- 20 Dec 2018
Date received: 30 November 2018
Date responded: 20 December 2018
Thank you for your request dated 30 November under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs) for the following information:
“I am writing to request information under the Freedom of Information Act relating to a road your authority is responsible for maintaining.
Specifically, my query relates to the A737 Clerksbridge - Roadhead roundabout prior to Netherbarfod farm.
Please can you send me:
1. A copy of your current road maintenance policy relating to that road. Please send me the full policy, but this should include details of the intended frequency of road safety inspections, how these inspections should be conducted and the maximum time between identification of a defect and repairs being carried out.
2. A copy of the road repair history for that road over the past year. Again, please send me the full road repair history, but this should include:
- dates of all safety inspections between 31st May 2018 - 31st October 2018
- details of how safety inspections were undertaken (walked or driven, speed of inspection vehicle etc)
- details of all carriageway defects identified, with description, date and time
- details of how the authority handled these defects, what repairs were undertaken and the time between the identification of each defect and a repair being carried out.
As the information you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.
This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.
Transport Scotland’s approach to the maintenance of the trunk road network is set out in the 4th Generation Term Contract for management and maintenance of the Scottish Trunk Road Network and our Road Asset Management Plan. Both documents are available online at the following links;
- Schedule 7: Part 1 of the contract provides an overview of inspections, surveys and defect categories and response times.
- Schedule 7: Part 2: Section 2.7 of the contract provides details of inspections and their frequency during winter.
- Schedule 7: Part 6: Section 3 of the contract details the inspections and their frequency for Structures.
Please refer to Annex A of this request which is the Inspection Defect Report for the A737 Clerksbridge. This details the dates of safety inspections undertaken, all defects discovered within the time frame of 26 May 2018 to 7 August 2018 and the repair dates for the identified defects. Annex B is the road repair history. Both documents contain details of the full road repair history for this location.
Safety inspections are carried out at frequencies not exceeding seven days. Slip roads and link roads at interchanges will be inspected at the same frequency as the associated main carriageway of the trunk road. The inspection vehicle will travel around 40 mph.
Where possible safety inspections will be carried out during off-peak traffic periods to minimise traffic disruption.
Safety inspections will be carried out by a team of two. All inspection and safety patrol personnel will be sufficiently responsible and competent for the task, will have received suitable training and be fully conversant with inspection procedures and health and safety requirements prior to undertaking any such inspections
Detailed inspections are also undertaken on each element of the trunk road asset. These are walked inspections and are typically undertaken on an annual basis (although this can change depending on the particular asset being inspected).
Please see below the definition as per the 4th Generation Term Contract for management and maintenance of the Scottish Trunk Road Network. This definition also explains the associated response times to rectify defects.
"Category 1 Defect" means a Defect that necessitates prompt attention because it presents:
(i) an immediate or imminent hazard, or
(ii) a risk of rapid structural deterioration to the affected element.
"Category 2 Defect" means any Defect which is not a Category 1 Defect.”
In addition, the following extract is taken from Schedule 7 Part 1 of the 4th Generation Term Contract for Management and Maintenance of the Scottish Trunk Road Network:
“2. DEFECT CATEGORIES AND RESPONSE TIMES
2.1 Classification of Category 1 and Category 2 Defects.
2.1.1 When classifying Category 1 and Category 2 Defects, the Operating Company shall give consideration to the potential impact on all road users including motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, equestrians and disabled users.
2.1.2 The Operating Company shall comply with the provisions of the Transport Scotland Trunk Road Inspection Manual regarding classification of Defects.
2.1.3 The Transport Scotland Trunk Road Inspection Manual is deemed not to contain an exhaustive compendium of Defects. In the absence of a description of a Defect in the Transport Scotland Trunk Road Inspection Manual, the Operating Company shall make the classification from first principles.”
The following extract is taken from Schedule 7, Part 1 of the 4th Generation Term Contract for management and maintenance of the Scottish Trunk Road Network and details the timescales for repairing defects:
“2.2 Category 1 Defects Response Times.
2.2.1 Unless stated otherwise in this Part, Category 1 Defects shall be dealt with by the Operating Company in priority order as stated in paragraph 2.2 of this Part.
2.2.2 The Operating Company's inspection team or initial Incident Response Resources shall make the Category 1 Defect safe when identified. This shall be through executing immediate repairs, removing the hazard or by taking any other measures necessary to protect the public and other users of the Unit.
2.2.3 Where a Category 1 Defect renders a Trunk Road unsafe for road users, the Operating Company shall, under Police instruction or on receipt of an appropriate Order, close the relevant part of the Trunk Road for as short a period as possible while remedial action is undertaken.
2.2.4 Where a Category 1 Defect cannot be repaired immediately or the hazard cannot be removed, the Operating Company shall take action to make the area safe until the required temporary or permanent repairs have been completed.
2.2.5 The temporary or permanent repairs shall be undertaken as soon as possible and no later than:
(i) 06:00 on the day following identification for Category 1 Defects on carriageways, and
(ii) within 24 hours of identification for all other Category 1 Defects.
2.2.6 Where a temporary repair has been carried out, the deferred permanent repair period for the following Defect types shall be:
(i) 28 days for carriageway surface, and
(ii) 56 days for Bridge parapets.
2.2.7 All other Category 1 Defects shall be repaired permanently within the specific period referred to in this Part, or no later than 28 days after identification where no specific period is stated.”
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House