Publication - FOI/EIR release

Breakdown of diversions and closures of A720 using B701: EIR release

Published: 10 Jun 2021

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

Published:
10 Jun 2021
Breakdown of diversions and closures of A720 using B701: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/202100199971
Date received: 10 May 2021
Date responded: 4 Jun 2021
Information requested

I am seeking details of closures or diversions of the A720 Edinburgh City Bypass that have used the B701 through Colinton Village in the last ten full calendar years (2010-2020) and during 2021 so far.

1. Planned Closures (i.e. diversions):

The number, duration, reason for and time of day of  (e.g. morning, afternoon, night) planned diversions:


a. Westbound only (from at least Dreghorn to Hermiston Gait).

b. Eastbound only (from Hermiston Gait to at least Dreghorn – note this should NOT include any diversions between Hermiston Gait and Baberton that did not divert traffic through Colinton Village).

c. 
Both directions (as per above but simultaneous Eastbound & Westbound diversions).

2. Unplanned closures: 

As per above, but due to incidents or unexpected/unplanned issues:

a. Westbound only (from at least Dreghorn to Hermiston Gait).

b. Eastbound only (from Hermiston Gait to least Dreghorn – note this should NOT include any diversions between Hermiston Gait and Baberton that did not divert traffic through Colinton Village).

c. Both directions (as per above but simultaneous Eastbound & Westbound diversions). 

3. Costs: 


The approximate costs of implementing:

a. A planned diversion. 

b. An unplanned diverson.

4. Risk Assessment:

a. A copy of the latest Risk Assessment for the diversionary route showing how the route is suitable and safe for pedestrians, cyclists, road users and diverted traffic.

b.  Anticipated traffic volumes of a closure: Eastbound, Westbound, both directions (morning, afternoon or evening).

c. Confirmation as to whether the route is risk assessed for each closure or more generically?

d. Confirmation the risk assessment includes an assessment of emissions effect on local populations.

5. A720 Traffic levels:

a. An overview of the traffic volumes in both directions using the A720 between Hermiston Gait and Dreghorn between 2010 and 2021. If this is not possible, please provide volumes on the whole A720 or similar sections (e.g. Hermiston Gait to Sheriffhall).

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: Please see Annex A to this response for details of diversion of planned and non planned closures of the A720 Edinburgh City Bypass.

3. An exception under regulation 10(5)(e) (Confidentiality of commercial or industrial information) of the EIRs applies to the information you have requested. This exception applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the confidentiality of commercial information provided by BEAR Scotland and thus cause substantial harm to their commercial interests. Disclosing this information would be likely to give BEAR Scotland's competitors an advantage in future similar tendering exercises, which would substantially prejudice their ability to submit competitive tenders and so could significantly harm their commercial business.

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 a public interest in disclosing information as part of open and transparent government, and to help account for the expenditure of public money. However, there is a greater public interest in protecting the commercial interests of companies which enter into Transport Scotland contracts, to ensure that we are always able to obtain the best value for public money.

4a. Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), Transport Scotland is not required to provide information which it does not have. We do not have the information you have requested because the suitability of the diversionary route is assessed by City of Edinburgh Council and not 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 diversionary routes from the A720 bypass, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

However, you may wish to contact City of Edinburgh Council at Make a Freedom of Information request form – The City of Edinburgh Council who may be able to help you.

b. Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), Transport Scotland is not required to provide information which it does not have. We do not have the information you have requested because we don't hold any information on the impact of traffic volumes when there are planned works or during incidents on the A720 Edinburgh City Bypass. This is due to every closure being unique.

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 diversionary routes from the A720 bypass, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

c. Each diversion route is risk assessed and approved by City of Edinburgh Council.

d. This is not considered as part of the approval. Works are required to be undertaken to maintain the trunk road in a safe condition and are planned overnight to minimise disruption when traffic levels and emissions are lower.

5a. Please see Annex B to this response for an overview of the traffic volumes using the A720. The data provided is from traffic loops at specific locations along the A720. The information provided is from the sites, both eastbound and westbound, on sections where a closure would result in a diversion through Colinton Village.

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FOI202100199971 - Annex B

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Contact

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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
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