FOI request detail

Emails between TPH and UBER

Request ID: FOI-1135-1718
Date published: 23 August 2017

You asked

All emails between LTPH and UBER between 1st January 2017 till the end of February 2017.

We answered

TfL Ref: FOI-1135-1718, FOI-1139-1718, FOI-1140-1718, FOI-1164-1718 and FOI-1194-1718

Thank you for your requests asking for correspondence.

Your request have been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our Information Access Policy. I can confirm that we hold some of the information you require.

Please see our response to each of your requests below.


All emails between LTPH and UBER between 1st January 2017 till the end of February 2017.


Under the Freedom of Information Act, please can you provide me with all the email correspondence between:

a) Helen Chapman and UBER between 30th January 2016 to 30th May 2016.

b) Graham Robinson and UBER between 30th January 2016 to 30th May 2016.

c) Silka Kennedy-Todd and UBER between 30th January 2016 to 30th May 2016.


All email correspondence between Helen Chapman and Inspector Neil Bellany (RTPC) from 13th June 2016 till 12th September 2016.

All email correspondence between Silka Kennedy-Todd and Inspector Neil Bellany (RTPC) from 13th June 2016 till 12th September 2016.

Unfortunately, to provide all of the information you have requested in the above three requests 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.

We have determined that there are in excess of 2,200 emails that potentially fit within the scope of the above requests. These emails would each need to be manually reviewed to determine whether they are caught by your requests. Many of the hits are likely to be not relevant, duplicates, due to emails being repeated within email chains, as well as emails being forwarded internally for discussion during this time period. 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

It should also be noted that our email search facility does not determine searches by department and so we can not run a remote search on “LTPH” but would need to conduct a search of the entire email archive across the full organisation and then manually review the results to determine which of the results were sent to/from individuals employed within the Taxi & Private Hire directorate at the time you have specified.

We have therefore estimated that it would considerably exceed the cost limit to provide a response to your requests. 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. As we are issuing a refusal notice in relation to the aggregated cost limit you may wish to revise your requests and prioritise which information you require within the 18 hour limit, ensuring your request is specific as possible, including keywords to search on where applicable, to allow for a more targeted search.

Please note that under Regulation 5(2) of the Data Protection and Freedom of Information (Appropriate Limits and Fees) Regulations 2004, we are permitted to aggregate requests where they relate to any extent to the same or similar information, and we consider that this is the case with your requests. This aggregation applies to any requests that are received within a sixty working day period. I think it is only fair to inform you that, once we receive your clarification, if we process your requests up to the cost limit of £450, then we would not be obliged to respond to any similar FOI requests for a period of sixty working days. However, this would not apply to requests for unrelated information.


On the 30th January 2016 a female was sexually assaulted by an UBER driver.

The same driver later went on to commit a second more serious sexual assault, which was documented in a letter from Neil Billany (RTPC) and Helen Chapman (LTPH) dated 12th April 2017 and obtained under TFL ref: FOI 0866-1718.

On the 13th May 2016 UBER dismissed the driver and notified LTPH.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, please can you reveal who UBER notified at LTPH and provide me with all the email correspondence between that person and UBER from:

30th January 2016 to 30th May 2016.

I can confirm we do not hold the information you require. In accordance with standard procedure, we were notified of this driver dismissal via a PHV 105 form. These forms are not submitted to any specific individual and so we are unable to provide “all the email correspondence between that person and Uber” over the requested time period.


Following your reply to me on the 4th August, please could you therefore provide me the Direct Messages, from the LTPH Twitter account from the following dates:

4th March 2017 till 10th April 2017. 

We are refusing this request under section 14(1) of the Act. After reviewing a sample of our records we consider that providing the requested information would place an unreasonable burden on us. Our principal duty is to provide an effective transport service for London and we consider that answering this request would represent a disproportionate effort. It would be a significant distraction from our work managing the TfL network, requiring re-allocation of already limited resources and placing an unacceptable burden on a small number of personnel. 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 deliberately place an undue burden on our resources.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) guidance states that one of the indicators of a request which may fall under section 14(1) is that it “appears to be part of a completely random approach, lacks any clear focus, or seems to have been solely designed for the purpose of ‘fishing’ for information without any idea of what might be revealed.”

The ICO guidance provides the following examples of a ‘fishing expedition’ request which may fall under section 14(1) if it:

- Imposes a burden by obliging the authority to sift through a substantial volume of information to isolate and extract the relevant details;

- Encompasses information which is only of limited value because of the wide scope of the request;

- Creates a burden by requiring the authority to spend a considerable amount of time considering any exemptions and redactions.

Our view is that all three of these examples apply in this instance. We have found that there are in excess of 450 individual messages that meet the requirements of your request, which is just one of seven requests submitted in the previous four weeks.  In order to process this, we would need to manually review each of these messages one by one. Given that direct messages are considered to be private, as opposed to the public facing nature of the Twitter account generally, it is likely that it would be necessary to spend at least some time, and possibly a significant amount of time, considering exemptions which might be applicable to the information caught by the request, particularly in relation to personal data. This is likely to include redacting exempt information from messages in which there is very limited public interest but which are caught by your request because they are simply messages sent from our Twitter account.

By its nature, we feel this wide ranging and non-specific request will very likely encompass information which is only of limited value. In that respect, it is noteworthy that your request is not for information on any specific subject or issue.

We consider the burden of retrieving, reviewing and redacting the information would be disproportionate to the benefit of providing it. Therefore, due to the wide and unfocused scope of your request, we are refusing it under s.14 of the FOI Act. If you would like to re-submit a more focused, specific request then we will, of course, consider it. For example, a request for information on a particular, specific, subject or issue contained in correspondence exchanged between named individuals over a limited period of time is less likely to raise concerns about the disproportionate effort required to answer it.

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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