1) A copy of your current road maintenance policy relating to that road. Please send me the full policy, but this should include details of the intended frequency of road safety inspections, how these inspections should be conducted and the maximum time between identification of a defect and repairs being carried out.
2) A copy of the formal training undertaken by inspection staff for carrying out road inspections.
3) A copy of the road repair history for that road over the past year. Again, please send me the full road repair history, but this should include:
- dates of all safety inspections between 30th of July 2021 and 28th of September 2021
- details of how safety inspections were undertaken (walked or driven, speed of inspection vehicle etc)
- details of all carriageway defects identified, with description, date and time
- details of how the authority handled these defects, what repairs were undertaken and the time between the identification of each defect and a repair being carried out.
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 respond to 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) Our contractor for the project, Scottish Roads Partnership (SRP) is required to operate in accordance with the requirements of the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project Agreement, which is available at the following link on our project website - https://www.transport.gov.scot/projects/m8-m73-m74-motorway-improvements/document-library/m8-m73-m74-contract-documentation/.
Schedules 4 Part 1: m8m73m74-motorway-improvements-contract-schedule-4-part-1-web-version.pdf (transport.gov.scot) and Part 2: m8m73m74-motorway-improvements-contract-schedule-4-part-2-webversion.
pdf (transport.gov.scot) contain the requirements for the various inspections that must be undertaken.
Under regulation 6(1)(b) of the EIRs, we do not have to supply information which is already publicly available and easily accessible to you in another form or format.
Details regarding the frequency of safety inspections can be found in Table 1.3 of Schedule 4 Part 2 given above. Specific requirements regarding how each of the various inspections is to be conducted are provided in paragraphs 1.4 to 1.7 of Schedule 4 Part 2 noted above.
In relation to the identification of defects, response times for defects are detailed in paragraph 1.2.7 of Schedule 4 Part 2.
2) 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 as an exception of the EIRs applies under regulation 10(4)(a).
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. Transport Scotland does not have the information you have requested because formal training information for SRP staff is not a document held 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 there may be some public interest in formal training undertaken to carry out road inspections; we cannot provide information which we do not hold.
SRP has confirmed that whilst its operatives may undertake health and safety training and/or traffic management training, no formal training is required for the purpose of inspecting roads. SRP has confirmed that its inspection staff are suitably experienced and trained to undertake safety inspections competently.
3) dates of all safety inspections bet ween 30th of July 2021 and 28th of September 2021
Please refer to Annex A for Inspection Defect Summary Reports, which contain defects identified from inspections during the last year, which includes inspections between 30 July 2021 and 28 September 2021 at the location you referred to. It may be helpful to explain that the current Routine Maintenance and Management System (RMMS) does not differentiate between Category 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 and 2.4 Defects; and the RMMS will automatically assign a required completion date of repair within 28 days of entry for all Category 2 Defects. Therefore, the dates for when a permanent repair is due and when a permanent repair is completed should be taken from the document in Annex B as described below.
Please refer to Annex B for the Defect Status document, which records the status of Defects identified during inspections between 29 October 2020 and 29 October 2021. This document has been developed and maintained by SRP in addition to the Annex A reports to manage the repair of defects.
details of how safety inspections were undertaken (walked or driven, speed of inspection vehicle etc)
SRP has confirmed that its safety inspections are driven inspections. These inspections are carried out from the hard shoulder, at a speed of no more than 15mph. Where driven inspections are undertaken from a trafficked lane, they are carried out at an appropriate speed to avoid traffic disruption.
details of all carriageway defects identified, with description, date and time
Over the past year, SRP has confirmed that one carriageway defect was identified on the nearside lane of the slip road to which you refer. The defect reference is M8-110905-171397 as detailed in Annex A. It was observed as a category 2.3 defect on 2 February 2021 at 13:25.
It may be helpful to note that there was an additional defect (M8-110905-171396) recorded against this section of the carriageway on 2 February 2021; however, on review of this defect it referred to the mainline carriageway of the M74 adjacent to the slip road therefore is not recorded within the Defect Status document for the slip road in Annex B.
details of how the authority handled these defects, what repairs were undertaken and the time between the identification of each defect and a repair being carried out.
SRP has confirmed that the rectification of Defect M8-110905-171397, a Category 2.3 Defect, was undertaken in accordance with the requirements of Schedule 4 Part 2; and was repaired with a carriageway patch repair on 13 April 2021 as recorded in the Defect Status document in Annex B.
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
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