FOI request detail

ULEZ consultation data

Request ID: FOI-2636-2223
Date published: 13 February 2023

You asked

Can you supply the raw Ulez consultation data showing numbers for and against expansion before you decided to manipulate that dataset.

We answered

TfL Ref: FOI-2636-2223

Thank you for your request which we received on 18 January 2023, asking for raw ULEZ consultation response data.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and our information access policy.  I can confirm we hold the information you require.

Unfortunately, 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.

We received approximately 58,000 responses, and each response had answers to multiple questions and text responses to open questions. There were approximately 26 closed questions and 3 free text open questions. There was no text limit on free text answers and while some were fairly short, others were hundreds of words long. The closed question dataset is probably around 1.5m lines of data and the open free text dataset will be several hundred thousand words long. There wasn’t a question in the consultation questionnaire that specifically asked if people were ‘for’ or ‘against’ the expansion. Levels of support (for and against) were themes identified in our consultation qualitative analysis and the data on this is extensively covered in section 5 of the ULEZ consultation report available at

We have estimated that it would considerably exceed the cost limit to provide a response to your current request due to the considerable volume of data that would need to be extracted and collated to fulfil your request.

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. It would be particularly helpful if you could clarify what raw dataset you are specifically interested in. For instance, does your request relate to;
  1. all of the anonymised individual consultation response data, which we analysed to produce the consultation report
  2. all of the anonymised individual quantitative consultation response data to a specific closed question in the consultation questionnaire. If so which question?
  3. all of the anonymised individual qualitative consultation response data that we received, which was subsequently used by AECOM to identify key themes from consultee open question responses

The qualitative analysis of consultation response statements provides the evidence base of sentiment and feedback raised by anyone (public, stakeholder or campaigner) responding to the consultation in this way. This analysis was undertaken by AECOM and the data captured from their qualitative analysis is shown in Section 5 of the Report to the Mayor available at

Qualitative consultation analysis uses the subjective judgement of experienced analysts to determine key themes, views, or comments made to an open text question within the consultation questionnaire. The consultee is then able to express in their own words their response to this question.

In the ULEZ consultation there were three open questions that allowed respondents to express their views or explain their opinion or feedback on the proposed changes to the MTS, the ULEZ expansion and the future of road user charging.  All free-text responses, whether from letters, emails or the online questionnaire were grouped into themes to allow meaningful analysis.
AECOM’s qualitative analysis ensured that every free text response to the consultation was read by one of their analysts to identify the themes within it. These themes were then included in AECOM’s analysis code frame (Appendix E of the ULEZ Report to the Mayor As the analysis progressed, each instance that a theme was expressed by a respondent, was tallied in the code frame. At the end of the qualitative analysis, the final code frame indicated all of the themes expressed in free text responses to the consultation and the number of instances this occurred.

Please note that we will not be taking further action until we receive your revised request.

In the meantime, if you have any queries or would like to discuss your request, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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

Yours sincerely

Eva Hextall
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London

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