Publication - FOI/EIR release

Crash barriers on M8: EIR release

Published: 29 May 2018

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

Published:
29 May 2018
Crash barriers on M8: EIR release

FOI reference: FOI/18/00606
Date received: 22 February 2018
Date responded: 23 May 2018

Information requested

1. Copies of all reports, documents, correspondence or communications confirming details of all inspections relating to crash barriers installed on the M8 motorway, Glasgow, between junctions 14 and 15 for the period 1 December 2009 to date.

2. Copies of all reports, documents, correspondence and communications confirming details of all maintenance carried out on the crash barriers on the M8 motorway between junctions 14 and 15 for the period 1 December 2009 to present.

3. Copies of all reports, documents, correspondence or communications confirming details of any complaints made regarding the condition of the crash barriers on the M8 motorway, between junctions 14 and 15 for the period 1 December 2009 to date.

4. Copies of all reports, documents, correspondence or communications confirming details of any accidents occurring with reference to the crash barriers on the M8 motorway between junctions 14 and 15 for the period 1 December 2009 to date.

5. A copy of the maintenance plan for trunk roads in South West Scotland and any specific instruction given to inspectors to assist them in identifying defects during safety inspections.

'Should there be any photographic evidence relating to any of the above, we would be grateful for sight of same.'

Response

I have numbered our response for ease of reference.

1 and 2. In response to the first and second part of your request, please see attached Annex A which is the Inspection Defect Report for the M8 motorway, Glasgow, between junctions 14 and 15 for the period 1 December 2009 to date.

Annex B is copies of all reports, documents and correspondence or communication in relation to details of inspections and maintenance of junction 14 and 15.

An exception under regulation 10(4)(e) of the EIRs (internal communications) applies to some of the information you have requested because it is internal communication between Transport Scotland Officials about crash barriers installed on the M8 between Junction 14 and 15.

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 to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in high quality policy and decision-making, and in the properly considered implementation and development of policies and decisions.

This means that Ministers and officials need to be able to consider all available options and to debate those rigorously, to fully understand their possible implications.

We have also applied regulation 10 (5)(e) of the EIRs (substantial prejudice to confidentiality of commercial information) applies to some of the information you have requested. This exception applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would likely to, prejudice substantially the confidentiality of commercial information provided by Scotland Transerv and thus cause substantial harm to their commercial interests.

An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998. This exception is not subject to the 'public interest test', so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception.

3. 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 reasons why that exception applies are explained below;

  • In relation to complaints from 1 December 2009 to 31 March 2013, we are unable to obtain this information prior to the 4th Generation Term Contract for Management and Maintenance of the Scottish Road Network.

  • From 1 April 2013 to date, our Operating Company, Scotland Transerv, have received no such complaints about this section of road.

4. Annex C of this request is conformation of any accidents occurring with reference to the crash barriers on the M8 between junctions 14 and 15.

Please note that the information provided is based on the current figures available. The following are potential reasons for an accident not appearing on our system:

  • Transport Scotland only holds accident information which is provided to us by Police Scotland.

  • Transport Scotland does not hold information relating to damage only accidents (i.e. not involving an injury).

  • Transport Scotland only holds accident information for the trunk road network.

  • The accident information Transport Scotland hols is subject to change. E. g. we receive late returns from Police Scotland, who are responsible for recording details of injury accidents.

Annex D is incident reports that are held in relation to Damage to Crown Property.

An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information) applies to some of the information requested in relation to accident reports as it is personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998. This exception is not subject to the 'public interest test', so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception.

Exception 10(5)(a) of the EIRs has also been applied (prejudice to international relations, defence, national security or public safety) applies to some of the information you have requested. This exception applies because disclosure of this information would, or would be likely to, endanger the physical or mental health or safety of an individual. In this case, the information about accident reports was given to the Scottish Government on the understanding that it would be treated as being in confidence.

5. Transport Scotland's approach to the maintenance of the trunk road network is set out in the 4th Generation Term Contract for management and maintenance of the Scottish Trunk Road Network and Road Asset Management Plan. Both documents are available online at the following links;

https://www.transport.gov.scot/media/35900/sw-combi.pdf

  • Schedule 7: Part 1 of the contract provides an overview of inspections and surveys.

  • Schedule 7: Part 2: Section 2.7 of the contract provides details of inspections and their frequency during winter.

  • Schedule 7: Part 6: Section 3 of the contract details the inspections and their frequency for Structures.

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference

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

The Scottish Government
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Regent Road
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