In relation to identification of exposed areas to high winds on the M74 at or near junction 11 you asked:
1. Has there been any high wind identification of exposed locations on the M74 at or near the accident locus?
2. If this is something which Scotland are not responsible for can you please direct us to the proper authority?
3. Can you advise us where we can obtain the road traffic accident statistics for the M74 at or near the accident locus from the period 2012 to 2022?
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.
To aide with my response I have retained the numbering from your request above:
1) Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), the Transport Scotland is not required to provide information which it does not have. We do not have the information you have requested because neither Transport Scotland nor our Operating Company have any high wind identification of exposed locations on the M74 at or near the location you have highlighted.
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 high winds on the trunk road network, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.
2) Transport Scotland’s resilience planning is not just about the physical resilience of the trunk road network but also about how disruption is managed and the speed of recovery. Our Operating Companies are required to prepare and maintain a Disruption Risk Management Plan which brings together the range of processes, tools, records, and operational plans that collectively describe the activities undertaken to enable timely and effective action to mitigate the effects of emergencies, as they affect the trunk road network.
Our Operating Companies are also required to undertake a series of activities aimed at improving journey time reliability by minimising the risk of unplanned disruption to the operation of the trunk road network. The Transport Scotland Manual for the Management of the Risk of Unplanned Network Disruption provides direction to Operating Companies on managing and mitigating the effects of disruptive events, such as those caused by weather events. The manual requires Operating Companies to develop and implement disruption risk processes which are informed by the formal recording of all previous events, as they occur. This includes severe weather-related events such as high winds, flooding, snow, and ice. The ongoing recording of events and subsequent revisions to the plans provides a platform for early detection of changing conditions that may have an impact on the network. Furthermore, the manual includes a Disruption Risk Assessment Tool which provides a robust and objective framework within which to analyse patterns of events, and their locations, to support decision-making and identify particularly vulnerable locations and assets. This will be used to drive investment to address disruption events that already occur and those which might emerge or increase in frequency and severity in the future.
3) Please see Annex A to this response for accident statistics covering 1km to each side of the accident locus for the period 2012-2022.
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.
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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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