Publication - FOI/EIR release

Queensferry Crossing post completion information: FOI release

Published: 20 Dec 2017
Part of:
Public sector
Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.
Published:
20 Dec 2017
Queensferry Crossing post completion information: FOI release

FOI reference: FOI/17/02053
Date received: 11 September 2017
Date responded: 19 December 2017

Information requested

Information requested

  1. (a): a summary, and (b): a list of all outstanding work on the Queensferry Crossing as of 30 August 2017.

  2. What penalties would the contractors have incurred had the Queensferry Crossing (and associated access roads) not opened on 30 August 2017? Please provide details of what penalties would have been triggered in each month between and including September and December 2017, had the project not been completed?

  3. Please provide a copy of the risk register for the Queensferry Crossing (and associated access roads) as of 30 August 2017.

  4. What utilities (for example, water, electricity, broadband) are connected, or will be connected, to the Queensferry Crossing? On what date was each connected and were any connections outstanding as of 30 August 2017?

  5. How many vehicles a day have crossed the Queensferry Crossing on each day since it opened?

  6. How many vehicles crossed the Forth Road Bridge on the same days last year?

  7. How many vehicles a day on average crossed the Forth Road Bridge in (a) June 2017, (b) July 2017 and (c) August 2017 (excluding 30 August)?

  8. What assessment has Transport Scotland made of the average delay to vehicles' journeys due to congestion on the Queensferry Crossing and associated access roads on each day since it opened?

  9. Please provide a copy of all information relating to the decision to open the Queensferry Crossing on 30 August 2017. This should include, but not exclusively, all information held in the following formats: email, internal messaging, hardcopy, letter, file, report, graphic, publication, hand written notes, typed notes, minutes, and transcript.

  10. What estimate did Transport Scotland make of the number of vehicles that would cross the Queensferry Crossing (a) each day in the first two weeks immediately after it opened, (b) for the 4-6 weeks that the Forth Road Bridge is following the opening of the Queensferry Crossing, and (c) once both bridges and the associated access roads are fully operational.

  11. Further to Keith Brown's comments on Good Morning Scotland on 11 September that "we always anticipated this huge level of interest", please provide a copy of all reports and assessments on what level of interest was anticipated at the stage of the project Mr Brown was referring to.

  12. Further to Keith Brown's comments on Good Morning Scotland on 11 September that " We've seen this in previous large bridges in Hong Kong and the United States as well. You get that level of interest.", please provide a copy of any assessment that was made of the heightened popularity of the bridges referred to, and any others that were examined, following their opening. Which bridges was Mr Brown referring to?

Response

1. (a & b) While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, your request for this information is refused under Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) Section 33(1) (b). This exemption applies because disclosure of this information would (or would be likely to) prejudice substantially and have a detrimental effect on the commercial interests of the contractors - Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC).

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. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open and transparent government, and to help account for the expenditure of public money. However, there is a greater public interest in protecting the commercial interests of companies which enter into Transport Scotland contracts, to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.

2. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, as this information is not held by Transport Scotland. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that Transport Scotland does not have the information you have requested.

At the Scottish Parliament Rural, Economy and Connectivity Committee on 31 May 2017, FRC Project Director, David Climie explained, in response to an enquiry from a Committee member that Transport Scotland does not typically put penalties in a contract – there are liquidated damages in a contract. If a project should overrun the agreed contractual date, there is a loss of benefit, referred to as liquidated damages. In not having the project delivered, we would assess what the liquidated damages would be. Notwithstanding this, as with any contract, there are also avenues for the contractor to apply for an extension of time if events occur for which they are not liable.

3. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, your request for this information is refused under Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) Section 33(1) (b) – that disclosure of this information would (or would be likely to) prejudice substantially and have a detrimental effect on the commercial interests of the contractors - Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC). 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. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open and transparent government, and to help account for the expenditure of public money. However, there is a greater public interest in protecting the commercial interests of companies which enter into Transport Scotland contracts, to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.

4. There are no Statutory utilities bodies connected to the Queensferry Crossing, ie, electric, gas, water or communications out with those used for the sole purpose of operating the Queensferry Crossing.

5. Traffic count data for the Queensferry Crossing from 30th August 2017 to 11 September 2017 is enclosed as an attachment to this response.

6. No data is available for the Forth Road Bridge for this period as the data collection site was faulty. This was repaired in February 2017. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, as this information is not held by Transport Scotland. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that Transport Scotland does not have the information you have requested.

7. The numbers of vehicles each day on average which crossed the Forth Road Bridge in (a) June 2017, (b) July 2017 and (c) August 2017 are as follows:

  • June 2017 – 78,066
  • July 2017 – 76,513
  • August 2017 – 78,238

8. Traffic Scotland on behalf of Transport Scotland have been monitoring traffic volumes on the M90 after the initial events and these have returned to levels consistent with that of the Forth Road Bridge previously and are generally satisfied with how the Queensferry Crossing is performing.

Traffic Scotland will continue to monitor the performance of the roads approaching the Queensferry Crossing and the information gathered will assist in understanding traffic patterns as people get used to using the new bridge.

9. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, your request for all of this information is refused under Section 33.1 (b) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) as this information relates to a live and on-going contract and disclosure would (or would be likely to) prejudice substantially the commercial interests of the Contractor, Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors FCBC.

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. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open and transparent government, and to help account for the expenditure of public money. However, there is a greater public interest in protecting the commercial interests of companies which enter into Transport Scotland contracts, to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.

10 (a). While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, this information is not held by Transport Scotland. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that Transport Scotland does not have the information you have requested.

10 (b). While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, this information is not held by Transport Scotland. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that Transport Scotland does not have the information you have requested.

10 (c). This the information is contained within Section 6.3 of the Forth Replacement Crossing DMRB Stage 3 Scheme Assessment Report. Part 2: Engineering, Traffic and Economic Assessment which was published in 2009 - Scheme assessment report

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

One of the fundamental aims of the Forth Replacement Crossing Project is to maintain traffic capacity at 2006 levels and not to increase capacity except through public transport improvements. Traffic patterns have now returned to similar levels to those previously experienced on the Forth Road Bridge. These will of course continue to be monitored closely.

11. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, this information is not held by Transport Scotland. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that Transport Scotland does not have the information you have requested.

12. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, this information is not held by Transport Scotland. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that Transport Scotland does not have the information you have requested.

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Contact

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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