The Stage 1 Appraisal of Pulpit Rock in particular the “Economic” Cost Benefit Analysis. If this was not undertaken, all papers relevant to the initial decision particularly the alternative of tunnelling.
The Stage 1 Appraisal of the whole Route alternatives including any working papers on the costs and benefits of the alternatives.
In your clarification response of 22 December 2021 you confirmed that you would wish to see:-
“The Stage 1 Appraisal of the A82 Tarbet to Inverarnan and The Stage 1 Appraisal and any subsequent analyses of forecast and actual spend at the Pulpit section of the route.
The financial documentation for the Pulpit Rock work within two months”
You also noted in your clarification request that you would wish for the Walking, Cycling and Horse Riding: Assessment and Review GG142 to be added to the FOI request.
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.
By way of explanation, the A82 Pulpit Rock Improvement was not subject to a Stage 1 Appraisal as you have described in your request but arose from a series of long term interventions identified in the A82 Tarbet to Fort William Route Action Plan Study (RAP) Firm Strategy Report from February 2006.
Following completion of the RAP it was decided that two such Schemes (Pulpit Rock and the Crianlarich Bypass) would be taken forward and subject to assessment with the RAP being reviewed against the requirements of the Strategic Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG). The STAG Review Report for Pulpit Rock was concluded in March 2007.
Following the decision to proceed with the A82 Pulpit Rock Scheme the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) Stage 2 Report was then prepared and finalised in May 2010. It is this document which contains the route options assessment and cost benefit analyses for the route which you have requested sight of. We have therefore incorporated the RAP, STAG Review Report, and DMRB Stage 2 Report in the response to your request and links to these documents as published on Transport Scotland’s website are below along with links to the Stage 1 DMRB Report and associated drawings for the A82 Tarbet to Inverarnan project as also requested.
A82 Tarbet to Fort William Route Action Plan Study – Firm Strategy – Final Report
A82 Pulpit Rock Improvement – STAG Review Report
A82 Pulpit Rock Improvement – Stage 2 Scheme Assessment Report
A82 Tarbet to Inverarnan Upgrade DMRB Stage 1 Assessment Report - February 2014 – Volume 1
A82 Tarbet to Inverarnan Upgrade DMRB Stage 1 Assessment Report - February 2014 – Volume 2
An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information) applies to some of the information as published because it is personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998. 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.
With regard to your request for details of actual spend, I can confirm that the final outturn construction cost for the A82 Pulpit Rock project is £9.5m excluding VAT however an exception under regulation 10(5)(e) (confidentiality of commercial or industrial information) of the EIRs applies to your request for sight of “the financial documentation for the Pulpit Rock work”. This exception applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the confidentiality of commercial information provided by the contractor for the Pulpit Rock project, McLaughlin & Harvey Ltd, and thus cause substantial harm to their commercial interests. Disclosing this information would be likely to give McLaughlin & Harvey Ltd'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.
With regards to your request for sight of the Walking, Cycling and Horse Riding: Assessment and Review, an exception under regulation 10(4)(d) of the EIRs (unfinished or incomplete information) applies to the information you have requested because it is material which is still in the course of completion. This work is being progressed as part of the DMRB Stage 3 development and assessment of the prefered option for the A82 Tarbet to Inverarnan scheme and is expected to be reported on upon completion of this stage of the process.
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 the DMRB Stage 3 Scheme Assessment Report following its completion.
However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that unfinished or incomplete information which is still being worked on is not disclosed when it might misinform the public.
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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