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Publication - FOI / EIR Release

Written communications regarding A83 Loch Restil: EIR release

Published: 15 Nov 2017

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

FOI reference: FOI/17/02395
Date received: 17 October 2017
Date responded: 14 November 2017

Information requested

  • All reports, memoranda, policies and other written communication valid at 26 March 2015 that relates to action plans that were in place for conditions of high wind on the A83 near Loch Restil.

  • All reports, memoranda, policies and other written communications prepared within the last 10 years that relate to the procedure for monitoring wind speed on the A83 near Loch Restil.

  • All reports, memoranda, policies and other written communications prepared within the last 10 years that relate to the procedure for ingathering wind speed data for the A83 near Loch Restil.

  • All reports, memoranda, policies and written communications prepared within the last 10 years that relate to the decision to close the A83 near Loch Restil due to high winds.

  • All reports, memoranda and other written communications prepared within the last 10 years that relate to instances when the A83 near Loch Restil has been closed due to wind.

  • All reports, memoranda and written communication which relates to the actual or possible closure or diversion of the A83 near Loch Restil on 26 March 2015.

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 have numbered our response for ease of reference.

1. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, under the exception at regulation 10(4)(b) of the EIRs a public authority may refuse a request for information if it is 'manifestly unreasonable'. This request is substantially similar to your previous request which we complied on 29 September 2015, (Transport Scotland ref: FOI/15/01537) In addition, the information we hold is the same as at the time of your previous request. We have also considered the circumstances and have concluded that there has been no significant change. For these reasons, we consider that this part of your request is a repeat of your previous request and so it is manifestly unreasonable. Therefore, we are refusing it under regulation 10(4)(b).

As the exception is conditional we have applied the 'public interest test'. This means we have, in all the circumstances of this case, 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 about , this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring the efficient and effective use of public resources by not complying with an information request which is substantially similar to one which we have complied with previously.

2, 3, 4. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance Transport Scotland does not have the information you have requested. Therefore we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs. The reason why that exception applies is that in June this year, a wind gauge was installed at Loch Restil following reports of wind related incidents at this location. This is being monitored over a 12 month period to establish if there is a significant difference between this location and the existing wind gauge at the Rest and be Thankful. Once this data is compiled and analysed, Transport Scotland will put in place any necessary procedures to monitor wind speed and gather wind speed data.

5, 6. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance Transport Scotland does not have the information you have requested. Therefore we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs. The reason why that exception applies is that the A83 has never been closed due to wind or high wind.

7. Please refer to Annex A. An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998. This exception is not subject to the 'public interest test', so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception.

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:
15 Nov 2017
Written communications regarding A83 Loch Restil: EIR release