FOI request detail

Michael Meech automated announcements

Request ID: FOI-0727-1819
Date published: 12 October 2018

You asked

Under the Freedom Of Information Act i would like to request you to please send me the automated announcements files of all automated announcements (which have now all been removed in 2016). You can send them to me in mp3 files or whatever type of sound file is most suitable for you. Was only used on the LU Jubilee Line 1996 stock and was used from when it was introduced in 1996 right up until 2016 when you decided to get rid of his announcements and replace them. He only voiced the special automated announcements which were manually selected by the driver. I believe there was ten of them in total (there could be others but these are the only ones i am aware of): 00 Please keep your personal belongings with you at all times. 01 The next station is closed. This train will not stop at the next station. 02 There is no lift service at the next station and you may wish to alight here or beyond and continue your journey at street level. 03 There is a restricted escalator service at the next station and you may wish to alight here or beyond and continue your journey at street level. 04 No smoking. 05 Train fault/all change. 06 All change please this train terminates here. 07 Change here for Canning Town/West Ham/Stratford. 08 Thanks for using the Jubilee Line. 09 Change here for stations beyond London Bridge. I might not have gotten the exact wording 100% correct here. Now i know you have told others that you can not give out LU announcements for copyright or contract reasons to do with Global Services Limited. However i have been told that these announcements are nothing to do with Global Services Limited. The ones voiced by Michael Meech are much older and a completely different system. Also a mate of mine managed to get these automated announcements files from you on an FOI about eight years ago. He showed me the FOI email where you told him that you could give these ones out (but not the other LU ones) as they were not from Global Services Limited. So i was hoping i could get the same. So i am only requesting all of the (now removed) automated announcements on the Jubilee Line 1996 stock.

We answered

TfL Ref: 0727-1819

Thank you for your email received by us on 18 June 2018 asking for information about automated announcements files of all Michael Meech London Underground announcements.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy.

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.

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.

Yours sincerely

Jasmine Howard
FOI Case Officer
Information Governance
Transport For London


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