A96 Corridor Review costs breakdown: EIR release

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

Information requested

“A breakdown of the estimated £5Million costs of the environmental review into the A96, being the review instituted under the Bute House Agreement. That breakdown is sought because a constituent of mine has written to me expressing the view that the sum of £5Million appears to him to be excessive and indeed exorbitant for the costs of conducting a review and therefore he wishes to see what that figure entails, how it was made up, who was paid for what and so on. That figure was the one reported in the Press and Journal.”


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 see table below with breakdown of costs in relation to the A96 Corridor Review:

Suppliers Cost including non-recoverable VAT
Jacobs Aecom £4,937,885.30
David Simmonds Consultancy £6,110.25
The Big Partnership £43,277.00

Further Details
The total spent to date on the A96 Corridor Review reflects the extensive appraisal and assessment work that is required to appropriately inform this review and includes consideration of the large number of responses received through the initial consultation exercise and intensive sifting process to determine the initial options for further appraisal.

The Corridor Review is being undertaken in accordance with Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) which supports the Scottish Government’s objectives by providing a clear framework to assess evidence based transport problems and opportunities. It does so by promoting robust, objective-led analysis that can be consistently applied in all transport appraisal contexts.

The review’s initial consultation generated 11,000 different options for improving the corridor, and it is only right that they be fully appraised. You will appreciate that given the sheer volume of responses received and the high number of options this generated, it is rightly taking Transport Scotland more time that originally anticipated to examine and appraise all of these options. I can advise that the first part of the review, a report on the Public Consultation and the Initial Appraisal: The Case for Change Report, was published on 22 December 2022 (Initial Appraisal: Case for Change – December 2022 – A96 Corridor Review | Transport Scotland).

More recently the detailed appraisal of the remaining options is ongoing as well as engagement with stakeholders and the development of the further assessment, including a Climate Compatibility Assessment, Strategic Environmental Assessment and Statutory Impact Assessments (Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment, Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment, Equality Impact Assessment and a Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment), required to inform the Review.

This expenditure is not unreasonable given the length and complexity of the corridor subject to the Review and the extent of the specialist appraisal and assessment work required to be undertaken by our appointed technical advisors, Jacobs Aecom, to properly inform the Review. The expenditure set out in the table above for David Simmonds Consultancy was required to undertake specialist land-use modelling with the expenditure by The Big Partnership necessary to support the comprehensive public engagement exercise undertaken in 2022.

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.


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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