20 mph zones in South Ayrshire: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

Information requested

  1. A profile of the data, rationale, evidence and decision-making mechanisms of making selected villages in South Ayrshire 20mph zones. For example, Maidens, Dalrymple, Maybole etc but not exclusive of these examples. How is/was the decision made (eg inclusion/exclusion criteria.
  2. To minimise the need for longevity in the process of understanding, can you provide the actual data: crude/raw, descriptive, and inferential, from which the decisions are made such that it can be scrutinised by the public who ultimate fund such things (within South Ayrshire).
  3. On that theme can you outline, over and above the enforcement costs of policing/enforcement in South Ayrshire (which would be an unreasonable request) the annual cost and profile of carrying out the collection of data as it relates to traffic volume, vehicle type, speeds (measures of central tendency and dispersion/variability) and specifically the locations where this is carried out (by that is meant within South Ayrshire villages where physically is the data gathered eg south end, middle, north, near local landmarks etc in these villages) and also grant access to that data again such that it can be scrutinised.

On 8 November it was clarified that understand was being sought of the data collection in Kirkoswald, and how the A77 in a generic sense from Ayr to Ballantrae is surveyed. 

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 ofInformation (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.


1. Transport Scotland implemented two of five 20 mph pilot sites identified, including Maybole and Biggar in line with the Speed Management in Towns and Villages guidance, which can be found here. Data for Maybole can be found from this link. These locations were carefully chosen as having met the criteria identified for a 20 mph pilot, which are as follows:

  • Personal Injury Accidents particularly those involving vulnerable road users
  • Vehicle speeds – not being significantly above an average of 24 mph
  • Traffic volumes
  • Vehicle composition including the HGV proportion of total traffic volume
  • Road Environment including layout, key buildings and social amenities

In addition, the pilot sites should not require significant engineering or Police enforcement to support their operation. Typically, more heavily engineered speed reductions are not appropriate for the strategic network, given the use of these for Emergency vehicles, HGVs and other large vehicles and the adverse impacts associated with traffic calming heavily trafficked routes.

Whilst Maybole is no longer a trunk road, it was under the responsibility of Transport Scotland when the 20mph pilot was implemented. Maidens and Dalrymple are not located on a trunk road, therefore are the responsibility of the Local Authority.

2. See response to 1. above.

3. Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), Transport Scotland is not required to provide information which it does not have. We do not have not have the information you have requested because Transport Scotland maintain a stock of permanent automatic traffic counters across the trunk road network, some of  which are located on the A77 route. These counters however are placed intentionally in areas with free flowing traffic, and away from multiple traffic movements caused by junctions for example. As such, the location of permanent Transport Scotland counter equipment is not within the Ayrshire villages, and unfortunately cannot be used to provide the information you have requested. The nearest permanent counter to your specific area of interest, Kirkoswald, is approximately 2 miles to the north of the village on a section of road subject to the national speed limit.

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. While we recognise that there may be some public interest in information about traffic data in Kirkoswald, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

Notwithstanding the permanent traffic counters maintained across the trunk road network described above, a traffic survey was carried out in Kirkoswald in May 2021. Results of this survey are attached in Annexes A, B and C.

About FOI

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.

202200323278 Annex A - A77 Kirkoswald - Site 01
202200323278 Annex B - A77 Kirkoswald - Site 02
202200323278 Annex C - A77 Kirkoswald - Site 03


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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