- 14 Sep 2020
Date received: 26 Jul 2020
Date responded: 18 Aug 2020
"how many times has the A77 and A75 have been closed with diversions in place over the past five years, and to date this year. With the reason why for the closure and what was the official diversion route given?"
Following clarifications you reduced the scope of your request to cover the financial years of 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20. You also asked for the same information to cover the period 1 April 2020 until 29 July 2020.
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.
I can confirm that between 1 April 2017 and 26 July 2020 the A77 was closed, with diversions in place, on 204 occasions. Of these 204 closures, 28 were as a result of incidents on the network and 176 were due to roadworks. Over the same period the A75 was closed with diversions in place on 48 Occasions. 15 of these closures were as a result of incidents on the network and 33 were due to road works.
With regards to the actual diversion routes utilised, while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance Transport Scotland does not have some of the information you have requested. Therefore we are refusing part of your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs. This is because we do not hold all diversion routes that have been used.
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 diversion routes, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.
However, please see annexes to this response for the details of the diversions that we do hold. 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.
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