Publication - FOI/EIR release

Proposal for a bridge linking Northern Ireland and Scotland: EIR release

Published: 21 Apr 2020

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

Published:
21 Apr 2020
Proposal for a bridge linking Northern Ireland and Scotland: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/202000018055
Date received: 26 Feb 2020
Date responded: 16 Apr 2020
Information requested

All records relating to any proposal for a bridge linking Northern Ireland and Scotland between 1 January 2019 and 26 February 2020.

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.

In response to your request I enclose a copy of some of the information held by Transport Scotland. A recent Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs) request on a Scotland to Northern Ireland bridge was received on 15 Jan 2020 - The response is attached https://www.gov.scot/publications/foi-20-00061/.

Other relevant correspondence is shown below:
Annex A – Email from Cowal Fixed Link Working Group regarding Scotland NI Link to requesting a meeting – 9 January 2019
Annex B – Response letter by Michael Matheson regarding Scotland to NI Link – 29 January 2019
Annex C – Letter from member of the public regarding Irish Sea Road/Rail Bridge – 21 January 2019
Annex D – Response by Transport Scotland to member of the public regarding Irish Sea Road/Rail Bridge – 12 February 2019
Annex E – Email from Michael Russell MSP on behalf of Cowal Fixed Link Working Group which contains information about Scotland to NI Fixed Link with attached proposals by Cowal Fixed Link Working Group – 8 February 2019 (i) Attachment – Cowal Fixed Link Proposal [Redacted – Out of Scope] (ii) Attachment – Copy of Response sent on 29 January 2019
Annex F – Response to Cowal Fixed Link Working Group containing information about Scotland NI Link to requesting a meeting – 12 March 2019
Annex G – Letter from member of the public regarding Proposed Tunnel Between Scotland and Northern Ireland, reference made to Bridge in the body of the correspondence – 17 July 2019
(i) – Attachment – Proposals from member of public for Celtic Connections Rail Tunnel and Tunnel/Bridge hybrid concepts
Annex H – Response to member of the public regarding Irish Sea Rail Tunnel, reference made to Bridge in the body of the correspondence – 5 August 2019
Annex I – Press Enquiry - Scotland to Northern Ireland Bridge Questions surrounding Channel 4 News article – 10 September 2019
Annex J – Request received by Department for Transport asking if Transport Scotland can deal with FoI – Relating to the building of a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland – 11 September 2019
Annex K – FMQ Briefing – Scotland to Northern Ireland Bridge – 17 September 2019
Annex L – FMQ Briefing – Scotland to Northern Ireland Bridge – 26 September 2019 (Note briefing issued as Annex K)
Annex M – Letter from Ards and North Down Borough Council to the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon – 26 September 2019
Annex N – Email correspondence between Transport Scotland and Department for Transport officials – 14 October 2019
Annex O – Response to Ards and North Down Borough Council – 23 October 2019
Annex P– Letter from member of the public regarding a potential Scotland to Northern Ireland bridge – 22 October 2019
Annex Q – Response from Transport Scotland officials to member of the public regarding a potential Scotland to Northern Ireland bridge – 18 November 2019
Annex R – Press Enquiry from Rail Magazine on various transport issues including the potential of a bridge being built from Portpatrick to Northern Ireland Council – 23 October 2019
Annex S – Press Enquiry from Australian Broadcasting Corporation on a Scotland to Northern Ireland bridge – 24 October 2019
Annex T – Press Enquiry from Daily Mail regarding the idea of a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland – 27 December 2019
Annex U – Internal Scottish Government email surrounding the allocation of correspondence relating to Scotland to Northern Ireland bridge – 7 January 2020 (i) – Attachment – Correspondence from member of public regarding Scotland to Northern Ireland bridge
Annex V – Press Enquiry from Architect’s Journal regarding Celtic Crossing Proposals – 9 January 2020
Annex W - Response to member of the public with regard to Scotland to Northern Ireland bridge proposals outlined in U(i) - 17 January 2020
Annex Y - Email from Member of the Public regarding Scotland to Northern Ireland Bridge and Sectarianism - 11 February 2020
Annex Z - Email exchange between A83 Taskforce and Transport Scotland regarding infrastructure and Northern Ireland bridge -12 February 2020
Annex AA - Response to Argyll & Bute regarding Scotland to Northern Ireland bridge - 12 February 2020 (i) – Attachment – Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2) – Progress in Argyll & Bute [Redacted - Exception under Regulation 10(4)(d)]
Annex AB - Email from Northern Ireland Department for Infrastructure copying in letter to UK Secretary for State for Transport - 13 February 2020 (i) – Attachment – Letter from Northern Ireland Department for Infrastructure to UK Secretary for State for Transport, copied to Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson for Info
Annex AC - Email to confirm that Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson has sent letter regarding potential Scotland to Norther Ireland bridge to the Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps - 14 February 2020 (i) – Attachment – Letter from Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson regarding potential Scotland to Northern Ireland bridge to the Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps
Annex AD - Parliamentary Question S5O-04128 from Anne Wells MSP To ask the Scottish Government whether it has explored the possibility of a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland - 14 February 2020 (i) – Attachment – Background Note for S5O-04128 - [Redacted - Exception under Regulation 10(4)(d) Material in course of completion] (ii) – Attachment – Supplementary Q&A for S5O-04128 - [Redacted - Exception under Regulation 10(4)(d) Material in course of completion] (iii) – Attachment – Published Parliamentary answer to from Anne Wells MS
Annex AE - Correspondence from member of the public regarding Scotland to Northern Ireland bridge - 14 February 2020
Annex AF -- Email to Parliamentary office regarding Anne Wells MSP PQ - 19 February 2020 (i) – Attachment - Parliamentary Question S5O-04128 Response to Anne Wells MSP Annex AG - Correspondence from member of the public regarding Potential Scotland to Northern Ireland bridge - 24 February 2020

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