- How much has been spent on the A96 consultation and A96 Corridor Review and how many responses were gathered?
- How much money has been allocated to the A96 dualling Inverness to Nairn over the next 5 years?
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 could tell me how you have spent on the A96 consultation and A96 Corridor Review and how many responses were gathered?
The total spent on the A96 Corridor Review up to the date of your request is £3,825,341.67. This figure includes that spent undertaking the public consultation exercise as part of the A96 Corridor Review.
In total 4,687 responses were received in the 4-week public consultation window (4,594 survey responses and 93 email responses). (A96 Corridor Review - Stakeholder & Engagement Consultation Report (transport.gov.scot)).
Please could you tell me how much money has been allocated to the A96 dualling Inverness to Nairn over the next 5 years?
Spend on our trunk road improvement projects is managed within the Capital Land and Works allocation of £121.9 million as part of the Motorway and Trunk Roads Spending Plans set out in the Scottish Budget: 2023-24 (https://www.gov.scot/collections/scottish-budget-2023-to-2024-documents/). This covers preparation and delivery of a range of projects and programmes including progressing the A96 Dualling Inverness to Nairn (including Nairn Bypass) scheme. Spend on each individual project is managed with the Capital Land and Works allocation budget line which reflects the scope of work anticipated to be taken forward within the financial year.
Looking forward, the Scottish Government’s recently published Medium Term Financial Strategy (https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-governments-medium-term-financial-strategy-2/documents/) sets out the economic and fiscal landscape for the next five years but budget allocations are agreed on an annual basis and therefore not available for the next five years for individual schemes. As part of budget 2024-25 and as part of the commitment to being open and transparent about the economic outlook, the Scottish Government will publish refreshed multi-year spending envelopes for capital alongside the 2024-25 Budget, and extend the Capital Spending Review (CSR) and Infrastructure Investment Plan (IIP) (https://www.gov.scot/publications/national-mission-local-impact-infrastructure-investment-plan-scotland-2021-22-2025-26/documents/) period by one year to 2026-27. This will reset the spending envelopes published in CSR (https://www.gov.scot/publications/outcome-targeted-review-capital-spending-review-updated-spending-allocations-2023-24-2025-26/documents/) to reflect the new economic reality and the Scottish Government’s three critical missions for this parliament.
The Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested because budgets are set on an annual basis and approved by the Scottish Parliament. As such budget allocation for the A96 Dualling Inverness to Nairn is not available beyond 2023-24. Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), the Scottish Government is not required to provide information which it does not have. 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 budget allocation beyond 2023-24, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.
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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