Publication - FOI/EIR release

Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route - Balmedie to Tipperty traffic signs: EIR release

Published: 15 Apr 2019

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

Published:
15 Apr 2019
Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route - Balmedie to Tipperty traffic signs: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/19/00119
Date received: 7 Feb 2019
Date responded: 5 Apr 2019
Information requested

In relation to the AWPR/8-T Project, we request copies of all records including, but not limited to, files, note, memos, reports, letters, emails, faxes, applications, invoices, contractual documentation, whether in hard copy or stored electronically, and all other documents relating to and concerning those matters set out at questions (a) to (d) inclusive.

a. The erection of temporary traffic signs on the Balmedie to Tipperty road.
b. The erection of permanent traffic signs on the Balmedie to Tipperty road.
c. All representations made by public organisations for inclusion of specified traffic signs, whether temporary and/or permanent, on the Balmedie to Tipperty road.
d. All representations made by private organisations for inclusion of specified traffic signs, whether temporary and/or permanent, on the Balmedie to Tipperty road (redacting any commercially sensitive information).

This request was further clarified on 7 February 2019 to read;
To avoid any confusion, the scope of the original requests (a) to (d) has been narrowed, as follows,:

The timescale applicable to requests (a) to (d) begins with the awarding of the contract to build the AWPR/B-T Project to ABL (December 2014) up to the date of the request.

The signage which has been erected, both on a temporary and permanent, basis on the Balmedie to Tipperty Road include tourist signs, sometimes called “brown” tourist signs. Examples include signage for “Coastal Trail North” and “Country Park & Beach”. For each sign either erected or not erected, there will be a recorded process capturing, among other things, the date and name of the applicant, their application, consideration of applications by the determining body, supported decisions in relation to the grant or rejection of applications by the determining body. There will be records of applicants and applications which fall under the scope of our request. For the avoidance of doubt, we are looking for information up to the making of a final determination in relation to all permanent and temporary brown tourist signs erected on the Balmedie to Tipperty Road. We are not requesting records relating to any later period in relation to each permanent and temporary brown tourist signs erected on the Balmedie to Tipperty Road, unless those records modify, amend or change in any way the relevant final determination.

Questions (a) to (d) are in relation to permanent and temporary brown tourist signs on the Balmedie to Tipperty Road.

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.

a. The erection of temporary tourist signs on the Balmedie to Tipperty road.

An exception under regulation 10(4)(e) of the EIRs (internal communications) applies to some of the information you have requested because it is internal communication about decision making in relation to an aspect of an ongoing construction contract.

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, 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.

The information which is relevant to the request is attached in Annex A. Personal information contained within this document has been redacted which is explained below.

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.

b. The erection of permanent tourist signs on the Balmedie to Tipperty road.

An exception under regulation 10(4)(e) of the EIRs (internal communications) applies to some of the information you have requested because it is internal communication about decision making in relation to an aspect of an ongoing construction contract.
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, 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.

The information which is relevant to the request is attached in Annex A. Personal information contained within this document has been redacted which is explained below.

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.

c. All representations made by public organisations for inclusion of specified tourist traffic signs, whether temporary and/or permanent, on the Balmedie to Tipperty road.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance Transport Scotland does not have the information you have requested. We do not hold this information as Transport Scotland has received no applications from public organisations for specified tourist signage on the Balmedie to Tipperty road. Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), Transport Scotland is not required to provide information which it does not have.

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. While we recognise there may be some public interest in relation to applications from public organisations for the above signage, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

d. All representations made by private organisations for inclusion of specified tourist traffic signs, whether temporary and/or permanent, on the Balmedie to Tipperty road (redacting any commercially sensitive information).

The information which is relevant to the request is attached in Annex A. Personal information contained within this document has been redacted which is explained below

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.

About FOI
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FOI-19-00119 Annex A

61 page PDF
1.8 MB

FOI-19-00119 Annex A Attachment 5

4 page PDF
206.1 kB

Contact

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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG