Publication - FOI/EIR release

Dualling of the A96 - de-selection of Q route option: EIR release

Published: 26 Sep 2019

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

Published:
26 Sep 2019
Dualling of the A96 - de-selection of Q route option: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/19/02009
Date received: 27 Aug 2019
Date responded: 24 Sep 2019
Information requested

You asked for:
“all and any information, minutes of meetings ,briefing packs, materials (including, but not limited to, reports and including the dates on which data/information were/was collected and reports written), dated correspondence etc relating to…

…the making of the decision leading to the initial de-selection of the route Q option for the dualling of the A96 Huntly to Aberdeen…"

and

"…its subsequent reinstatement as an option for consideration in Jan 2018 and finally to its de-selection in Oct 2018.”

Response

As all of 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 find below responses to each of the requests for information you made in your email.

…the making of the decision leading to the initial de-selection of the route Q option for the dualling of the A96 Huntly to Aberdeen…

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because an exception(s) under regulation(s) 11(2) of the EIRs applies to that information.

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. This exception has been applied to Annex A, C and D contained within this response.

Please find enclosed the following information:

  • Annex A – Transport Scotland A96 Dualling Programme Board Paper from July 2014 in relation to the sifting of proposed improvement strategies for the A96 Dualling Inverness to Aberdeen programme.
  • Annex B – Presentation from the A96 Dualling Programme Board meeting of 7 July 2014 in relation to the sifting of proposed improvement strategies for the A96 Dualling Inverness to Aberdeen programme.
  • Annex C - Extracts from the minutes of the A96 Dualling Programme Board meeting held on 7 July 2014 in relation to the sifting of proposed improvement strategies for the A96 Dualling Inverness to Aberdeen programme.
  • Annex D - A96 Dualling Inverness to Aberdeen Sifting of Improvement Strategies Report (June 2014). Due to the size of this report, it will be contained on a DvD which will be issued separately by post along with a copy of this letter.

*Due to the size of "Annex D" we are unable to upload the document. If you wish to consider, please contact us at the address below and we will be happy to provide.*

.. its subsequent reinstatement as an option for consideration in Jan 2018 and finally to its de-selection in Oct 2018.

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. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested because Option Q was never formally reinstated and subsequently deselected as an option for consideration.

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 information about the reinstatement and then deselection of Option Q clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

However I can confirm that following feedback received from stakeholders and members of the public at the 2015 exhibitions, and the ‘Meet the Team’ events in 2017, a further review of Improvement Strategy Option Q was undertaken as part of the initial development of the A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen scheme. This review concluded that the findings of the DMRB Stage 1 Assessment (https://www.transport.gov.scot/projects/a96-dualling-inverness-to-aberdeen/a96-dualling-inverness-to-aberdeen/#42720) process remained valid.

A copy of this report has been enclosed as Annex E:

  • Annex E – A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen Improvement Strategy Option Q Appraisal Report – October 2018.

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-19-02009 - Annex A

13 page PDF
2.3 MB

FOI-19-02009 - Annex B

9 page PDF
1.1 MB

FOI-19-02009 - Annex C

3 page PDF
214.9 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