- 14 Sep 2020
Date received: 5 Aug 2020
Date responded: 18 Aug 2020
"the annual cost associated with the Rest and be Thankful road, in terms of all cost associated with its closures over the last 10 years, or as far back as you have them. It should include costs relating to : clearance, traffic management, all contractors repair costs, cost of contract procurement and management. In fact all public cost in managing the landslides and subsequent actions.
Please would you also give me an estimate from your forestry team, for forcibly removing the sheep on the upside hill, or CPO purchase of the upside hill land, and the costs of planting it with suitable native trees."
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.
Some of the information you have requested has been previously released as part of a Parliamentary Question (reference S5W-19423) and is available from the Scottish Parliament website at http://www.parliament.scot/angiestest/WA20181114(1).pdf. Under regulation 6(1)(b) of the EIRs, we do not have to give you information which is already publicly available and easily accessible to you in another form or format. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.
The spend from October 2018 to 5 August is outlined below:
2018/19 - £1,598,542.76
2019/20 - £315,003.20
With regards to your second question, 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 this part of your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs. This is because there was never a CPO, or forced sheep removal, carried out.
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 CPO and sheep clearances, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.
The cost of planting suitable native trees is estimated to be approximately £200,000.
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