Publication - FOI/EIR release

Reports or evaluation carried out on congestion on the M8: EIR release

Published: 11 Dec 2018

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

Published:
11 Dec 2018
Reports or evaluation carried out on congestion on the M8: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/18/03506  
Date received: 2 November 2018  
Date responded: 3 December 2018
 
Information requested

 

Can you provide any reports or evaluation carried out on congestion on the M8 in the last 5 years and the causes, including and impact of the design of the M8 M74 junction. I would also be interested in any proposals related to ongoing proposals to seek to improve what is becoming terrible congestion on a regular basis.

 
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. 

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.

 
1.  I enclose a copy of the draft Congestion Analysis Technical Note in relation to congestion on M8  around Glasgow.
 
2.  Transport Scotland’s Managed Motorways study is being undertaken in line with Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance and is considering a wide range of potential transport options, including options for Intelligent Transport Systems and bus hard shoulder running.  We are currently considering how managed motorway solutions can help to improve performance of the M8 around Glasgow and maximise best use of the existing transport infrastructure as part of the M8 Managed Motorways Phase 1 Outline Buiness Case.
 
An exception under regulation 10(4)(e) of the EIRs (internal communications) applies to all of the information you have requested in relation to the M8 Managed Motorway Phase 1 Outline Business Case because it is internal communication between Transport Scotland officials.
 
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.  We recognise that there is some public interest in release as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate.  However, there is a greater public interest in high quality policy and decision-making, and in the properly considered implementation and development of policies and decisions.  This means that Ministers and officials need to be able to consider all available options and to debate those rigorously, to fully understand their possible implications.  Their candour in doing so will be affected by their assessment of whether the discussions on the M8 Managed Motorways Phase 1 Outline Business Case will be disclosed in the near future, when it may undermine or constrain the Government’s view on that Outline Business Case while it is still under discussion and development.
 
3.  In relation to reports on the design of the M8 M74 junction, please see link to the M74 Completion Scheme: One Year After Opening Evaluation Report:
https://www.transport.gov.scot/publication/m74-completion-scheme-one-year-after-opening-evaluation/
 
An exception under regulation 10(4)(d) of the EIRs (unfinished or incomplete information) applies to all of the information you have requested because it is material which is still in the course of completion.  This relates to the M74 Completion Scheme: Five Year After Evaluation.
 
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.  We recognise that there is some public interest in release as part of open, transparent and accountable government and this will be met by our planned publication early in 2019.  However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that incomplete information which is still in being worked on or is under active consideration is not disclosed when it might misinform the public or give a misleading impression of the Government’s view or position on the matter to which the information relates.  On publication, the M74 Completion Scheme: Five Year After Evaluation Report will be available to view on Transport Scotland’s website at:
https://www.transport.gov.scot/transport-network/roads/project-evaluation/
 
4.  The National Transport Strategy provides the framework for enhancing our transport system, in response to the main transport challenges that Scotland faces, which in turn contributes to improvement in our economic, environmental and social performance. The current National Transport Strategy sets out three Key Strategic Outcomes to be used as the guiding principles at national, regional and local level when developing strategy and prioritising resources.
These are:
  • Improved journey times and connections, to tackle congestion and lack of integration and connections in transport.
  • Reduced emissions, to tackle climate change, air quality, health improvement.
  • Improved quality, accessibility and affordability, to give choice of public transport, better quality services and value for money or alternative to car.
 
The National Transport Strategy can be found in full at:
https://www.transport.gov.scot/our-approach/strategy/national-transport-strategy/#
 
Transport Scotland is currently taking forward a comprehensive review of the National Transport Strategy (NTS) and the Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR).  The review of the NTS will set out the compelling vision for transport for the next 20 years and will inform policy across transport and an update to the STPR.  Work is now underway for STPR2 which will allow the Scottish Government to consider which transport interventions are required to deliver the outcomes and vision that emerge from the NTS. 
 
An exception under regulation 10(4)(d) of the EIRs (unfinished or incomplete information) applies to both the review of the NTS and STPR as the information you have requested because it is still in the course of completion. Transport Scotland have a commitment to publish within the term of the current Parliament.
 
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.  We recognise that there is some public interest in release as part of open, transparent and accountable government.  However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that unfinished or incomplete information which is still in being worked on or is under active consideration is not disclosed when it might misinform the public or give a misleading impression of the Government’s view or position on the matter to which the information relates.
 
Reasons for not providing information
 
About FOI

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
 

foi-18-03506 Congestion analysis

46 page PDF
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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit 
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000 

The Scottish Government 
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