How many times the Kessock Bridge has been closed to vehicles because of incidents relating to concern for people on the bridge, such as potential suicides and other vulnerable individuals, in each of the last ten years".
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.
Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), Transport Scotland is not required to provide information which it does not have. We do not have the information you have requested because Police Scotland is the Authority responsible for installing closures on Kessock Bridge in such circumstances and unfortunately Transport Scotland is not always provided with full reasons for the closures. As such, we do not hold the full number of closures as a result of potential suicides and other vulnerable individuals. However, you may wish to contact Police Scotland at email@example.com who will be in a position to provide more accurate figures.
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. While we recognise that there may be some public interest in information about Kessock Bridge closures as a result of potential suicides and other vulnerable individuals, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.
The following table contains details of closures that Transport Scotland has been made aware of. As indicated above, this does not represent the total number of closures and Police Scotland should be contacted for more accurate numbers.
|Closures per year as a result of Vulnerable Individuals
Please note that there is usually an understanding within the media where it is accepted that highlighting such issues is not in the public interest. While it is appreciated that incidents on the bridge have a significant impact on the local community, raising this issue through media channels is not helpful. The Samaritans provide useful guidance on reporting such issues on their Samaritans Media Guidelines page.
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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