Bilingual road signs and use of Gaelic on ScotRail services and property: EIR release

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

Information requested

“(a) The areas and/or trunk roads where Gaelic is either used solely or bilingually with English,

(b) What plans, if any, the Scottish Government has to expand this to more areas and/or trunk roads,

(c) Detail of use of Gaelic on ScotRail services, stations and other property, and

(d) What plans, if any, the Scottish Government has to expand this?”


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.

Response to your request

I have kept your questions separate for ease of reference

a. Bilingual direction signing is used in areas where Gaelic is spoken and leads to West Coast Ferry Ports. Therefore the extents of the trunk roads are -

A82 Tarbet to Inverness
A83 Tarbet to Kennacraig
A85 Crianlarich (Tyndrum) to Oban
A830 Fort William to Mallaig
A87 Invergarry to Uig
A887 Invermoriston to Bun Loyne
A835 Tore to Ullapool
A893 Ullapool
A9 Perth (Inveralmond) to Tore.

There is an additional Welcome to Scotland sign on the M6 to the north of River Sark on the northbound carriageway.

b. Transport Scotland has no proposals at present to change existing bilingual signage for the trunk road network.

c. and d. 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 under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs. This is because the use of Gaelic language in railway signage throughout Scotland is an operational matter for ScotRail who manages rail stations.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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