- 9 Aug 2018
FOI reference: FOI/18/01880
Date received: 8 July 2018
Date responded: 8 August 2018
You asked to see all communications from the Scottish Government to the operators and predecessors of LNER London North Eastern Railway (ie Virgin Trains East Coast) and the DfT pertaining to LNER operations since 2 July 2016.
In addition you also asked to see all correspondence from Permanent Secretary Scottish Government to DfT and Transport Scotland relating to LNER and predecessors since 3 July 2016.
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.
Attached separately are copies of the information you requested for the first section of your request.
Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), the Scottish Government is not required to provide information which it does not have. As such, The Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested in the second section of your request because no correspondence exists over the timeframe stated.
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 information about correspondence from the Permanent Secretary of the Scottish Government to Transport Scotland and the Department for Transport regarding LNER and its predecessors, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.
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
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House