Publication - FOI/EIR release

Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route - CO2 volume: EIR release

Published: 23 May 2019

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

Published:
23 May 2019
Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route - CO2 volume: EIR release
FOI reference: FOi/19/01091
Date received: 22 Apr 2019
Date responded: 21 May 2019
Information requested

1. Can the Scottish Government please confirm the amount of CO2 generated during the construction of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route?

2. Can the Scottish Government also confirm the estimated CO2 volume that will be produced by the AWPR over a 30 year operating period.

3. Can the Scottish Government confirm that there is a proposed design for the A96 Dualling River Don Crossing at Kintore and the estimated cost for the design?

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.

For clarity I will provide a response under each of your questions;

1. Can the Scottish Government please confirm the amount of CO2 generated during the construction of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route?

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested therefore we are refusing your request under regulation 10(4)(d) of the EIRs (unfinished or incomplete information) as the information you have requested is material which is still in the course of completion.

The Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested because we don’t hold information on the amount of CO2 generated during the construction of the above project. Calculation of the carbon footprint for the construction of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie-Tipperty Non-Profit Distributing (NPD) Project is in the process of being completed to reflect the final scope of the as-constructed works and is not information currently held by or on behalf of Transport Scotland.

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 the release of this information on the Transport Scotland website later this year. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that unfinished or incomplete information which is still in being worked on is not disclosed when it might misinform the public.

2. Can the Scottish Government also confirm the estimated CO2 volume that will be produced by the AWPR over a 30 year operating period.

In respect of the estimated CO2 that will be produced over a 30 year operating period, this is not information that is held as it has never been calculated therefore we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs. Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), the Scottish Government is not required to provide information which it does not have.

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. While we recognise that there may be some public interest in the estimated CO2 volume that will be produced by the AWPR over a 30 year operating period, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

We do however hold some information which you may find useful in the link below;
https://www.transport.gov.scot/media/36732/55-air-quality.pdf

Chapter 55 of the Environmental Statement at Table 55.25 (page 55-34), reports an expected increase in CO2 of 8 Kilo-tonnes/year of Carbon Dioxide (as Carbon) in 2011 (used a proxy for the then assumed year of opening of 2012), and an expected increase of 10 Kilo-tonnes/year of Carbon Dioxide (as Carbon) in 2027 (15 years after the then assumed year of opening) due to the presence of the scheme. As noted in paragraph 55.4.19 of the Environmental Statement, the increase in CO2 in 2027 would amount to less than 0.3% of the expected savings in greenhouse gases in Scotland associated with the then relevant government policies.

3. Can the Scottish Government confirm that there is a proposed design for the A96 Dualling River Don Crossing at Kintore and the estimated cost for the design?

At this juncture of the A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) Stage 2 route options assessment all structures are conceptual, therefore I cannot confirm that there is a proposed design for the River Don crossing at Kintore.

With regards to the estimated costs, an exception under regulation 10(4)(d) of the EIRs (unfinished or incomplete information) applies to the information you have requested because it is material which is still in the course of completion. The structures for each of the options under consideration on the A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen scheme along with their estimated costs are currently being developed, in consultation with statutory bodies, to an appropriate level of detail to inform the preferred route option decision expected to be announced and reported in a DMRB Stage 2 Scheme Assessment Report later this year.

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 the release of the DMRB Stage 2 assessment report later this year. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that unfinished or incomplete information which is still in being worked on is not disclosed when it might misinform the public.

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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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