Addition of Gaelic on road signs in Scotland : EIR release

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

FOI reference: FOI/18/03779
Date received: 11 December 2018
Date responded: 10 January 2019

Information requested

I would like to know when the Scottish Government decided to put Gaelic on all of the road signs.

I would also like to know how many complaints that the Scottish Government has received about Gaelic on road signs since the Scottish Government decided to install Gaelic road signs.

I would also like to know how much money the Scottish Government is spending on Gaelic road signs.

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.


In 2002, Transport Scotland, in consultation with The Highland Council and Argyll and Bute Council, established a rationale for introducing bilingual road signs on trunk roads that pass through these regions and which lead to west coast ferry ports. As a result, bilingual direction signing has been provided on the A82 trunk road from Tarbet to Inverness and those trunk roads leading to the ports at Kennacraig, Oban, Mallaig, Uig and Ullapool. This policy, which is consistent with the aims and objectives of the Gaelic Language Plan is also being extended to include the A9 north of Perth as part of the A9 dualling programme.

We have received a total of 2 complaints regarding Gaelic on road signs since they were installed.

Information in relation to the cost of Transport Scotland expenditure on Gaelic Road Signs is available from Under regulation 6(1)(b) of the EIRs, we do not have to give you information which is already publicly available and easily accessible to you in another form or format. 

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