- 5 Oct 2017
FOI reference: FOI/17/02027
Date received: 5 September 2017
Date responded: 3 October 2017
Information in relation to the A75 Traffic Control Measures at Springholm.
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 have numbered our response for ease of reference;
1a. As previously explained in our letter dated 22 September (2017/0032491) the virtual road hump option was dismissed following feedback from the community at the public meeting on 27 January this year. Our letter of 2 October (2017/32506) set out our position in respect of active road studs.
1b. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we do not currently hold information in respect of the voltage and peak amps required for the illuminated road studs. Therefore we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs. We can confirm that the system will require a hardwire to the Scottish Power Network.
1c. On the matter of hard engineered measures at the gateway features; the installation of central islands were considered, similar to the features which currently exist in Crocketford. The existing carriageway constraints restrict the installation of central traffic islands at the gateways either end of Springholm, but more importantly, the use of the A75 route by abnormal loads prevents the implementation of measures which will reduce the carriageway width. As you know this route is being used as an abnormal load route for wind farm construction and this is likely to continue for a further 2-3 years.
2. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance Transport Scotland does not have the information you have requested. Therefore we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs. The reason why that exception applies is that the counters are not the property of Transport Scotland or our Operating Company. In addition, the data from them has not been shared with Transport Scotland or our Operating Company and therefore we do not hold it.
3. An exception under regulation 10(4)(d) of the EIRs (unfinished or incomplete information) applies to all of the information you have requested because it is material which is still in the course of completion. Once completed, the drawings will be made available to the community.
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 publicised shortly. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that unfinished or incomplete information which is still in being worked on or is under active consideration is not disclosed when it might misinform the public or give a misleading impression of our view or position on the matter to which the information relates.
4a. It is proposed to erect temporary traffic signs displaying the message "Speed activated signals ahead" on all approaches to the new installations. These signs are temporary and would be removed after an appropriate period. An example of what this will look like is available at Annex A.
4b. There are no triangular warning signs proposed for the new traffic signals as there is sufficient forward visibility to the signals on all approaches.
5. Any driver exceeding the threshold will face a red light.
6, 7, 8. The signals are to be configured with a facility to have a variable red duration, with the idea that the higher the speed involved, the longer the red duration. All the durations can be varied on site during the validation period.
Amber periods are always: 2 seconds amber after green, 3 seconds red / amber after red.
The trigger speed will be set and may be verified on site during the bedding in period. It will be set in consultation with Police Scotland.
An exception under regulation 10(5)(b) of the EIRs (substantial prejudice to course of justice) applies to some of the information you have requested because it relates to the detection of offences and potential legal proceedings.
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 as it is relates to the investigation and potential prosecution of offences and releasing such information would be likely to prejudice substantially the prevention or detection of crime, or the apprehension or prosecution of offenders.
9. Emergency service vehicles cannot over-ride the system.
10. The signal controller to the signal heads and the compliant vehicle detection is to be a cabled connection. A wireless link is to be used between the signal controller and speeding vehicle detection. This will be a wifi link and not a Bluetooth link.
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