Publication - FOI/EIR release

A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen scheme traffic questions: EIR release

Published: 27 Jan 2020

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

Published:
27 Jan 2020
A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen scheme traffic questions: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/20/00003
Date received: 31 Dec 2019
Date responded: 24 Jan 2020
Information requested

You asked for:

“Under the terms of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 and I request that you supply me with results of the recent traffic monitoring in and around Inverurie to update the traffic model used to predict the flow of traffic expected in either the violet or orange routes proposed for the A96. I also request the predicted results of this updated modelling for each prospective route to show the expected traffic density joining at each junction and the expected traffic density in each section of the new proposed routes. In addition I also request for each option of the new route the predicted traffic density on each section of the existing A96 through Inverurie.”

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.

Request
“Under the terms of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002...I request that you supply me with results of the recent traffic monitoring in and around Inverurie to update the traffic model used to predict the flow of traffic expected in either the violet or orange routes proposed for the A96.”

Response
The information you requested in relation the recent traffic monitoring in and around Inverurie will be sent out separately on a DVD due to the size, along with a copy of this letter. This will include:

  • A summary spreadsheet providing details of the file name, location and geographical coordinates for each of the traffic surveys;
  • 35 Classified Junction Turning Counts (14-hour surveys at various locations between September and October 2019);
  • Four Classified Link Counts (12-hour counts at location at various locations between September and October 2019);
  • 58 Classified Speed Counts (7 day, 24-hour surveys at various locations between September and October 2019);
  • One Classified ANPR Survey (13-hour survey at 54 camera locations on 8th October 2019)

Due to the size of the files we are unable to upload the documents referred to above. If you wish to consider, please contact us at the address below and we will be happy to provide. 

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 the ANPR Survey data contained within the DVD.

Further Information
To inform the traffic assessment of route options, Transport Scotland has developed the A96 Corridor Route Assignment Model (CRAM), a strategic traffic model of the full A96 corridor from Inverness to Aberdeen. The base model was informed by a comprehensive dataset of traffic and planning data, including permanent traffic data sources which provide a long-term record of traffic patterns. This is supplemented by traffic surveys undertaken specifically for the A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen scheme to capture local traffic patterns. The model has been refined several times to improve local traffic behaviour, with CRAM v 1.4 being the latest available version for use in the DMRB Stage 2 assessment of the scheme options for the A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen.

A comprehensive data collection exercise, including ANPR surveys, was recently undertaken during September and October 2019. These surveys were used to check that the current traffic model (CRAM v1.4) continues to realistically reflect traffic patterns in the area, (including Inverurie), following the opening of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route and Balmedie to Tipperty (AWPR/B-T). The surveys will also be used in the next CRAM model update, which will be available for the DMRB Stage 3 Assessment of the preferred route option for the A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen.

It should be noted that some technical issues were experienced at some of the ANPR sites, resulting in poor capture rate at the following camera sites:

  • ANPR Ref 1 - A947 north of Oldmeldrum
  • ANPR Ref 2 - B9170 northeast of Oldmeldrum
  • ANPR Ref 3 - A947 east of Oldmeldrum
  • ANPR Ref 4 - B9170 southwest of Oldmeldrum
  • ANPR Ref 5 - A920 west of Oldmeldrum
  • ANPR Ref 39 - A947 north of Dyce
  • ANPR Ref 40 - A96 east of Dyce
  • ANPR Ref 43 - A920 East of Colpy
  • ANPR Ref 45 - A90 East of Goval
  • ANPR Ref 46 - A90 South of Craibstone

These sites will be re-surveyed early in Spring 2020.

Request
“Under the terms of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002….I also request the predicted results of this updated modelling for each prospective route to show the expected traffic density joining at each junction and the expected traffic density in each section of the new proposed routes."

Response
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested in this part of your request. 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. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested because it does not hold the predicted results of the updated modelling for each prospective route.

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 updated modelling, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

Further Information
As outlined in the response to the first part of your request, the data collected from the surveys undertaken in September and October 2019 will be used in the next CRAM model update, which will be available for the DMRB Stage 3 Assessment of the preferred route option for the A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen.

At this juncture of the A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) Stage 2 route options assessment, the traffic modelling assessment of the routes is ongoing. The traffic modelling assessment of each of the options under consideration on the A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen scheme is currently being developed to inform the preferred route option decision expected to be announced and reported in a DMRB Stage 2 Scheme Assessment Report later this year. The published DMRB Stage 2 Scheme Assessment Report will provide details and the conclusion of the traffic modelling assessment of each of the options under consideration.

Request
“Under the terms of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002…. I also request for each option of the new route the predicted traffic density on each section of the existing A96 through Inverurie.”

Response
At this juncture of the A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) Stage 2 route options assessment, the traffic modelling assessment of the route options under consideration is ongoing, therefore with regard to your request for each option of the new route the predicted traffic density on each section of the existing A96 through Inverurie, 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 traffic modelling assessment of each of the options under consideration on the A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen scheme is currently being developed 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 Scheme Assessment Report later this year. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that unfinished or incomplete information which is still being worked on is not disclosed when it might misinform the public.

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.

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