FOI reference: FOI/18/00626
Date received: 26 February 2018
Date responded: 15 May 2018
1. What is the total amount spent by trunk road operators on road repairs in each of the last five years, broken down by year?
2. What is the total number of potholes which have been filled by trunk road operators in each of the last five years, broken down by year?
3. What is the current backlog of road repairs needing to be tackled by the trunk road operators?
4. How many compensation claims have been made against Transport Scotland/trunk road operators in each of the last five years (broken down by year) as a result of vehicle damage related to roads/potholes.
5. What has been the total cost to Transport Scotland/trunk road operators as a result of compensation payments relating to claims made against the Council as a result of vehicle damage related to roads/potholes?
To which you clarified the timeframe as;
'Happy to clarify that the information would ideally be for the last five financial years, including 2017/18 to date.'
Please accept our apologies for the delay in replying.
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. We have applied regulation 10(4)(a) (Information not held) of the EIRs to the first part of your request regarding the amount spent on repairing potholes.
The reason why that exception applies is that these costs are part of a maintenance budget and we are unable to breakdown for this type of spend. We are however able to give you information in relation to spend on all aspects of road maintenance each year through our operating company contracts. Please note that the current figures for 2017 / 2018 are from 1 April 2017 to 30 September 2017. This information is provided in the table below;
Road Maintenance Spend for the Past 5 Financial Years
In relation to our DBFO contracts, An exception under regulation 10(5)(e) of the EIRs (substantial prejudice to confidentiality of commercial information) applies to all of the information you have requested. This exception applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the confidentiality of commercial information provided by our DBFO companies and thus cause substantial harm to their commercial interests. The Companies are stand alone operators who operate the DBFO section for a set period of time, normally 30 years. These companies have their own shareholders and financial information and expenditure which is confidential.
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. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open and transparent government, and to help account for the expenditure of public money.
For the AWPR and the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements projects, 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) (Information not held) of the EIRs. The reason why this exception applies is due to the procurement model of both projects, the amount spent on maintenance and repairs to the project roads is not held by Transport Scotland and cannot be disaggregated any cost information held.
2. The total number of potholes which have been filled by trunk road operators in each year is provided in the table below;
Number of Potholes Filled in the Past 5 Financial Years
3. Information on the current backlog of of road repairs needing to be tackled by the trunk road operators can be found at the following link;
Transport Scotland's approach to the maintenance of the trunk road network is set out in the 4th Generation Term Contract for management and maintenance of the Scottish Trunk Road Network. A copy of this document is available online at the following link;
Schedule 7: Part 1 of the contract provides an overview of inspections and surveys.
Schedule 7: Part 2: Section 2.7 of the contract provides details of inspections and their frequency during winter.
Schedule 7: Part 6: Section 3 of the contract details the inspections and their frequency for Structures.
Under regulation 6(1)(b) of the EIRs, we do not have to give you information which is already publicly available and easily accessible to you in another form or format. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.
4. The total amount of compensation claims that have been made against Transport Scotland/Trunk Road Operators is provided in the table below;
Compensation Claims made against Transport Scotland/Operating Company in the Past 5 Financial Years
5. 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) (Information not held) of the EIRs. The reason why that exception applies is that claims made against the Council are the responsibility of the Local Authority and not Transport Scotland.
However, you may wish to contact each Local Authority who may be able to help you.
If your request refers to Transport Scotland, I can confirm that we do not have the information you have requested. Therefore we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) (Information not held) of the EIRs. The reasons why that exception applies is that under the 4th Generation Term Contract for the Management and Maintenance of the Scottish Trunk Road Network, (Schedule 1, Part 4 Indemnities and Insurance, Section 12.2), BEAR Scotland indemnify Scottish Ministers in relation to claims, therefore we have no involvement in this process and do not hold the information requested.
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](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