The amount already spent their effort to dual the A9 and A96 roads, as promised by the Scottish Government in their programme for Government this year.
As all of 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 find below response to requests for information you made in your email.
Response to your request
The response to your request with regards to spend on the A9 Dualling programme until the date of your request is approximately £404,000,000.00 and with regards to the A96 programme is approximately £78,000,000.00 inclusive of VAT where applicable.
The Scottish Government is committed to the north and east of Scotland, including improving the A96 corridor. The current plan is to fully dual the A96 route between Inverness and Aberdeen; however, we have agreed to conduct a transparent, evidence-based review of the programme which is underway and will report by the end of 2022 and will include a climate compatibility assessment. This is sensible good governance for major investment of this kind.
The Scottish Ministers originally committed to dualling the A96 in 2011. We have been undertaking substantial development work on this important programme since 2013 which has been vital to inform our understanding of the significant undertaking of improving this key corridor. All projects, including the A96 Programme, are subject to this detailed review and assessment work to ensure we deliver the right schemes and keep the acquisition of land and property and impacts on the environment to the absolute minimum.
Good progress has been made. On the 31km Inverness to Nairn (including Nairn Bypass) section, following consideration of the Public Local Inquiry Reporters’ Report the Scottish Ministers have decided to proceed with the scheme. Decision letters were issued on 19 February 2021. The preferred options for the 46km Hardmuir to Fochabers and 36km East of Huntly to Aberdeen sections have both been published and the detailed development and assessment of both sections were being advanced.
The substantial development work undertaken will not go to waste rather it will be vital to inform the evidence-based review.
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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