Last December during a Transport Select Committee oral evidence meeting, I asked the Transport Secretary, Justine Greening, a number of questions regarding the refusal of a Freedom of Information request relating to the West Coast Main Line peak time loadings.
I wrote to the Transport Secretary as means of a follow up. Here is an extract of the response I received:
My written response of 16 December 2011 to the Committee confirmed that, though the Department of Transport has – with the explicit agreement of the train operators concerned – published lists of most crowded trains no other data on train loadings have been released as this material is held under the terms of commercial confidentiality. It is the publication of the list of crowded trains that was covered by the media during 2011.
As you can see this falls rather short of our expectations.
Tags: HS2, Rail, Select Committee, Transport
We should either have proper accountability, or the government should get out of the train business altogether.
This trick of using ‘commercial confidentiality’ to evade FOI requests has been used before. I’m told the BBC contract out their Question Time audience selection process for this very reason – they ensure the ‘right’ kind of diversity, no questions asked.