FOI reference: FOI/17/01116
Date received: 11 May 2017
Date responded: 10 July 2017
"Our client was involved in a serious accident on 24 February 2017 on the A82, at Luss. We understand that Transport Scotland may be responsible for the maintenance of the section of the A82 at Luss. In the circumstances we would respectfully request that you provide us with the following information:
1. Any information held by Transport Scotland or anyone on their behalf relating to the number of road warning signs related to the warning of the risk of presence of wild animals (including deer) on the A82 on or around 24 February 2017.
2. Any information held by Transport Scotland relating to the location/positioning of all road warning signs related to the warning of the risk of presence of wild animals (including deer) on the A82, on or around 24 February 2017.
3. Any information held by Transport Scotland or anyone on their behalf, relating to reports of any previous road traffic accidents involving the risks to road users arising from the presence of wild animals (including deer) on the A82, between 25 February 2014 to 25 February 2017.
4. Any information held by Transport Scotland or anyone on their behalf, relating to any other safety measures intended to deal with risks to road users arising from the presence of wild animals on the A82.
5. Any information held by Transport Scotland or anyone on their behalf, relating to the systems or procedures employed for the assessment of risk to road users arising from the presence of wild animals on the A82.
To which you clarified the location as;
From the A82 roundabout (which connects with the A811/Balloch) to the A82 at Tarbet. It is understood that this is a section of the A82 amounting to approximately 16.0 miles.
As the information you have requested is 'environmental information' for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIR's), 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.
Due to the file size of the documents released, copies can be provided on request by emailing email@example.com, quoting the FOI reference number FOI/17/01116.
The answers to the above questions are numbered below for ease of reference;
Points 1 and 2 - At the location specified, there are no wild animal warning signs present.
Please refer to Annex A which is a spreadsheet detailing all VMS responses on A82 which have been used for Deer warnings since Feb 2014. The Deer messages have been highlighted in yellow. These messages may have been overwritten with higher priority messages relating to weather conditions, incidents and road closures.
Locations of the VMS signs on the A82 can be found at the following link;
There were no instances of Deer warning messages being displayed on the A82 Variable Message Signs (VMS) on 23 - 25 February 2017.
Point 3. The following two accidents involve vehicles hitting 'Any Animal (Except Ridden Horse) under the 'Hit Object in Carriageway' Description on the data provided by Police Scotland. The information we hold is based on information provided by Police Scotland which does not indicate the type of animal involved.
|22-Oct-16||1200||SLIGHT||A82||A82(10826/07)||FINE (WITHOUT HIGH WINDS)||LA04710||234850||696954|
|24-Feb-17||2301||FATAL||A82||A82 (10826/07)||RAINING WITH HIGH WINDS||LA04702||235955||693500|
Source: Transport Scotland Accident Manager extracted 28 June 2017
Please note the following potential reasons for an accident not appearing on our system:
- We only hold accident information which is provided to us by Police Scotland.
- We do not hold information relating to damage only accidents (i.e. not involving an injury).
- We only hold accident information for the trunk road network.
- The accident information we hold is subject to change based on late returns from Police Scotland, who are responsible for recording details of injury accidents.
Points 4 and 5.
As part of the requirements for the management and maintenance of the Trunk Road network, Transport Scotland require the Operating Companies (who manage the network under contract) to collate and submit an annual Roadkill record. This document records evidence of specified wild animal carcasses noted and/or removed from the carriageway. The contract requires the recording of the following species: otter, badger, red squirrel, barn owl, other raptor species, red deer, roe deer and fallow deer. The information is collected largely to determine if there is a need to consider ecological mitigation but is also a consideration for assessing potential risk to motorists, particularly for the larger species involved, such as deer. Please refer to Annex B which is an extract from roadkill record for our North West Operatting Company Unit (focussed on A82).
Deer are a native species within the UK - specifically the red and roe deer, both found in Scotland. Wild deer are highly mobile animals and can range over significant distances in search of food or habitat etc. As such they are a complicated species to manage, with responsibility changing depending on the ownership of the land on which the deer are located at any one time. This is particularly evident in the lowland areas of Scotland where land ownership is more fragmented with a greater number of neighbouring interests.
The trunk road network is a long linear estate which passes through a variety of landscapes most of which offer suitable habitat for deer, depending on the species. With such a range of potential habitat in close proximity to the network it is difficult to predict where and when deer may choose to cross a road. In order to try to build a picture of deer activity in the vicinity of the trunk road network, Transport Scotland work in association with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) to record related information. This is generally in the form of deer carcass counting from Deer Vehicle Collisions (DVCs) with data provided by the trunk road operating companies, Police Scotland, the Scottish Society for the Protection of Animals and local authorities etc.
The resulting report covers the whole trunk road network and displays records collated over a set period of time. The data is presented in graphic form using 2km grid squares colour-coded to show the broad spread of DVC records across the whole network – the greater number of DVCs, the darker the grid square.
This is an effective way to see where repeated incidents are occurring and where darker coloured squares are found in clusters suggesting a possible need for investigation and, potentially, some form of mitigation.
Please refer to Annex C which is a Report on Deer Vehicle Collision (DVC) Data Collection and Collation to end 2015.
The data in the above most recent report has suggested DVCs on the A82 along Loch Lomond are generally low although there is a higher recorded number in the general vicinity of Luss – there were 12 deer carcasses uplifted from this area over the four years between 2012 and end 2015 (on average, approx. 3 DVCs each year). In relation to the national average, this is not particularly significant but it has led to Transport Scotland undertaking a number of vegetation clearance exercises to improve forward visibility for drivers in this area of the A82. Please refer to Annex D which contains details of schemes for vegetation management in the A82 Luss location.
In addition, and in association with SNH, Transport Scotland has included the A82 route along Loch Lomond over the past few years in the annual campaign to utilise existing Variable Message Signs (VMS – the large overhead digital signs) to coincide with the roe deer spring dispersal. This is when juvenile deer born the previous spring tend to migrate in search of new territories following the arrival of new young. This period lasts approximately three weeks from mid-May to until the end of the first week in June. Any signs utilised for this campaign, when not being used for network management purposes, will display the default message: 'Caution: High Risk of Deer on Road'. The message is generally timed to coincide with the most likely time for deer movement – dusk through to dawn – and is displayed between 5pm – 11pm and 4am – 10am.
The VMS campaign is also active during a second time of the year when there is a greater chance that red deer, specifically, may be on the move. This is during the autumn (mid-October to mid-November) when the rut is on.
VMS Units C1, C2, C3 and C7 positioned between Balloch, Crianlarich and Tyndrum have all been recently incorporated into the spring and autumn deer campaigns.
Please refer again to Annex A which is an extract from the Variable Message Sign network extract plan and spreadsheet for 2016 showing Deer warning messages highlighted.
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 Andrew's House