Liverpool City Council appeal ICO decision requiring release of bus lane suspension report
Edited 20th April 2016 by John Brace to add in missing closing parenthesis.
The author of this piece is the Appellant in two cases before the First-Tier Tribunal (Information Rights). These are John Michael Brace v Information Commissioner & Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council (EA/2016/0033) and John Brace v Information Commissioner & Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority (EA/2016/0054).
Liverpool City Council have taken the step of appealing to the First Tier-Tribunal (Information Rights) a decision notice of the regulator ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office). The decision notice required Liverpool City Council to provide the draft report in response to a request. However due to the appeal, the outcome of the appeal will determine whether Liverpool City Council have to release the draft report.
The case is listed as case number EA/2016/0084. The decision notice issued on the 8th March 2016 (FER0601794 (which can be viewed on ICO’s website)) is about an Environmental Information Regulations request for a draft Mott McDonald report to Liverpool City Council about Liverpool’s bus lanes. The title of the report is Liverpool Transport Corridors & Bus Lane Suspension.
Had the decision not been appealed, Liverpool City Council would’ve had to release the draft report before polling day (5th May 2016) in the combined elections for local councillor, Mayor of Liverpool and Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside.
Liverpool City Council disagree that the draft report should be released on an alleged claim of commercial confidentiality and an alleged claim of adverse impact on those who supplied information to Mott McDonald. The Information Commissioner’s view is that Liverpool City Council have failed to show that these exceptions are engaged.
The suspension of various bus lanes in Liverpool has been unpopular with at least one major bus company who stated at a public meeting that it has affected the punctuality of buses on the affected routes. The representative of the bus company also called for the bus lane suspensions to be reversed.
The decision by the Labour administration on Liverpool City Council to proceed with the suspension of the bus lanes was opposed by the Green Party opposition on Liverpool City Council.
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