Transport Policies (FOI)
Transport Policies (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 22 May 2019.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
On 4 October 2016 the Transport Policy section of the Department of Infrastructure issued their "Access Standards for Small Housing Developments - A Technical Guide for the Preparation of Planning Applications" dated 1 October 2016 (attached below).
Access Standards for Small Housing Developments
The front cover states "Reference the Road Works & Events (Jersey) Law 2016. Recently the Senior Transport Planner of this Department has claimed this was approved and adopted by the States Assembly and that no-one has a right to park outside their house, even where parking is unrestricted and their vehicle does not obstruct the carriageway. Having searched decisions made by the States Assembly and the Minister for Infrastructure I cannot find any official decision adopting this Technical Guidance document. Please can you provide all documents relating to officially approving and formally adopting this Technical Guidance document.
The same Senior Transport Planner of the Department of Infrastructure also recently stated on 26 March this year that "our new Guidance on the point of adoption, on a road administered by Growth, Housing and Environment, the minimum Y measurement will be 25m, regardless of the 85th percentile speed" (Y measurement = minimum sight stopping distance (SSD) in both directions). Please can you provide me with all documents relating to reasons for this proposed SSD reduction, including any documents justifying this change and any documents where the Minister for Infrastructure or other States Department has requested this SSD reduction. Please supply the official Ministerial Decision approving this change in the Technical Guidance document.
The information you have requested in relation to approval and adoption of the document titled ‘Access Standards for Small Housing Developments’ is exempt under Article 23 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 as the information is already accessible to you on www.gov.je at the following link.
Access Standards for Small Housing Developments (MD-T-2016-0082)
The minimum visibility splay distance of 25m is based on a road with a 20mph speed limit and is derived from the ‘Manual for Streets’ as being appropriate for a main road. The Manual for Streets is issued by the UK Department for Transport and can be located using the following link.
Manual of Streets
With regard to the release of information relating to the decision to review the current Policy Guidance, this information is exempt under Article 35 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 (Formation and development of policies).
Article 23 information accessible to applicant by other means
(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it is reasonably available to the applicant, otherwise than under this Law, whether or not free of charge.
(2) A scheduled public authority that refuses an application for information on this ground must make reasonable efforts to inform the applicant where the applicant may obtain the information.
Article 35 Formulation and development of policies
Information is qualified exempt information if it relates to the formulation or development of any proposed policy by a public authority.
Article 35 is a qualified exemption, which means that a public interest test is required to be undertaken by the Scheduled Public Authority (SPA) . It is therefore necessary for the SPA to examine the circumstances of the case in order to determine if, on balance, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
The following considerations were taken into account:
Public interest considerations favouring disclosure
disclosure of the information would support transparency and promote accountability to the general public, providing confirmation that the necessary discussions have taken place
disclosure to the public fulfils an educative role about the early stages in policy development and illustrates how the department engages with parties for this purpose
Public interest considerations favouring withholding the information
in order to best develop policy and provide advice to Ministers, officials need to be able to provide full, frank advice about the possible impact of proposed policy, and be able to discuss and test those proposed policies in a comprehensive way
discussion of how documentation is presented and provided is considered as integral to policy development as iterations of documents are demonstrative of the policy development process
release of the information at this stage might generate misinformed debate. This would affect the ability of officials to consider and develop policy away from external pressures, and to advise Ministers appropriately
premature disclosure of this information may limit the willingness of parties to provide their honest views and feedback. This would hamper and harm the policy–making process not only in relation to this subject area but in respect of future policy development across wider Departmental business
Taking into account the various factors, the SPA have deemed that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
It should be noted however that once a policy is formulated and published, the public interest in withholding information relating to its formulation is diminished.