Publication - FOI/EIR release

Queensferry Crossing: congestion reasons, maintainance and snagging works: EIR release

Published: 9 Aug 2018

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

Published:
9 Aug 2018
Queensferry Crossing: congestion reasons, maintainance and snagging works: EIR release

FOI reference: FOI/18/01866
Date received: 10 July 2018
Date responded: 8 August 2018

Information requested

Information relating to the Queensferry Crossing.

Response

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. As the exemption is conditional we have applied the 'public interest test'. This means we have, in all the circumstances of this case, considered if the public interest in disclosing the information under FOISA 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.

Your requests

Request 1

A breakdown of the weeks and days that the Queensferry Crossing did not have all lanes fully open and operational.

Response to your request.

Since opening to traffic in September 2017, the Queensferry Crossing has been open each day, with the exception of Thursday 30 November 2017 to 6 December 2017 when defects identified to the surfacing adjacent to the expansion joints of the Queensferry Crossing meant that some snagging works were necessary prior to increasing the speed limit to 70mph. The Queensferry Crossing remained open during these works and traffic southbound was diverted over the Forth Road Bridge.

To maintain access throughout the night-time finishing works on the Queensferry Crossing, this generally involves traffic using a single lane in both directions – usually the hard shoulder but can be a different lane depending on the nature and location of the work scheduled to take place that night.

Safety of the workforce is paramount and, as with the main construction works, we remain fully focussed on completing the work safely for both workers and commuters.

Request 2

A full breakdown of the reasons for congestion on the Queensferry crossing and its impact on the surrounding roads and areas.

Response to your request.

As with any part of the trunk road network, a number of possible reasons exist for congestion on the Queensferry Crossing. These are in the main the consequence of, accidents, breakdowns, volume of traffic, hazards on the roads and exceptional or extremely adverse weather conditions.

With regards to your enquiry regarding the impact of congestion on the surrounding roads and areas. I am informing you that this information is not held by the Scottish Government. For that reason we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs. As the exception is conditional we are required to apply the 'public interest test'. This means we have, in all the circumstances of this case, considered if the public interest in disclosing 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 information about congestion on the Queensferry Crossing and its impact on the surrounding roads and areas, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

Request 3

A breakdown of any remaining snagging works required on the Queensferry Crossing, including expected costs.

Response to your request.

An exemption under regulation 6(1)(b) of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), applies in this instance.

Under regulation 6(1)(b) of the EIRs, we are not required to provide information in response to a request if it is already publicly available and easily accessible to you in another form or format. The information you requested was provided to the Scottish Parliament – Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee on 8 January 2018 and has been published on the Scottish Parliament website at:

http://www.parliament.scot/S5Rural/20180108_FRC_Project-_REC_Committee_Further_Information.pdf

With regards to your request for information relating to the expected costs of the snagging works, I am informing you that this information is not held by the Scottish Government. For that reason we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs.

As the exception is conditional we are required to apply the 'public interest test'. This means we have, in all the circumstances of this case, considered if the public interest in disclosing 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 information about the cost associated with remaining snagging works, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

Request 4

A full breakdown of costs for repair, maintenance and snagging works on the Queensferry Crossing since it opened.

Response to your request.

I am informing you that this information is not held by the Scottish Government. For that reason we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs.

As the exception is conditional we are required to apply the 'public interest test'. This means we have, in all the circumstances of this case, considered if the public interest in disclosing 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 information about the costs associated with any repair, maintenance and snagging works on the Queensferry Crossing since it opened, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold. All snagging works are being undertaken at the contractors cost.

About FOI

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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
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG