- 23 Nov 2018
Date received: 12 November 2018
Date responded: 19 November 2018
You asked fro the following information:
“information relating to any closures of the Forth Road Bridge between 15-16. November 2015. We would be grateful if you could provide us with the following information:
1. If the bridge closed at any point between 15-16. November 2015.
2. If so, when was the bridge closed and for how long?
3. What were the reasons for the bridge needing to be closed at this time?
4. If due to winds, what information was based on including the strength of the winds recorded?
5. What guidelines are in place making the decision as to whether or not to close the bridge?”
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 and 2. The Forth Road Bridge closed to Double Decker buses from 2055hrs on Sunday 15 November 2015 and remained closed to Double Decker buses throughout Monday 16 November 2015.
The Forth Road Bridge closed to High-Sided Vehicles, Transit van style vehicles with modification, vehicles with trailers or caravans, vehicles with roof boxes or wind-susceptible roof rack items, Motorcycles, Three-wheeled cars, Pedestrians, Cyclists and any other vehicle which appeared, in the judgement of bridge staff or the police, to be clearly at risk.
3. The wind gusts exceeded the thresholds for these vehicles to be allowed to cross the Forth Road Bridge.
4. When the Forth Road Bridge was closed to Double Decker buses, the wind gusts exceeded 45mph (48mph recorded at 2055hrs).
5. Please refer to Annex A of this request which is the Strong Wind Procedures that are in place in making the decision to close the bridge.
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