- 20 Oct 2021
Date received: 26 Aug 2021
Date responded: 30 Sep 2021
I write to request an update from the Scottish Government on the Government’s position on the A9 Dualling Project. I welcome the opening of the Luncarty to Pass of Birnam section, which will provide almost 10 miles of full dual carriageway north of the Inveralmond Roundabout.
1) Is Tomatin to Moy the next section of the A9 to be dualled?
i)If Yes to 1, when is construction due to commence?
ii) If Yes to 1, when can the completion of Tomatin to Moy section be expected?
2) Is the full A9 Dualling Programme still expected to be complete by Summer 2025, meaning all 70 miles of remaining single carriageway will be upgraded to dual carriageway by Summer 2025?
3) Is the full A9 Dualling Programme still expected to go ahead and completed in full despite any cooperation agreement with the Scottish Green Party that was announced at Bute House on 20 August 2021? It is well known that the Scottish Green Party remain opposed to the dualling of the A9. I could not find any mention of the A9 in the draft agreement.
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.
1i) I can confirm that the information requested has been confirmed on our project website at the following link: https://www.transport.gov.scot/news/next-stage-of-a9-dualling-procurement-gets-underway/
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.
ii) Although the duration of the construction period will only be known once the contract is awarded, we currently expect it to last approximately three years.
2) While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested therefore we are refusing your request under regulation 10(4)(d) of the EIRs (unfinished or incomplete information) as the information you have requested is intended for future publication.
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, and this will be met by the release of this information in the coming weeks. 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.
We will write to you to confirm once information is made public.
3) The Scottish Government remains committed to dualling the A9 between Perth and Inverness and work is continuing across the route. Please refer to page 11 of our published Scottish Government and Scottish Green Party Draft Shared Policy Programme which states:
“We also agree:
- work on other trunk roads projects and programmes under construction, design, development or procurement will continue and be subject to the normal statutory assessment and business case processes.”
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