Publication - FOI/EIR release

Breakdown of traffic on A78: EIR release

Published: 17 Jun 2021

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

Published:
17 Jun 2021
Breakdown of traffic on A78: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/202100197406
Date received: 9 Jun 2021
Date responded: 17 Jun 2021
Information requested

1. Which is the most recent report/s completed on the level of traffic on the A78? How can I access it/them online?
2. When was the study leading to that/those report undertaken? How can I access that/those online?
3. How were the decisions on any traffic control measures taken, by whom and when? Can I access the meeting report online?
4. What plans are there to improve traffic control on the part of the A78 which runs through Seamill and West Kilbride (a) in the immediate future? and (b) in the long term?
5. How much does a solar powered traffic sign cost?
6. How much does it cost to have a permanent speed camera installed and monitored?
7. How regular are Police Scotland mobile camera speed monitoring events on the A78 through Seamill and West Kilbride?
8. Why are there no regular mobile speed camera sites on this part of the A78, when the next village along has three?
9. Why is there not a solar powered traffic sign on the side of the road which carries traffic through Seamill and West Kilbride towards Ardrossan?
10. What dates have been set for the installation of pedestrian crossing islands in Seamill and West Kilbride?
11. What dates have been set for moving the ‘end of speed limit’ sign further along Ardrossan Road towards Ardrossan?
12. Are there any plans to monitor the amount of traffic using the A78 through Seamill & West Kilbride now that lockdown has ended?
13. What are the contents of the recent Tracsis survey conducted on Ardrossan Road, Seamill?

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.

1/2. The most recent report into level of traffic on the A78 at the locations you are interested in is the A78 Seamill Pedestrian Crossing Assessment. This isn't available for viewing online but I have provided a copy at Annex A.

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.

3. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance Transport Scotland does not have the information you have requested. Therefore we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs. This is because there was no meeting to discuss decisions on traffic control. Proposals on traffic control measures were made by our Operating Company which were subsequently approved by Transport Scotland.

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 traffic control measures, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

4. 
a. At the moment there are no current plans to improve traffic control on the part of the A78 running through Seamill and West Kilbride.

b. The second Strategic Transport Projects Review is currently underway and is considering future transport investment, including on the trunk road network. Further details of potential improvements to the A78 are contained in the Appendix E to the National Case for Change Report, and these will now be subject of more detailed appraisal: national-case-for-change-report-appendix-e-options-sifted-infor-further-consideration-through-stpr2.pdf (transport.gov.scot). It is necessary for the review to be completed before we can take individual decisions on any further road improvements to Scotland’s trunk road network. The final report is due to be published in late 2021.

5. The costs for solar powered traffic signs vary and are dependant on the sign type and associated system. However, as an example, a single speed related sign with 30 roundel and slow down message would cost around £10,000.

6. There are a range of factors containing variable costs which are contained within the cost of delivering a fixed safety camera. These include costs associated with purchasing the technology together with power and communication charges. The monitoring of offences at any camera site across Scotland are undertaken through existing staff deployed through the Scottish Safety Camera Programme. We are unable to provide you with an approximate cost due to the number of variables.

7. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance Transport Scotland does not have the information you have requested. Therefore we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs. This is because safety camera deployments on the A78 are an operational matter for the West Safety Camera Unit who can be contacted at Contact — Safety Cameras Scotland.

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 safety cameras, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

8. An annual safety camera site prioritisation process is undertaken each year to determine new safety camera sites across Scotland. This national exercise acts to ensure the right camera technology is in the right place at the right time and involves a range of partners including the three regional safety camera units, all thirty-three road authorities and Police Scotland. It seeks to identify potential new camera sites which meet the minimum criteria, while at the same time assessing the performance of existing enforcement strategies.

9. There was no previous study or evidence for the need for a sign at this location. However, our Operating Company Amey are currently undertaking a new study to investigate the need for pedestrian facilities on the section between Seamill Hydro and the new 30mph speed limit.

The results of the survey will allow Amey to review pedestrian movements and speed of vehicles and determine the need for any additional facilities, both pedestrian and speed management related. 

10. A new study is reviewing an extended area and proposals will result from this. These have yet to be determined and the community will be consulted prior to any construction. No dates have been set as yet but will be progressed following the study.

11. There are no plans to move the national speed limit sign any further. Signs require to be at the commencement of the speed limit to comply with the traffic order otherwise the speed limit cannot be enforced.

12. There are no plans to monitor the amount of traffic using the A78 through Seamill & West Kilbride following lockdown.

13. An exception under regulation 10(4)(d) of the EIRs (unfinished or incomplete information) applies to the information you have requested because the Tracsis Survey, which is being carried out to establish safe pedestrian crossing points on the A78 in Seamill, is yet to be concluded. Once the survey works are complete, and the results are available these will be shared with the local community, hopefully, 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. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that unfinished or incomplete information which is still in being worked on is not disclosed when it might misinform the public.

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FOI202100197406 - Annex A

26 page PDF
1.5 MB

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
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