- 22 Jan 2020
Date received: 19 Dec 2019
Date responded: 20 Jan 2020
You asked for:-
The Borders Railway Final Business Case (November 2012) document prepared by Ernst & Young doesn't include the commercial case (page ii), nor the financial case (page iii). Given that the Borders Railway has now been constructed the alleged, though not substantiated, need to remove this "commercial" information no longer stands. Therefore please supply both the unredacted financial cases, as set out by Ernst & Young, for proceeding with the construction of the Borders Railway.
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 find enclosed a copy of the full, unredacted, Borders Railway Final Business case. It is important to note that the Borders Railway Commercial Case dated November 2012 sets how it was envisaged that Scottish Ministers would finance the estimated construction cost of the new Borders Railway, using Network Rail's Regulated Asset Base.
This finance mechanism was put in place by the UK Government. Despite the impact of this UK Government imposed finance mechanism, the Scottish Government made the decision to proceed with investment in this vital transport link to the Scottish Borders.
Scottish Ministers have learned key lessons from the Borders Railway. This project again demonstrates the difficulties inherent in rail demand forecasts for new railways. This is one of the reasons why the Scottish Government takes an approach to rail investments reflecting a strategic appreciation of objectives.
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