Freedom of information

The High­ways Agency, like all other gov­ern­ment depart­ments is sub­ject to the Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion Act 2000 (“the FOI Act”). The Depart­ment for Trans­port is com­prised of a cen­tral pol­icy organ­i­sa­tion and seven exec­u­tive agen­cies. We are part of DfT and under the FOI Act and other pur­poses have no sep­a­rate legal iden­tity and are not a pub­lic author­ity in our own right.

If your request is best answered by the Depart­ment, one of the Agen­cies, or another author­ity, we will ask you for per­mis­sion to trans­fer your request to them.

This sec­tion aims to sat­isfy the require­ments of the Min­istry of Justice’s Code of Prac­tice.

As roads affect the envi­ron­ment, you may find we han­dle your request under the Envi­ron­men­tal Infor­ma­tion Reg­u­la­tions 2004. This is because you may request infor­ma­tion which is defined as “envi­ron­men­tal infor­ma­tion”.

If your request is for per­sonal infor­ma­tion about your­self, we will treat your request as a Sub­ject Access Request under the Data Pro­tec­tion Act 1998.

Mak­ing a request

Any­one can make a request for infor­ma­tion. You do not need to be a UK cit­i­zen or liv­ing in the UK in order to make one. You may request any infor­ma­tion held by or on the behalf of the Agency, regard­less of how it is held. We hold a wide vari­ety of infor­ma­tion such as maps, plans, pho­tographs, writ­ten infor­ma­tion and infor­ma­tion held on computer.

When you make a request, we have to inform you if we hold the infor­ma­tion (known as the duty to con­firm or deny) and to have that infor­ma­tion com­mu­ni­cated to you, sub­ject to exemp­tions.

A request is for infor­ma­tion, so you may not always receive the full doc­u­ment, just the infor­ma­tion con­tained within it. When it is more con­ve­nient, we may send you the entire doc­u­ment rather than extract­ing the infor­ma­tion you requested.

The eas­i­est way of mak­ing an FOI request to the High­ways Agency is by send­ing an email to ha_info@highways.gsi.gov.uk.

All requests need to con­tain the following:

  • Your name and address — if apply­ing by e-mail, just your e-mail address is sufficient
  • A clear state­ment of what infor­ma­tion you are requesting
  • Means of con­tact should we need to dis­cuss your request - e.g. tele­phone number
  • The form in which you want the infor­ma­tion e.g. elec­tronic, large print, Braille.

If you wish to sub­mit an appli­ca­tion by post we have cre­ated an  appli­ca­tion form (60KB PDF), which we rec­om­mend for postal applicants.

Or write to us at:

Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion
High­ways Agency
3 Ridge­way
Quin­ton Busi­ness Park
Quin­ton Express­way
Birm­ing­ham B32 1AF

Do you need help?

Under the Act, we are obliged to help you make a request. Not only does this help you, but it helps us as well to find the infor­ma­tion quickly. We do not need to know why you want the information.

If you would like to speak to some­one about how to word your request, con­tact HAIL, our infor­ma­tion line.

Tel: 0300 123 5000

E-mail: ha_info@highways.gsi.gov.uk

Do I have to pay?

Most requests are han­dled free of charge. We may charge for print­ing, pho­to­copy­ing, spe­cial for­mats and postage if this exceeds £35.

We charge a rate of 10p per sheet for photocopying/printing.

Where we already pub­lish infor­ma­tion , you will have to pay the cost quoted for the publication.

We will send you a fees notice ask­ing for pay­ment if required, and you have 3 months to pay the fee before we sup­ply the infor­ma­tion. If you do not wish to pay the fee, you may ask to view the infor­ma­tion at one of our offices.

If a request is han­dled under Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion, there is a £600 cost limit on time spent find­ing, sort­ing, and edit­ing the infor­ma­tion. This is cal­cu­lated at £25 per hour. When a request exceeds £600, we will con­tact you and work with you to nar­row your request so we can pro­vide you with some, if not all, the infor­ma­tion you orig­i­nally requested. Where we can not nar­row the request, we will refuse the request as too costly.

Already pub­lished information

The Depart­ment for Trans­port pub­li­ca­tion scheme details cat­e­gories of infor­ma­tion that we pub­lish or intend to pub­lish. If your request is for infor­ma­tion we pub­lish, we are not obliged to pro­vide it to you. You will have to pay any fee charged for the pub­li­ca­tion if there is one, or you may be able to access it from your local pub­lic library. Details of all pub­li­ca­tions issued by DfT under its Pub­li­ca­tion Scheme since 2002 can be accessed using the Pub­li­ca­tions Search at the Com­mu­ni­ties and Local Gov­ern­ment website .

Third par­ties

If you request infor­ma­tion about a person/company other than your­self, we are obliged to con­sult with them before respond­ing. Sec­tion IV of the code of prac­tice explains this in detail.

I’d like it in a spe­cial format

Some peo­ple have spe­cial require­ments and so need the infor­ma­tion to be sup­plied in Braille, large print, audio for­mat or trans­lated into another lan­guage. We can do this for you, but remem­ber that it may take the cost over the £600 threshold.

Send­ing you the response

Responses have to be sent out within 20 work­ing days of receiv­ing your request. Some­times we may respond later than this, but we will inform you first as we can only exceed this under cer­tain con­di­tions. If we have asked you to clar­ify your request; have had to apply a pub­lic inter­est test to exempt infor­ma­tion or have issued a fees notice, we may respond later than the 20 work­ing days.

Why haven’t you given me the infor­ma­tion I requested?

Some­times, we may with­hold infor­ma­tion if the FOI Act tells us to do so, or if it is in the pub­lic inter­est to do so. We may refuse to sup­ply all or just some infor­ma­tion. We can only do this when an exemp­tion applies. We will explain which exemp­tion applies, and where we have con­ducted a pub­lic inter­est test, we will send you our rea­son­ing for and against release to help you under­stand why we feel the exemp­tion applied. Some­times, we may not even be able to con­firm or deny that we hold the information.

We may also refuse requests on the grounds that is too costly  to answer or that you have asked us the ques­tion before and we have no new infor­ma­tion to give you. This is called a repeated request and may be refused.

Requests may also be refused as vex­a­tious. This is explained in the Min­istry of Justice’s pro­ce­dural guidance .

I want to complain

Every­one has a right to com­plain and we have a com­plaints process to han­dle your com­plaint. We will respond to any com­plaint within 20 work­ing days of hear­ing from you.