- 9 Nov 2017
FOI reference: FOI/17/02308
Date received: 6 October 2017
Date responded: 7 November 2017
I have been advised to ask you guys for information regarding a portion of Road just past the oyster bar heading towards Inveraray on the A83, about 1.5 miles past the Oyster Bar.
You currently have two signs on each side of the road that I have been informed have been there for a good while which are caution slippery surface signs, although one heading in the direction of Inveraray was not there when I slid and crashed.
I would like to know what the purpose of these signs are and for what reason they have they been there for so long, or if there is an issue with the road. I have been informed by a traffic police constable to request this information.
I would also request under the freedom of information act the dates that these signs were put up and/or put up again after falling down.
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.
Transport Scotland monitors the skid resistance of the whole trunk road network every year and follows a risk-based process to identify locations where the skid resistance is lower than desirable. The process is set out within HD28, which is part of the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges and a UK national standard. It is worth noting that this analysis does not mean that the road is unsafe at these locations but rather that they are statistically likely to benefit from improvement. Locations identified by the process will be added to the maintenance programme for treatment in a prioritised manner and where appropriate, warning signs will be erected temporarily to warn road users until the treatment has been completed. The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions state that the slippery road sign "is intended for use where the danger of vehicles skidding is greater than normal". It further explains that warning signs are used to indicate to drivers a need to exercise special caution and might require a reduction in speed or other change in behaviour.
We do not have any record of slippery warning sites 1.5 miles from the Oyster Bar but warning signs have been erected around 2.6 miles south of the Oyster Bar (between Drishaig and Dunderave), which is within the same vicinity and so might the signs to which you refer. These were installed on 18 February 2017 and will remain in place until the required maintenance treatment has been completed, following which they will be removed.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance Transport Scotland does not have the information you have requested in relation to when signs were erected after allegedly falling down. Therefore we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs. It is worth noting that all signs (temporary and permanent) are subject to weekly routine safety inspections across the whole network and action is taken to address any defects identified. This might include the re-erection of any temporary signs that had fallen over. If you are able to provide us with the date of the incident, we would be able to check our work logs surrounding that date to see if anything has been recorded.
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