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Publication - FOI / EIR Release

Aberdeen International Airport (between Craibstone and Dyce): EIR release

Published: 5 Mar 2018

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

FOI reference: FOI/18/00556
Date received: 19 February 2018
Date responded: 2 March 2018

Information requested

"Under the Freedom of Information Act (2002) the request is to acquire the following information:

In light of the recent article in the Aberdeen Evening Express (https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/fp/news/local/dont-know-can-stick-spring-deadline-awpr-says-minister/). The request is:

  • Email correspondence between Keith Brown and Scott Shaw, the project manager for the AWPR project, between the dates 01/10/17-19/02/18, regarding the completion date of the AWPR

  • Minutes from meetings between Keith Brown and Scott Shaw, the project manager for the AWPR project, from the past twelve months

  • A list of expected completion dates of sections of the AWPR, namely the Don Bridge and the Dee Bridge"

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.

Response

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. Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), Transport Scotland is not required to provide information which it does not have. Transport Scotland does not have the information you have requested as no emails were sent between Scott Shaw and Keith Brown MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, regarding the completion date of the AWPR/B-T project, between the dates specified.

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 email exchanges relating to the project opening, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

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. Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), Transport Scotland is not required to provide information which it does not have. Transport Scotland does not have the information you have requested as there have been no meetings in which minutes were taken between Scott Shaw and Keith Brown MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work within the last 12 months.

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 minutes from such meetings, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

The first section of the project, at Aberdeen International Airport (between Craibstone and Dyce) opened to traffic on 29 August 2016 bringing immediate benefits to those travelling to and from the airport. Numerous side roads have also been opened since this time. The intention remains to open the remaining project roads in spring 2018. This is in line with the initial timescale announced by Ministers in 2012. However, we are continuing to work closely with Aberdeen Roads Limited to identify any impacts on delivery following Carillion's announcement, including any elements that can be opened early, over and above those sections already opened. We will then consider the necessary mitigation that may arise as a consequence of this issue.

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:
5 Mar 2018
Aberdeen International Airport (between Craibstone and Dyce): EIR release