M8, M73 and M74 Motorway Improvements Project: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/17/01292
Date received: 12 June 2017
Date responded: 19 July 2017

Information requested

1. Was lighting along the entire stretch of M74 which was previously lit included in the original improvement plan?

2. If lighting was not planned why was this the case?

3. If the length of carriageway to be lit after the improvements was reduced from that originally planned A why was this decision taken, B when was it taken, C who made the decision D who authorised & endorsed the decision E what health & safety and what road design qualifications did the authorising person have at the time the decision was taken?

4. Please provide me with the risk assessment relating to lighting on the carriage and detail how this informed the decision not to provide lighting.

5. Was a risk assessment undertaken with regards artificial lighting from sources near to the M74 given the increased sources of this since the M74 was first lit and given that a great number of trees that provided shielding from this distracting lighting were cut down during the improvements?

6. What is the increase in accidents expected in Scotland for this type of road should lighting be not be provided compared to providing lighting?

7. What financial figure does Transport Scotland use to prevent loss of life e.g. what £ value is a life worth for investment decisions?

8. What is the projected increase in fatal accidents and all accidents predicted on the previously lit stretch of M74 that is now unlit due to lighting not being provided and what assumptions have been made in arriving at this figure?

9. How many complaints have been received by your organisation regarding the reduction in lighting on the M74? I would be grateful if you could send me this figure for each month from now on until otherwise advised as I will be interested to see how the travelling public feel about the situation as we enter autumn and winter and people experience motorway commuting in the dark where there used to be light.

10. Why did the M74 improvement overrun by 2 months?"


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.

1. The design did not include provision for lighting along the full stretch of the M74.

2. Road lighting at signalised junctions on the strategic motorway and all-purpose trunk road networks in Scotland is recommended in Design Standards. Its primary purpose is as a safety measure to highlight potential conflict points between stationary, queuing traffic at the junction and pedestrian crossings. For this reason, lighting around the signalised junctions only is included in the design.

3. The detailed design development, and application of the New Works Requirements and TA49/07, was undertaken in consultation with Transport Scotland. The design was carried out by the appointed designer Amey and Ferrovial Lagan JV who was responsible for its development.

4. Please refer to LAR M74 Section 4 and LAR M74 Section 6 attached

5. Please refer to LAR M74 Section 4 and LAR M74 Section 6 attached.

6. Transport Scotland does not use accident statistics to provide forecasts of injury accidents. Street lighting is generally used on motorways at junctions / intersections where drivers carry out lane change and merge / diverge manoeuvres. The provision of street lighting on long straight sections of rural motorways is generally avoided unless specifically required. Advancements in the development of road studs and road markings has seen the removal and replacement of street lighting in parts of the UK. Benefits such as reduced light pollution, removal of lighting columns as road side hazards and reduction in installation and running costs.

The provision of street lighting on the trunk road network is examined on a case by case basis with the foremost aim to reduce casualties and accidents. Consideration is only given to street lighting where there is an identifiable link between injury accidents during the hours of darkness and the absence of street lighting.

7. Tables 9 through 11 in Reported Road Casualties Scotland, https://www.transport.gov.scot/publication/reported-road-casualties-scotland-2015 record the values calculated by Department for Transport for the use in cost benefit analysis of road schemes. There are not Scottish specific figures available. The figures for a road accident fatality is £2.1 million for 2015 – although these estimates differ by road type and a trunk road figure is £2.2 million.

8. The information requested is not available because Transport Scotland did not project any increase in fatal or other accidents.

9. No complaints were received regarding the reduction of lighting on M74. If you wish to be advised of any complaints received in the future then separate requests would need to be submitted.

10. The M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project opened to traffic, as planned, in Spring 2017.

Due to the file size of the documents released, copies can be provided on request by emailing ceu@gov.scot, quoting the FOI reference number FOI/17/01292.

Documents released

1. M8, M73 and M74 Motorway Improvements - Lighting Appraisal Report SN 3.3 - Section 4 M74
2. M8, M73 and M74 Motorway Improvements - Lighting Appraisal Report SN 3.3 - Section 6 M74

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


Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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