beta

You're viewing our new website - find out more

Publication - FOI / EIR Release

Transport Scotland consultation on cycling proposals: EIR release

Published: 7 Sep 2017

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

FOI reference: FOI/17/01822
Date received: 7 August 2017
Date responded: 4 September 2017

Information requested

Noting that Transport Scotland undertook consultation on cycling proposals with local authorities and various cycling groups you have asked for the following:

A. Exactly what Transport Scotland consulted these groups on, especially with regard to the particular area of concern?

B. What responses were made by the consultees?, and

C. How Transport Scotland considered these responses and what amendments to the design were made?

Response

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.

I will address your particular questions in turn:

A. Exactly what Transport Scotland consulted these groups on, especially with regard to the particular area of concern?

My colleague, Julie McDonough mentioned consultation having taken place with Local Authorities, SUSTRANS, GoBike and CTC (Cycling Touring Club). There was very little discussion around the particular areas you have highlighted in your request (i.e., the decision not to widen the road across the railway line and the fact that the cycle path heading from the Raith Interchange to Bellshill ends in a "narrow, unprotected path"). This is primarily due to the fact that all participants recognised that the brief within the scheme was to consider improvements for the Raith Junction and that there was no remit within the confines of the scheme to continue improvements northwards. Most of the discussions focused on how to accommodate pedestrian/cycle access to Strathclyde Country Park from Bothwell via the Raith Interchange.

In relation to the particular location you have highlighted, in October 2005 a meeting was held with Park, Countryside and Landscape Managers from Strathclyde Country Park (SCP) and the Access Officer from North Lanarkshire Council (NLC). The purpose of the meeting was to consult on proposals to upgrade the Raith Junction and the implications with regard to Park access, with particular regard to Non-Motorised Users (NMUs). During the meeting, SCP asked for clarification as to whether the proposed pedestrian/cycle way on the A725 North (A725 Southbound) was to be a widening of the existing path or a separate facility. The consultant advised that the plan submitted only gave an indication of what could be provided and that further consideration to the layout would be given as the design process progressed. SCP stated they had no objection to a separate facility, but highlighted that as well as going through Park land, the suggested alignment would go through private land.

A further meeting was held in June 2006 with representatives from NLC, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and South Lanarkshire Council (SLC) to discuss mitigation proposals at the Raith Junction. During the meeting, the consultants were asked how the cycleway along the A725 would be separated from the road, i.e. by a 1-metre verge? The consultants stated that they would confirm the position (the 1-metre separation was later confirmed by the consultants).

In August 2006 a meeting was held with SUSTRANS in order to present the latest design proposals at the Raith Interchange and to discuss the effect of the upgrading on pedestrians and cyclists. SUSTRANS confirmed that they were generally happy with the NMU proposals, but they advised of a number of small requests. Most of these requests referred to the Bothwell to Strathclyde Country Park route and signalling at the Bothwell slip. However, the consultants were asked if the NMU route could be separated from the main carriageway by a 2-metre wide verge, where possible. The consultants confirmed this could be accommodated.

As they were not statutory consultees (unlike SUSTRANS), meetings and exchanges of correspondence with GoBike and Cycling Touring Club (CTC) didn't take place until after the publication of draft Orders in March 2007. These meetings were held with a view to resolving the organisations' objections to the Orders where possible. Again, the issues discussed related almost entirely to matters around the Raith Junction itself and on the Bothwell side. A meeting with CTC & GoBike in November 2007 was held to discuss the organisations' objections and their proposals for an alternative cycleway/footpath alignment as per the drawing attached. This alignment proposal was rejected for the following reasons:

  • Additional land would have to be acquired to accommodate necessary drainage capacity and compensatory flood storage provision.

  • Scottish Ministers were only permitted to acquire the minimum extent of land required for a scheme under a compulsory purchase order.

Following consideration of the maintained objections from GoBike and CTC, the Scottish Ministers decided in January 2010 that the draft Orders for the scheme should be made without modification. A copy of the Scottish Ministers Decision Letter is attached.

B. What responses were made by the consultees?

In addition to the requests mentioned above, the following cycling provisions were requested by the organisations listed below:

Local Authorities:

  • Clear and consistent signing along routes, coupled with surface treatments to guide people along appropriate route. Distance signing would also be expected.

  • National Cycle Network (NCN) Route 74 is proposed to pass through the interchange and should be taken account of in design.

CTC:

  • Would like a continuous overbridge over circulatory carriageway from south-east to north-west to give a direct route and minimal gradients.

GoBike:

  • As CTC above

SUSTRANS:

  • NMU provision to be separated from main carriageway by a minimum of 2 metres.
  • A raised table crossing on the Bothwell slip.

SNH:

  • No additional access through the middle of the SSSI but paths around the periphery of the SSSI would be given due consideration.

  • Appropriate fencing and planting would be required to protect wildlife, particularly birds, within the SSSI.

  • Alternative surfacing to blacktop on M74 accommodation bridge as this may be used by wildlife.

Strathclyde Country Park:

  • Any alterations to existing routes should provide adequate security for the Park in line with the existing arrangement.

C. How Transport Scotland considered these responses and what amendments to the design were made?

In addition to those amendments mentioned above and how they were considered by Transport Scotland, the following cycling provisions were taken forward to detailed design in the Made Orders for the scheme:

  • Provision of a shared cycleway/footway.
  • Grade separated crossing facilities over the circulatory carriageway.
  • Upgrade of the remaining signal-controlled junctions to TOUCAN style.
  • Carriageway lit and additional lighting provided where required.
  • Assurance that maintenance can be carried out safely.

    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

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

Published:
7 Sep 2017
Transport Scotland consultation on cycling proposals: EIR release