FOI request detail

Freedom of Information request - PCN 34J charges issued by fixed cameras

Request ID: FOI-0378-2021
Date published: 03 July 2020

You asked

Please provide the number of PCNs issued for code 34J contraventions (bus lane) by fixed position traffic enforcement cameras. Please provide this data broken down by camera location and year, from 1st January 2015 to the latest available full year.

We answered

Our ref: FOI-0378-2021/GH

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 12 June 2020 asking for information about PCN 34J charges issued by fixed cameras.

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, in accordance with the FOI Act, we are not obliged to supply the information requested as it is subject to a statutory exemption to the right of access to information under section 31 of the FOI Act, which relates to law enforcement. Specifically, we are refusing your request under section 31(1)(b), which relates to information whose disclosure would be likely to prejudice the apprehension or prosecution of offenders, and section 31(1)(g), which relates to information whose disclosure would be likely to prejudice the exercise by any public authority of its functions or any of the purposes listed in subsection 31(2) of the FOI Act. In this case, this is section 31(2)(a) – the purpose of ascertaining whether any person has failed to comply with the law.

The release of the requested data would reveal any locations at which enforcement activity is not carried out, and could therefore be used those who wish to use restricted bus lanes and avoid penalty charges for doing so. Whilst we make no suggestion that you would use this information for anything other than you own personal interest, disclosure of this information to you has to be regarded as a disclosure to ‘the public at large’.

The use of this exemption is subject to an assessment of the public interest in relation to the disclosure of the information concerned. We recognise the need for openness and transparency by public authorities, but in this instance feel that balance lies in favour of withholding the information to ensure that we are able to manage traffic on the TfL Road Network. It would be strongly against the public interest to release any information that would undermine this. We consider that the release of this information would lead to increased traffic problems as some motorists may seek to take advantage of the information by using bus lanes in areas that we do not currently enforce, and therefore delaying bus services. This would in turn have a further effect that TfL would have to divert further resources to enforcing more zones, which would be likely to involve increased staff and direct costs. It would not be in the public interest to limit TfL’s ability to make the most efficient use of its limited funds in this manner.

We are able to advise that we have not used fixed position bus lane cameras since circa 2008. Fixed position suggests the camera is unable to move as in Pan Zoom and Tilt which all of our street CCTV cameras can do.

Please note, the Government has announced a series of measures to tackle the coronavirus. It is essential for London, that we continue to provide a safe transport network for essential journeys.

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.

Answering FOI requests will require the use of limited resources and the attention of staff who could be supporting other essential activity. In any event, please note that our response time will be affected by the current situation.

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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