FOI request detail

Correspondence with Cribble

Request ID: FOI-3489-1819
Date published: 09 April 2019

You asked

Please provide any and all email correspondence between Transport for London and any email address ending with between 4 March 2019 and 19 March 2019. Please also provide any correspondence between Transport for London and Uber that mentions Cribble

We answered

Our Ref:         FOI-3489-1819

Thank you for clarifying your request received on 20 March 2019 asking for correspondence with/regarding Cribble.

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

There has been no correspondence between TfL and Uber that mentions Cribble.

In accordance with the FOI Act, we are not obliged to supply the requested correspondence between TfL and Cribble as it is subject to a statutory exemption to the right of access to information under section 31(1)(g), which relates to information where disclosure would be likely to prejudice the exercise by any public authority of its functions for any of the purposes listed in subsection 31(2) of the FOI Act, specifically, ‘(2)(c)the purpose of ascertaining whether circumstances which would justify regulatory action in pursuance of any enactment exist or may arise’.
In this instance the exemption has been applied as the information is held only for the purposes of ascertaining whether the introduction of the Cribble app by a licensed private hire operator will impact the operator’s compliance with the regulations, in accordance with our responsibility for regulating the private hire trade in London. This information contains details which otherwise would not have been made available to us and the exemption applies to protect our ability to clarify and confirm details on specific issues regarding general licensing concerns. The prejudice would be caused by disclosure because it would affect our ability to engage with the taxi and private hire trade and would inhibit the free flow of information, particularly where there is disclosure of information about confidential and commercially sensitive data. Effective working between the trade and the regulator relies on a safe space where information can be shared at a sufficiently early stage to avoid the need for formal enforcement action.
This benefits the public as it enables greater oversight of private hire operators and better scrutiny of services by the regulator, it is also beneficial because proactive discussion avoids costly enforcement activity, delayed access to information and increased bureaucracy.
The use of this exemption is subject to an assessment of the public interest in relation to the disclosure of the information concerned. We recognise that there is a public interest in understanding the scope of regulatory activity, and whether concerns have been sufficiently addressed. However, we feel the balance of the public interest supports the exemption in order to enable the effective and timely sharing of information between ourselves and the taxi and private hire trade. Please note that in March 2019 we published a Taxi and Private Hire Notice regarding Cribble. This can be found on our website here: 

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

Yours sincerely

Gemma Jacob
Senior FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London

[email protected]

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