusing your request under s14 of the FOI Act.
The Government has announced a series of measures to tackle the coronavirus. It is essential for London, and in particular for all critical workers, that we continue to provide a safe transport network that enables them to make the journeys they need to.
In current circumstances, we are not able to answer FOI requests readily and we ask that you please do not make a request to us at present. Should you wish to submit a revised request please note that our response time will be affected by the current situation and so you may wish to reconsider the timing of this request.
Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.
FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
Transport for London
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