Details Safety Inspections A85, 2 years to 28/4/18: FOI release

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

FOI reference: FOI/18/01344
Date received: 2 May 2018
Date responded: 30 May 2018

Information requested

In relation to the A85 between Connel and Bridge of Awe, specifically in the area around Taynuilt:

A. Dates of safety inspections undertaken in this area in the two years prior to Saturday 28/4/18.

B. Details of carriageway defects identified during safety inspections in the two years prior to Saturday 28/4/18.

C. Details of how carriageway inspections are carried out; ie, are they undertaken on foot or in a vehicle and if the latter, the speed of the vehicle during the inspection and the number of persons involved.

D. The intended frequency of carriageway safety inspections.

E. Details of all complaints and enquiries relating to the area described in the two years prior to Saturday 28/4/18.

F. Your hierarchy classification.

G. The road and section number.

H. The defect intervention criteria adopted in relation to the identification of all categories of potholes - in other words; how does Transport Scotland define a pothole as requiring attention?

I. The time periods adopted between identification and repair ( temporary or permanent) of all categories of carriageway defects.

J. Whether or not Transport Scotland have formally adopted all or part of the standards contained within the National Code of Practice for highways maintenance management."

As the information 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.


A/B. Please see Annex A which is the Inspection Defect Report for the area and dates requested. This report includes the dates of inspections undertaken and details of the defects discovered.

C/D/H and I. 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 our Road Asset Management Plan. Both documents are available online at the following links;

  • Schedule 7: Part 1 of the contract provides an overview of inspections, surveys and defect categories and response times.
  • 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.

The following is the definition of a Category 1 & Category 2 defect from Schedule 1, Part 1 of the 4th Generation Term Contract for management and maintenance of the Scottish Trunk Road Network and can also be viewed with the following web link:

"Category 1 Defect" means a Defect that necessitates prompt attention because it presents: (i) an immediate or imminent hazard, or (ii) a risk of rapid structural deterioration to the affected element. "Category 2 Defect" means any Defect which is not a Category 1 Defect." In addition, the following extract is taken from Schedule 7 Part 1 of the 4th Generation Term Contract for Management and Maintenance of the Scottish Trunk Road Network:


2.1 Classification of Category 1 and Category 2 Defects

2.1.1 When classifying Category 1 and Category 2 Defects, the Operating Company shall give consideration to the potential impact on all road users including motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, equestrians and disabled users.

2.1.2 The Operating Company shall comply with the provisions of the Transport Scotland Trunk Road Inspection Manual regarding classification of Defects.

2.1.3 The Transport Scotland Trunk Road Inspection Manual is deemed not to contain an exhaustive compendium of Defects. In the absence of a description of a Defect in the Transport Scotland Trunk Road Inspection Manual, the Operating Company shall make the classification from first principles."

The following extract is taken from Schedule 7, Part 1 of the 4th Generation Term Contract for management and maintenance of the Scottish Trunk Road Network and details the timescales for repairing defects:

2.2 Category 1 Defects Response Times

2.2.1 Unless stated otherwise in this Part, Category 1 Defects shall be dealt with by the Operating Company in priority order as stated in paragraph 2.2 of this Part.

2.2.2 The Operating Company's inspection team or initial Incident Response Resources shall make the Category 1 Defect safe when identified. This shall be through executing immediate repairs, removing the hazard or by taking any other measures necessary to protect the public and other users of the Unit.

2.2.3 Where a Category 1 Defect renders a Trunk Road unsafe for road users, the Operating Company shall, under Police instruction or on receipt of an appropriate Order, close the relevant part of the Trunk Road for as short a period as possible while remedial action is undertaken.

2.2.4 Where a Category 1 Defect cannot be repaired immediately or the hazard cannot be removed, the Operating Company shall take action to make the area safe until the required temporary or permanent repairs have been completed.

2.2.5 The temporary or permanent repairs shall be undertaken as soon as possible and no later than: (i) 06:00 on the day following identification for Category 1 Defects on carriageways, and (ii) within 24 hours of identification for all other Category 1 Defects.

2.2.6 Where a temporary repair has been carried out, the deferred permanent repair period for the following Defect types shall be: (i) 28 days for carriageway surface, and (ii) 56 days for Bridge parapets.

2.2.7 All other Category 1 Defects shall be repaired permanently within the specific period referred to in this Part, or no later than 28 days after identification where no specific period is stated."

Other defects not necessitating immediate attention are categorised as Category 2 and monitored for failure deterioration during safety and detailed inspection. These defects form the basis of future maintenance schemes.

E. Please see attached Annex B and C which lists complaints received from members of the public, MP's, MSP's and Councillors to our Operating Company. 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.

F. The hierarchy clarification for this section of road is 50 with a score of 4.

G. The road section numbers are 11920/52, 11920/65 and 11920/80.

J. Transport Scotland follows the Well-managed Highway Infrastructure - A Code of Practice. A link to this document is provided below;

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOi1801344 - Annex A.pdf
FOI1801344 - Annex C - MP Complaints.pdf
FOI-1801344 - Annex B - Complaints MOP.pdf


Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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