- 21 Sep 2018
Date received: 29 August 2018
Date responded: 18 September 2018
"For the avoidance of doubt the information requested follows pothole damage to my vehicle and is in respect of the A75 Eastbound, from the Drummore Roundabout, known as the Glen, Dumfries, at the end of the dual carriageway (hereinafter referred to as “The Glen”). I also make additional requests for further and better particulars not yet raised with ScotlandTranServ to avoid having to trouble you further:
- Please provide confirmation of the timescales pursuant to the agreement with the Scottish Government within which ScotlandTranServ are required to make carriageway defects safe with a temporary repair and thereafter a permanent repair.
- Please explain the process of how a reported defect is monitored for future deterioration and how the information is recorded.
- Please confirm how such notified defects are defined in the agreement with the Scottish Government and how they are assessed by inspectors whether walking or driven.
- Please confirm when the Incident Support Unit attended following my email reporting the carriageway defect and when the subsequent temporary and permanent repairs were made.
- Please confirm when the road markings were painted in the vicinity of the pothole within the last 12 months or longer if outwith that timescale.
- Please confirm if a SCANNER system has been deployed to analyse the road surface along The Glen and if so the dates thereof and the types and dimensions of the defects measured within the last 12 months.
- Please confirm whether there have been any other forms of inspection of The Glen within the last 12 months together with the dates thereof and the types of inspection including but not limited to walking or driven inspections and if the latter the speed thereof.
- Following submission of my claim form to ScotlandTranServ on 18 June I requested that they take photographs of the pothole in view of the potential endangerment to my life because of its location. Please provide copies.
- Have there been any other notifications or claims relating to this pothole within the last 12 months and if so please provide full details.”
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.
I have numbered our response for ease of reference.
1, 2 and 3. Transport Scotland’s approach to the maintenance of the trunk road network for the South West Unit, 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.
Safety inspections are carried out at frequencies not exceeding seven days. The inspection vehicle will travel around 40 mph. Where possible safety inspections will be carried out during off-peak traffic periods to minimise traffic disruption. Safety inspections will be carried out by a team of two. Midway between these safety inspections the road is subject to Safety Patrols. In addition, each section of the road is walked annually for a detailed visual inspection.
Please see below the definition of defects as per the 4th Generation Term Contract for management and maintenance of the Scottish Trunk Road Network;
"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. DEFECT CATEGORIES AND RESPONSE TIMES
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.”
4. Please refer to Annex A of this request which is the Scotland Transerv Incident Report for your defect report. 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 Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. 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.
Your email was received at 08:55 on 21 May. The Incident Response Unit (ISU), was dispatched at 08:55 and arrived on scene at 09:23 at which ime the defect was permanently repaired.
5. The roadmarkings were applied on 21 November 2015 and were re-applied on the week commencing 24 September 2017 as part of The Glen Patching Works scheme.
6. 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 reason why that exception applies is that our SCANNER was carried out on 26 April 2017. The next SCANNER is not scheduled until 26 April 2019.
7. Annex B of this request is the Inspection Defect Report from 1 August 2017 to 28 August 2018. Please refer to question 1 to 3 for speed of inspection and types. Annex C contains information regarding detailed inspections.
8. 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 is no photographs were taken.
9. No other claims or complaints in respect to this defect have been received.
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