- 24 Jun 2019
Date received: 23 May 2019
Date responded: 20 Jun 2019
On 21st May the First Minister announced (and tweeted) that "Around 50% of traffic has shifted from Aberdeen city onto the new Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route since it fully opened in February – easing congestion and improving air quality in the north east"
Please provide the data for the baselines against which those improvements were measured, with location, dates, counts or qualitative measures, and the same for the later measures which it is suggested showed the improvements.
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.
Please see the first table attached in Annex A which provides a comparison on traffic flow from the A92 versus the AWPR during the months of February, March and April 2018 to the same period in 2019. The second table provides information on journey times on the days/times attached.
Early indications show that on average the traffic volumes on the AWPR equate to around 50% of the daily traffic previously recorded using the old A90 through Aberdeen city centre. Additionally, popular journeys on weekday morning and evening rush hours are now taking around half the time thanks to the new road. For example Stonehaven to Dyce took an average of 47mins and 42mins during the morning and evening peaks respectively on the old A90 (renamed A92). Both journeys now take just 18mins via the AWPR. Similarly Charleston to Dyce was an average journey of 33mins during the morning peak and 32mins during the evening peak. Now both journeys take 16mins via the AWPR.
As was stressed in the First Minister’s speech and the media release upon which news reports were based, this information is taken from early “snapshot” data which should be viewed as indicative at this stage as a formal monitoring regime requires more time to report. However, confidence in sharing these broad early trends, in general terms, was raised by their being consistent with the anecdotal evidence received from members of the public on social media.
Transport Scotland will be undertaking an evaluation of the project, in line with Scottish Trunk Road Infrastructure Project Evaluation (STRIPE) Guidance. The evaluation will be carried out to assess the impact of the scheme by comparing conditions one year and then three years after opening with forecasts made during scheme design and development. As a project of this size and scale, an additional evaluation will be undertaken five years after opening and the reports will be published in due course.
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 Andrews House