FOI reference: FOI/17/02005
Date received: 28 August 2017
Date responded: 21 September 2017
The central reservation of much of the M73 has been strewn with litter and debris for many, many months. It is the equivalent of at least Grade C or even Grade D in COPLAR which states that it should be cleared in 4 or 1 week(s) respectively I want to know when the central reservation of the M73 was last cleared of litter and refuse?
I would also like to know how often are PAG independent inspections made of the M73 motorway and what did these reports state in respect of cleanliness of the central reservation over the past year?
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.
Scottish Roads Partnership (SRP), the contractor for the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project is responsible for the funding, final design, construction and subsequent maintenance of the completed scheme for a period of 30 years on behalf of the Scottish Ministers.
SRP confirm that Amey, their contractor responsible for maintenance of project roads, is continually monitoring the network for litter and that the latest safety inspections and patrols have not identified any issues with litter on the M73. SRP advised that Grade D litter was last identified on the M73 offsides on 17 March 2017, whilst Grade C litter relating to the offside lanes was last identified on 31 January 2017. Actions to address these issues were completed on 31 March 2017 and 27 March 2017 respectively.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance Transport Scotland does not have some of the information you have requested. Therefore we are refusing part of your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs. 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. We do not hold Performance Audit Group (PAG) reports on the M73, as it is not currently subject to PAG inspections.
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 regarding trunk road maintenance measures, 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 Andrew's House