FOI request detail

TfL consultations

Request ID: FOI-1411-2223
Date published: 30 September 2022

You asked

Dear Sir/Madam, This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. Please supply me with all releasable working documents, correspondence etc from 2022 detailing Transport for London's policy criteria for allowing, disallowing, evaluating and weighting public responses to consultations. Many thanks indeed

We answered

TfL Ref: 1411-2223

Thank you for your request received by us on 9 September and following clarification,15 September 2022 asking for information about Transport for London’s public consultations policy criteria.

Your request has 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. You asked for:

all releasable working documents, correspondence etc from 2022 detailing Transport for London's policy criteria for allowing, disallowing, evaluating and weighting public responses to consultations. This will involve allowing or disallowing certain comments received (e.g., a recent auto response advises that some comments may be disallowed if deemed abusive.)

Upon seeking clarification on the type of content that ‘working documents, correspondence etc’ should cover, you confirmed that:

Firstly I would like to know what detailed TfL policy criteria have been drawn up for allowing or disallowing consultation comments, please.

Secondly, if any scoring system has been applied to weight some responses from the public more or less equally than others (e.g., possibly fit to existing policy).
We can advise that public responses to our consultations are reviewed and analysed by either our in-house consultation team, or in cases where we have received a very large number of responses to a consultation, this work may be undertaken by an external supplier procured through our analysis framework.

This analysis will take account of all consultation responses that have been submitted either via our online consultation survey hosted on:  by email, phone or Freepost.

Our analysts examine the data to identify common themes, topics, and ideas that feature in a consultee’s response. The purpose of this analysis is to categorise by code each comment in every consultation response to a topic and more detailed theme within a coding framework. Once our analysis is complete, this code frame will record every theme raised by consultees regarding the proposals which have been consulted on and the number of times it was raised.
The details of this analysis and the themes it has identified will then be recorded in a consultation report. This report is used by our internal decision makers to inform their decision-making process. Once a decision has been taken, we will publish the consultation report at and inform everyone that took part in the consultation process how we plan to proceed with our proposals.
Our consultation analysis process does not weight public responses to our consultations, and we do not have a policy that routinely disallows responses to our consultations.

However, at TfL we strongly believe that we need to take positive steps to eradicate work-related violence and aggression towards our staff. We strongly believe that it is neither inevitable nor acceptable that anyone should face violence and aggression at work, either in person, on the phone or via digital communications. If a consultee response is flagged by our analysts as highly offensive towards TfL or our staff, then we may contact the consultee to ask them to remove the offending content and resubmit their response. The final decision on what action to take in this circumstance will be made by our Strategic Consultation Lead.

Should a consultation response make a threat towards TfL or a member of staff, then we would inform the police of the threat and in this extreme circumstance the response would not be included in our consultation analysis. In 2022, we have not yet had cause to escalate any consultation responses to the police to act on.

Separate from our consultation surveys, we may at times use other public facing digital engagement tools known as Places, Forums, Ideas and Stories. These tools share feedback in a live environment that can be viewed by anyone. As such any content posted on these tools is moderated by a moderation team. 

Our moderators provide multilingual 24/7 moderation support to make sure participants, site administrators, and third parties are safe from malicious, inflammatory and illegal materials being publicly posted on We explain how this form of moderation takes place at

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable to access it for any reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London

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