Publication - FOI/EIR release

Transport Scotland data on Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route: EIR release

Published: 26 Apr 2018

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

Published:
26 Apr 2018
Transport Scotland data on Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route: EIR release

FOI reference: FOI/18/00824
Date received: 16 March 2018
Date responded: 17 April 2018

Information requested

How many accidents related to the construction of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route have been reported to Transport Scotland? Please provide a list of incident.

How many of these accidents reported to Transport Scotland have resulted in injury or death? Please provide a list of incidents.

As reported to Transport Scotland, how many people have been injured or killed during the construction of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route? Please provide a list of incidents.

As reported to Transport Scotland, how many hours/days have been lost in the construction to accidents? The timescale for the above questions would be from 01/08/14 until 15/03/18.

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.

Response

The contract for the Design, Build, Finance and Operation of the project roads was awarded to Aberdeen Roads Limited (ARL) on 12 December 2014. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance Transport Scotland does not have the information you have requested between 1 August 2014 and 12 December 2014. Therefore we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs.

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 this information, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

How many accidents related to the construction of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route have been reported to Transport Scotland? Please provide a list of incidents.

165 incidents resulting in an injury have been reported by Aberdeen Roads Limited (ARL), the contractor for the project, since the commencement of the project.

I am unable to provide a list of these incidents as an exception under regulation 10(5)(e) of the EIRs (substantial prejudice to confidentiality of commercial or industrial information) applies to the information you have requested. This exception applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the confidentiality of industrial information provided by ARL the contractor for the project, and thus cause substantial harm to their interests as a list of incidents could detail the specific working practices of ARL and their subcontractors. 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 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 industrial interests of companies which enter into Transport Scotland contracts.

How many of these accidents reported to Transport Scotland have resulted in injury or death? Please provide a list of incidents.

ARL defines an 'incident' as an 'accident' where a person has suffered an injury, therefore since the start of the project 165 incidents resulting in an injury and 0 fatalities have been reported. I am unable to provide a list of incidents as an exception under regulation 10(5)(e) of the EIRs (substantial prejudice to confidentiality of commercial or industrial information) applies to the information you have requested. This exception applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the confidentiality of industrial information provided by ARL the contractor for the project, and thus cause substantial harm totheir interests as a list of incidents could detail the specific working practices of ARL and their subcontractors.

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 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 industrial interests of companies which enter into Transport Scotland contracts.

As reported to Transport Scotland, how many people have been injured or killed during the construction of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route? Please provide a list of incidents.

ARL has reported that 165 incidents resulting in an injury and there have been no fatalities since the start of the project.

I am unable to provide a list of incidents as an exception under regulation 10(5)(e) of the EIRs (substantial prejudice to confidentiality of commercial or industrial information) applies to the information you have requested. This exception applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the confidentiality of industrial information provided by ARL the contractor for the project, and thus cause substantial harm to their interests as a list of incidents could detail the specific working practices of ARL and their subcontractors. 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 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 industrial interests of companies which enter into Transport Scotland contracts.

As reported to Transport Scotland, how many hours/days have been lost in the construction to accidents? Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), Transport Scotland is not required to provide information which it does not have. Details of time lost due to accidents is not reported to Transport Scotland.

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 this information, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

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

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
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG