Request ID: FOI-1507-1718
Date published: 21 September 2017
Follow-on from FOI-1475-1718:
I am writing to you to request a CD containing all available announcement used in London transport, but mostly London Overground, iBus and Underground announcements.
Our Ref: FOI-1507-1718
Thank you for your further e-mail. Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and TfL’s information access policy. I can confirm we do hold the information you require.
A CD containing the iBus and London Overground announcements has been sent to your address.
As previously advised, it should be noted that the iBus announcements are recorded as fragments. As a result, some announcements would not feature in full as the full announcement would just be made up of two or more fragments that have already been recorded. They were originally recorded for the iBus rollout over a period of two years in 20 sessions. Numerous CDs and folders were set up in this process and so unfortunately they are not all held centrally. Some of the current iBus recordings may also be made up of fragments that are no longer used.
Announcements used on the services that London Overground took over from Abellio Greater Anglia on 31 May 2015 are not held as audio files. They are held on a server and we access them through existing server and rolling stock. I can confirm that we have no current plans to create any new recordings.
Please note that while access to this material will be provided to you under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, you are not granted any rights to any of the intellectual property that exists in it or granted any permission to make secondary uses of it.
TfL owns all intellectual property (including, without limitation, copyright) in the material supplied and will defend such rights.
If you wish to make any secondary use of the material provided, you must first obtain the consent of TfL (which may be withheld) and, if consent is granted, a fee may be charged, in accordance with the terms of the Reuse of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005.
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).
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. This applies to recordings on all of the London Underground.
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.
If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable to access it for some reason, please feel free 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.
FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
Transport for London
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