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Clean Highways (CH) had asked Highways Agency for Jan 2015 litter complaints

The request was refused as being “manifestly unreasonable”

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) overruled the Highways Agency (now Highways England) and ordered them to provide information

ICO are otherwise highly critical of CH implying future requests requests can be refused

CH asks the ICO to reconsider their negative comments in the light of a 2013 ruling by the Information Tribunal.

In 2012 information other requests I made to the Highways Agency (now Highways England)  were refused on the they were manifestly unreasonable under Environmental Information Regulations 12(4)(b).

I complained to the ICO. They supported the HA saying I “had gone beyond the reasonable pursuit of information“.

I lodged an appeal with the Information Tribunal. The Judge overruled the ICO and ordered the HA to provide the information.

The Tribunal did not consider the requests as excessive “in the light of the worthwhile nature of Mr Silverman’s campaign

They“concluded that Mr Silverman’s campaign was a decent worthwhile campaign with a serious aim and purpose which was of general benefit to the whole community”.

In 2015 I had two requests turned down by Highways Agency, including one asking for details of litter complaints received in January of that year.

I complained to the ICO. This time they overruled Highways England. However the Decision Notice was highly critical of myself and my campaign.

I was advocating “continuous litter picking”. I am not.

They considered  I may be  motivated by the enjoyment of notoriety as I had ignored HE’s invitation to join Transport Focus’s panel. There was no such invitation.

I had asked for separate regular meeting with HE. I had not.

HE’s claim that my campaign had not yielded any positive results was take as read  even though I had referred the ICO to 13 specific achievements including having my proposals for the HE network accepted by a Parliamentary Select Committee.

There is an impasse in my relations with HE. There is not. They are corresponding with me on a number of issues.

I was intransigent even though in making the two requests I had offered to modify them to make them less onerous.

They referenced one court case in which I was required to pay HA a quarter of their costs but ignored two other cases in which HA had to pay my costs in full.

My ongoing correspondence is a burden for HE. 

They implied that the advent of Transport Focus and the Office of Rail and Road would make my campaign redundant and my (future) information requests were “likely to be burdensome to HE and distract it from its other business“.

I have  written to the ICO asking them to reconsider their negative comments.

Peter Silverman
14th September 2015




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