TfL Ref: FOI-1077-2223Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 29th July 2022 asking for information about cameras on the TfL network.Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. Specifically you asked:“I am looking for the cameras' information including lat, long, camera type (speed, safety, etc) from 2018 to the present with academic interest. I found the website https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/open-data-users/our-open-data?intcmp=3671 by google search. I noticed an example feed for demonstration purposes only under the category "Roads-Live traffic camera images". This XML file is useful for me but I did not find the live feed after registration.I found all cameras on this website https://www.tfljamcams.net/ as well. This is also a very useful resource for me and was hoping to obtain a data file about these cameras (whichever data format is convenient) on this page. Would you be able to share the data with me?”On 4th August 2022 you clarified the request as follows:“What I need are cameras for these three purposes below:
- Realtime traffic monitoring
- Enforcing traffic rules and regulations (eg relating to yellow box junctions, red routes and bus lanes); and our Road User Charging Schemes
- Supporting the efficient management and operation of our road and rail networks
I would like to get the exact coordinates of the cameras (their longitudes and latitudes), their respective purposes, when they were installed and when they were removed (if applicable).”
I can confirm that we hold the information you require. However, I am afraid that it is not possible to source it all within the costs limit for responding to FOI cases as set out under section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act. Under section 12, TfL is not obliged to provide information if it would cost more than £450 to determine if the information is held, and to then locate, retrieve or extract it from elsewhere. This is calculated at a rate of £25 per hour, equivalent to 18 hours work. The exemption applies in this instance because not all of this information has been collated before and it would breach the costs limit to source it. This is particularly true in regard to the request to know the date each such camera was installed, and whether any such cameras have been removed. This would require a trawl of thousands of records which is not possible within the costs limit.
Notwithstanding the application of the costs exemption as explained above, note that I can supply you with a list of Road User Charging camera locations in the central London zone (see spreadsheet attached), which has been compiled and released in response to previous requests. Note that the locations of cameras in the outer zone is excepted from disclosure. The rationale for this is explained below.
The aim of the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) and Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) schemes is to improve air quality in London by deterring the most polluting vehicles from driving in the zone, and thereby reduce levels of pollutants that have been proven to damage human health through conditions such as asthma and other respiratory illnesses. TfL does not use separate camera networks to monitor and enforce different Road User Charging (RUC) schemes. The attached spreadsheet details the locations of camera sites in the central London zone. This information applies to all RUC schemes, including the Congestion Charge, Low Emission Zone and ULEZ. However, unlike the central London zone it is not possible to have cameras throughout the LEZ / expanded ULEZ or on every single entry and exit point at its boundary, due to the much larger size.
When information is released under FOI or the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) it is considered to be release to the world at large rather than the individual applicant. By releasing the location of the cameras outside of the central zone it would enable those who wish to avoid detection to enter or drive within the zone, defeating the purpose of the scheme. If vehicle owners know they can avoid the charge by avoiding the cameras, it removes the incentive to adapt their vehicle, or reduce its use, in line with the scheme’s objectives. This in turn will affect the level of improvement in air quality. The locations of the cameras outside the central London zone are therefore excepted from disclosure.
Note finally that the location of many cameras, such as those used to support the management and operation of our rail networks, would be exempt from disclosure in any event (noting the overriding application of the section 12 costs exemption above) on the basis of prejudice to National Security and to Health and Safety. The Information Commissioner’s Office has previously issued a Decision Notice regarding the same principles, as published here:
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