beleben

die belebende Bedenkung

Manner, form and timing

with 7 comments

Figure 5 of October 2013’s HS2 Strategic Case was titled “Expert judgement on post-2019 capacity pressures on north-south main lines”. However, only the East Coast, West Coast, and Midland routes were included in the “judgement”, and it was not clear how their ‘pressure’ ratings were determined, or what they meant.

The Department for Transport has now stated that although there is “a clear public interest in High Speed Rail and on the basis by which decisions have been made concerning capacity and demand on specific routes”, the (several-months-old) report that informed the creation of Figure 5 should not, at the moment, be made public.

The reason? “It is important that we are able to publish the report in a manner, form and timing of our own choosing”.

[DfT statement]

The experts who made the judgement were Steer Davies Gleave (SDG) consultants. Their report sets out the basis and meaning of the colour coding. We are withholding the SDG report in reliance on the exemption at section 22(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 which relates to information intended for future publication. […]

Section 22(1) is a qualified exemption which means we are required to balance the public interest in disclosing the report against that for withholding it at this time.

There is a clear public interest in High Speed Rail and on the basis by which decisions have been made concerning capacity and demand on specific routes. Disclosure of the report now would allow the public to see how decisions are being made and would allow them to contribute to the process.

However, it is important that we are able to publish the report in a manner, form and timing of our own choosing. It is anticipated that the report will be published very shortly and official’s time between now and the publication date would be better spent preparing for publication as opposed to dealing with individual requests for it. This will ensure that everyone gets to see the report at the same time.

On balance the public interest in withholding the report outweighs that for disclosure.

Figure 5 of October 2013's HS2 Strategic Case

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Written by beleben

March 4, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

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7 Responses

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  1. I am surprised beleben, being something of a pedant, did not recognise that DfT have only one person working on the issue:

    “…official’s time…”

    McMichael

    March 4, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    • Heh, well spotted. Of course, anyone can make a mistake, even a member of DfT’s high speed rail group. What caused the outbreak of pedantry, was this freakin’ sign.

      beleben

      March 5, 2014 at 11:30 am

  2. […] The Greengauge 21 website states “Greengauge 21 has no vested interest and is not seeking to be part of any direct beneficiary (construction company, operating company etc.). The company seeks to act in the national and the public interest, by carrying out research and bringing forward evidence so that a full and open debate on high-speed rail can take place.”, but neglects to mention that Jim Steer is also founder of Steer Davies Gleave, one of the UKs largest transport consultancy firms which has been advising Network Rail on planning for HS2 and has produced parts of the latest strategic case for HS2. […]

  3. […] Department for Transport has refused to release a Steer Davies Gleave report concerned with capacity on north south rail lines. However, […]

  4. What could possibly need doing to “prepare” the report for publication?

    johnma

    March 8, 2014 at 8:35 am

  5. […] 4 March 2014 blogpost Manner, form and timing mentioned the Department for Transport’s “reluctance” to publish an SDG report […]


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