Publication - FOI/EIR release

A75 and truck roads accident statistics: EIR release

Published: 7 Dec 2021

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

Published:
7 Dec 2021
A75 and truck roads accident statistics: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/202100248780
Date received: 18 Oct 2021
Date responded: 11 Nov 2021
Information requested

"The following information for the A75 truck road (between Gretna and Stranraer) over the past five years;

  • Traffic levels (vehicles movements per km/mile of road, if possible), with HGV and other road users identified.
  • Details of the yearly road traffic accidents, with the number involving fatal and serious injuries identified.

In addition, would you please provide the same data averaged over the whole of the trunk road network within Scotland?"

On 21 October you further clarified that you " would like to know how busy the A75 road is compared with the rest of the trunk roads in Scotland, and also how many accidents/collisions occur on it compared with the rest of the trunk roads in Scotland. I don't know what format Transport Scotland collects data in, whether as a total for the whole road, or in sections, or per mile or road.

So my request is for:

1. Information on traffic levels and accidents on the A75 in the last 5 years.

2. Information on traffic levels and accidents on the whole trunk road network in Scotland (excluding motorways) in the last 5 years in a form that can be compared with the data for the A75."

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.

Please see Annex A to this response for details of the accident information for each trunk road (excluding motorways) including the A75, as requested for the last 5 full calendar years. Please note the figures provided are totals for each entire road, and each trunk road is a different length.

Please see Annex B to this response for the traffic information held for the last 5 full calendar years.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, under the exception at regulation 10(4)(b) of the EIRs a public authority may refuse a request for information if it is 'manifestly unreasonable'. The Scottish Information Commissioner's guidance on the regulation 10(4)(b) exception at: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/Law/EIRs/EIRsExceptions.aspx says that there may “be instances where it is appropriate for the Commissioner to consider the proportionality of the burden on the public authority in terms of the costs and resources involved in dealing with a request when considering the application of this exception”.

In this case, although we can provide the traffic counts, Transport Scotland does not hold a report which would allow us easily to provide the vehicle classification information on such a large volume of sites. To do this would require resources which we would consider to be disproportionate to the request. For these reasons, we consider that your request is manifestly unreasonable and so we are refusing it under regulation 10(4)(b).

As the exception is conditional we have applied the 'public interest test'. This means we have, in all the circumstances of this case, considered if the public interest in disclosing 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 figures, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring the efficient and effective use of public resources by not incurring excessive costs when complying with information requests.

You may however wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order to make it manageable. For example, you could specify 20 of the traffic sites listed in Annex B we could provide the broken down information for this smaller group. You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner's 'Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs' on his website at: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/Tipsforrequesters.aspx.

About FOI

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.

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
EH1 3DG