FOI reference: FOI/18/01637
Date received: 13 June 2018
Date responded: 4 July 2018
'I am writing to request information under the Freedom of Information Act relating to a road whose records your authority is responsible for keeping. Amey Highways Limited are responsible for maintaining the road in question and they have referred me to Transport Scotland to present this request.
Specifically, my query relates to the A702, North/East of West Linton i.e. the area between West Linton and Edinburgh rather than West Linton and the M74. I have enclosed a map annotated to show this area. This request relates to the first mile of road out of West Linton towards Edinburgh.
Please can you send me:
1. A copy of your current road maintenance policy relating to that road. Please send me the full policy, but this should include details of the intended frequency of road safety inspections, how these inspections should be conducted and the maximum time between identification of a defect and repairs being carried out.
2. A copy of the road repair history for that road over the past year. Again, please send me the full road repair history, but this should include:
dates of all safety inspections between January 1st 2017 and April 30th 2018
details of how safety inspections were undertaken (walked or driven, speed of inspection vehicle etc)
details of all carriageway defects identified, with description, date and time
details of how the authority handled these defects, what repairs were undertaken and the time between the identification of each defect and a repair being carried out. Please include if available an indication of the size of repair or the amount of material used to complete the repair.
3. For inspections carried out in the month of March 2018, please supply details of the prior training received by the observer carrying out the inspection and any relevant qualifications held by that person." 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. 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.
- Schedule 7: Part 1 of the contract provides an overview of inspections, surveys and defect categories.
"Category 1 Defect" means a Defect that necessitates prompt attention because it presents:
(i) an immediate or imminent hazard, or
(ii) a risk of rapid structural deterioration to the affected element.
Category 2 Defect means any Defect which is not a Category 1 Defect.
In addition, the following extract is taken from Schedule 7 Part 1 of the 4th Generation Term Contract for Management and Maintenance of the Scottish Trunk Road Network:
2. Defect categories and response times.
2.1. Classification of Category 1 and Category 2 Defects.
2.1.1. When classifying Category 1 and Category 2 Defects, the Operating Company shall give consideration to the potential impact on all road users including motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, equestrians and disabled users.
2.1.2. The Operating Company shall comply with the provisions of the Transport Scotland Trunk Road Inspection Manual regarding classification of Defects.
2.1.3. The Transport Scotland Trunk Road Inspection Manual is deemed not to contain an exhaustive compendium of Defects. In the absence of a description of a Defect in the Transport Scotland Trunk Road Inspection Manual, the Operating Company shall make the classification from first principles.
The following extract is taken from Schedule 7, Part 1 of the 4th Generation Term Contract for management and maintenance of the Scottish Trunk Road Network and details the timescales for repairing defects:
2.2. Category 1 Defects Response Times.
2.2.1. Unless stated otherwise in this Part, Category 1 Defects shall be dealt with by the Operating Company in priority order as stated in paragraph 2.2 of this Part.
2.2.2. The Operating Company's inspection team or initial Incident Response Resources shall make the Category 1 Defect safe when identified. This shall be through executing immediate repairs, removing the hazard or by taking any other measures necessary to protect the public and other users of the Unit.
2.2.3. Where a Category 1 Defect renders a Trunk Road unsafe for road users, the Operating Company shall, under Police instruction or on receipt of an appropriate Order, close the relevant part of the Trunk Road for as short a period as possible while remedial action is undertaken.
2.2.4. Where a Category 1 Defect cannot be repaired immediately or the hazard cannot be removed, the Operating Company shall take action to make the area safe until the required temporary or permanent repairs have been completed.
2.2.5. The temporary or permanent repairs shall be undertaken as soon as possible and no later than:
(i) 06:00 on the day following identification for Category 1 Defects on carriageways, and
(ii) within 24 hours of identification for all other Category 1 Defects.
2.2.6. Where a temporary repair has been carried out, the deferred permanent repair period for the following Defect types shall be:
(i) 28 days for carriageway surface, and
(ii) 56 days for Bridge parapets.
2. Please refer to Annex A which is the Inspection Defect Report for the area and timeframe requested. Annex B of this request includes further details of how these defects were repaired. In addition to the temporary repairs listed in Appendix B, a full resurfacing scheme was delivered across a 500 metre section of the route (from 250 metres north to 750 metres north of the roundabout at Dryburn Brae) on the nights of 11-13 June.
3. Three inspectors carried out the inspections of the A702 in March. The following list is the training and qualifications of these inspectors.
Inspector 1 – HNC Civil Engineering – 2 years experience carrying out safety inspections.
Inspector 2 – Over 10 years experience working as a road maintenance operative within these contracts before becoming an inspector. Has been a safety inspector for for over 5 years.
Inspector 3 – HNC Civil Engineering. 10 years highway maintenance experience.
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