Forth bridges forum and Queensferry ice accretion working group: EIR release

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

Information requested

For the following working groups:
A. Forth Bridges Forum
B. Queensferry Ice Accretion Working Group
1. What was the date of formation of these groups?
2. Who is a member of these group?
3. What is the cost to the Scottish Government of operating these group from the date of formation to 4/10/23?
4. Are any members of these group renumerated, if so what for?’


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.

A – Forth Bridges Forum

1. The Forth Bridges Forum was established in 2011

2. The members of this forum are - City of Edinburgh Council, Fife Council Historic Environment Scotland, Network Rail, Transport Scotland, BEAR Scotland, Visit Scotland and West Lothian Council

3. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, under the exception at regulation 10(4)(b) of the EIRs a public authority may refuse a request for information if it is ‘manifestly unreasonable’.

The Scottish Information Commissioner’s guidance on the regulation 10(4)(b) exception at: says that in deciding whether a request is ‘manifestly unreasonable’, “The Commissioner will take into account the same kinds of considerations as when reaching a decision as to whether a request is vexatious under FOISA”. The Commissioner’s guidance on vexatious requests under FOISA at: says that “The following factors will be relevant to a finding that a request (which may be the latest in a series of requests or other
related correspondence) is vexatious:
(i) it would impose a significant burden on the public authority;
(ii) it does not have a serious purpose or value;
(iii) it is designed to cause disruption or annoyance to the public authority;
(iv) it has the effect of harassing the public authority;
(v) it would otherwise, in the opinion of a reasonable person, be considered to be manifestly
unreasonable or disproportionate.”

We consider that one of these factors apply to your request as it would impose a significant burden to break down spend for the Forth Bridges Forum in the manner requested. This would involve analysing every account code and investigating if it is related to the Forum for the last 12 years. For this reason, we consider that your request is manifestly unreasonable and so we are refusing it under regulation 10(4)(b).

4. No members were remunerated

B – Queensferry Ice Accretion Working Group
1. The Queensferry Ice Accretion Working Group was established in 2020

2. The members of this working group are - Transport Scotland, BEAR Scotland, and Jacobs. There is also a Peer Review Team which consist of staff from Aecom, Ramboll, Georgakis & Associates, Denmark and HNTB Corporation USA.

3. The cost of this working group to date is £68,775.00

4. The Peer Review Team and BEAR Scotland were reimbursed for their elements of the study.

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

Back to top