- 6 Jun 2019
Date received: 5 May 2019
Date responded: 3 Jun 2019
Traffic modelling data, analysis and reports (resulting from the A96 Corridor Road Assignment Model (CRAM) traffic model) being used in the A96 Duallling East of Huntly to Aberdeen scheme.
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.
I enclose an electronic copy of the Corridor Route Assignment Model (CRAM) Validation Report and, as separate files, the 14 appendices to the report. Also enclosed on the CD, are two calibration and validation spreadsheets which summarise the traffic data at key locations within the modelled area for the respective modelled time periods. This is supplemented by a map which provides a visual of the application of the collected data in the model development process.
As further background to the information enclosed, AECOM were appointed by Transport Scotland in 2014 to develop a traffic model for the A96 corridor between Inverness and Aberdeen. Since then there have been periodic updates to the model to assist the scheme design process and the information provided refers to CRAM version 1.4. As explained in the clarification letter I sent on the 14th May 2019, there is a wider body of supporting raw traffic data comprising a further approximate 2GB to 5GB of information. Following your response received on the 15th May 2019 advising you do not wish to receive this information, the related files have not been included as part of this response.
As noted, CRAM v1.4 is the latest version of the base model which is being used by the Design Consultants (AmeyAurp) in the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) Stage 2 Assessment for the East of Huntly to Aberdeen section. The development of future year traffic forecasts is informed by Transport Scotland’s, Transport Model for Scotland (TMfS) and Transport and Economic Land-use Model of Scotland (TELMoS). These forecasts are included in the A96 CRAM and used by AmeyArup as part of their DMRB Stage 2 Assessment.
In respect of the A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen section, the DMRB Stage 2 route options Traffic & Economic Assessment is currently being developed, the outcome of which will be reported in a DMRB Stage 2 Scheme Assessment Report. The route options assessment process for this section is on-going with a view to identifying a preferred option later this year.
An exception under regulation 10(4)(d) of the EIRs (unfinished or incomplete information) therefore applies to the information you have requested because it is material which is still in the course of completion. The reasons why that exception applies are explained in the Annex to this letter.
REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION
Material in course of completion, unfinished documents or incomplete data
An exception under regulation 10(4)(d) of the EIRs (unfinished or incomplete information) applies to the information you have requested because it is material which is still in the course of completion. The Traffic & Economic Assessment of the options under consideration on the A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen scheme is currently being developed, to inform the preferred route option decision, expected to be announced and reported in a DMRB Stage 2 Scheme Assessment Report later this year. The development and application of future year traffic model forecasts, are used to inform the scheme development and assessment work.
This exception 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 exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. We recognise that there is some public interest in release as part of open, transparent and accountable government and this will be met by our planned publication of the A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen DMRB Stage 2 Scheme Assessment Report later this year. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that unfinished or incomplete information which is still being worked on or is under active consideration is not disclosed when it might misinform the public or give a misleading impression of the Government’s view or position on the matter to which the information relates.
Due to the size of the files we are unable to upload the documents referred to above.
If you wish to consider, please contact us at the address below and we will be happy to provide.
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 Andrews House