THE Telegraph & Argus has asked for a review to be carried out after West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) said it was "unable to provide" information about the closure of Bradford Interchange's bus station.

Bradford's main bus station - run by WYCA - has been shut since early January after a block of concrete from the structure collapsed into an underground car park, and will remain closed until at least June.

On January 12, the Telegraph & Argus submitted the following question to WYCA under the Freedom of Information Act: "Please can WYCA provide all written correspondence it has made and received regarding the emergency closure of the bus station at Bradford Interchange, up to today (Friday, January 12, 2024)."

On Friday, 51 working days after that request was made, WYCA emailed the Telegraph & Argus confirming it "does hold the information covered by your request" - but that it was "unable to provide the information as this is being withheld" under two regulations of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIRs). 

The Telegraph & Argus has now contacted WYCA asking for an internal review of its decision - stating that members of the public have a right to know the information.

WYCA's email to the Telegraph & Argus on Friday said: "Regulation 12(4)(d) of the EIRs relates to material, which is still in the course of completion, unfinished documents or incomplete data. The exception is engaged in this instance as some of the material is continuing to be developed as the combined authority continues the assessment of the damage at Bradford Interchange bus station after some concrete fell into the basement of the bus station. 

"Regulation 12(5)(e) of the EIRs applies whereby disclosure of information would impact the confidentiality of commercial or industrial information where such confidentiality is provided by law to protect a legitimate economic interest. This exception applies to information being treated in confidence by the combined authority which includes communications with external professionals."

WYCA's email added: "In reaching our decision, the combined authority recognises that there is considerable local interest in the closure of Bradford Interchange bus station and will continue to be open and transparent with the status of the interchange's closure."

In its request for an internal review to be carried out, the Telegraph & Argus argued that the issue was in the public interest and urged WYCA to release the information it has confirmed it does hold.