- 23 Feb 2021
Date received: 11 Dec 2020
Date responded: 15 Jan 2021
The major capital projects update from March 2019 of the Infrastructure Investment Plan 2015 appears to provide the most recent cost estimate of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route published by the Scottish Governement, estimating the total cost at £745 million (https://www.gov.scot/publications/infrastructure-investment-plan-2015-major-capital-projectsupdate-march-2019/). In the meeting of the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee on 5 December 2018 Stephen Tarr stated that the total cost of the project would exceed £1 billion (https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=11829&mode=pdf). Could you please provide the following information:
1. Does the total cost of the project exceed £1 billion according to the most recent information that the Scottish Government holds?
2. How much has the total project cost according to the Scottish Government’s most recent estimate or according to the final outturn cost?
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.
1. It is understood that the costs referred to by Mr Tarr at the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee on 5 December 2018 are costs incurred by the construction contractor for the project, the AWPR Construction Joint Venture. Under the terms of the Agreement between Aberdeen City Council (as agent for the Scottish Ministers) and Aberdeen Roads Limited (which has employed the AWPR Construction Joint Venture to construct the project), costs incurred by the construction contractor are not directly payable by Aberdeen City Council or the Scottish Ministers. Instead, payment is made to Aberdeen Roads Limited by means of a monthly unitary charge.
2. Transport Scotland does not hold details of final outturn costs for the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie-Tipperty project as this is a design, build, finance and operate contract with an Expiry Date that has not yet been reached. The most recent cost estimate that Transport Scotland holds for this project is £745m at Q4 2012 prices, excluding VAT.
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