FOI request detail

LU announcements

Request ID: FOI-0879-1718
Date published: 10 August 2017

You asked

I see in the press it has been reported that the phrase 'ladies and gentlemen' will no longer be used on the London Underground. Mark Evers released a statement saying this followed that TFL 'reviewed the language that [it uses] in announcements and elsewhere'. Please may I request all email correspondence, notes and documentary materials relating to this review of language or the press announcements on this policy and any changed guidance or procedures issued as a result of this.

We answered

TfL Ref: FOI-0879-1718


Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 12 July 2017 asking for information about Tube 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 we do hold the information you require.


However, to provide the information you have requested would exceed the ‘appropriate limit’ of £450 set by the Freedom of Information (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004.


Under section 12 of the FOI Act, we are not obliged to comply with a request if we estimate that the cost of determining whether we hold the information, locating and retrieving it and extracting it from other information would exceed the appropriate limit. This is calculated at £25 per hour for every hour spent on the activities described.


To fully process your request, we would need to conduct a search of our email archives for all emails that fit within the scope of your request. We conducted a sample test search of emails sent or received by four employees who will have had varying degrees of involvement in this. Whilst you did not specific a timeframe, the criteria for this search was for all emails since April 2017 that contain the keyword “announcement” and/or “Ladies & Gentlemen”.


This search produced in excess of 2,000 hits. A ‘hit’ refers to an email found within our IT system that potentially fits within the scope of your request. Many of the hits are likely to be duplicates, due to emails being repeated within email chains, as well as emails being forwarded internally for discussion during this time period and emails on a different subject matter but containing one of those keywords. Therefore the actual number of emails covered by your request will be a sub-set of these hits. However, locating those that are relevant would require us to manually review all of them to determine whether the email, or email chain, is relevant to your request and then we would need to extract and compile all of those that meet your request.


Conducting this process for such a large amount of emails would breach the cost limit. There would, of course, be further work involved in collating any information held by any additional employees but we have not gone on to consider this for the purposes of determining the cost exemption.


To help bring the cost of responding to your request within the £450 limit, you may wish to consider narrowing its scope so that we can more easily locate, retrieve and extract the information you are seeking. For example, you may wish to limit your request to a particular document, or correspondence between specific individuals that can be more easily identifiable.


Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.


Yours sincerely


Lee Hill

Senior FOI Case Officer


FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London


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