SCOTS Q&A: Traffex Scotland and the road ahead


Transport Network speaks to Stewart Turner, chair of the Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland and head of roads for the Ayrshire Roads Alliance, about where the crossroads lie and which direction we should take.

Traffex Scotland and Bridges Scotland are the devolved nation's only dedicated events for the road and bridge sectors held under one roof. This well-established event has long been home to Scotland’s engineering breakthroughs, its ground breaking policy announcements and its most exciting debate. This year’s event, just two months away on 13/14 November, comes at key juncture in the nation’s mobility future.


If the sector and all levels of government can achieve the correct level of funding and collaboration, plans for a thriving, low carbon, integrated transport system can bloom. Take the wrong turn and we could be saving up a time bomb of maintenance and governance issues.

Transport Network speaks to Stewart Turner (pictured), chair of the Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland (SCOTS) and head of roads for the Ayrshire Roads Alliance, about where the crossroads lie and which direction we should take.

What are the big issues for SCOTS and its members at the moment?

From a SCOTS perspective, there are many important issues on which we are dealing at present. The Climate Change emergency has certainly focused our minds on how we need a more resilient road and transportation network.

The increased risk of flooding from both prolonged rain events and also the more prevalent shorter but extremely heavy downpours is something many parts of Scotland encountered during the summer.

We need to find the right solutions for the different type of events, which we currently experience.

The National Transport Strategy, which is presently at consultation stage, should allow a more sustainable, inclusive and accessible transport system to be delivered. SCOTS will continue to engage with Transport Scotland and other relevant private and public groups to ensure the expected outcomes are attained.

On the Transport Governance element of the strategy, SCOTS agrees that there is a need to change the existing governance arrangements as what exists at present is no longer sustainable. It is essential that the working group proposed by the cabinet secretary delivers on this necessary improvement.

Following on from the strategy will be the Strategic Transport Projects Review, which will allow the Government to set out their proposed transport investment for the next 20 years.

SCOTS supports the embedment of the Sustainable Travel Hierarchy, which promotes walking, cycling and public transport ahead of private car use.

Also, SCOTS supports the investment hierarchy based on reducing the need to travel, ahead of maintaining the existing infrastructure, and before even considering any improvements to the existing networks.

The Transport (Scotland) Bill includes many elements. Of particular interest to SCOTS will be our continued active involvement on Low Emission Zones; the potential for councils to run bus services; and the impact of implementing the proposed ban on pavement parking.

We are looking ahead to the award of the first two of the next generation of trunk road contracts next year. What changes are you expecting and hoping will come from this?

It is essential that the delivery of the next generation of trunk road contracts continues to make improvements for the users of the network.

We would like to see continued and increased engagement with the local roads authorities, which will allow the network to become more resilient and allow improved service delivery.

The impact of the review of Transport Governance will likely have an impact on the new trunk road contracts.

How much further can authorities go with collaboration and what is the next step do you think?

The main issue is to make collaboration effective. SCOTS have many working groups, which make a positive impact on delivering roads services in Scotland. There are a number of formal council collaborations throughout Scotland, which also contribute to service improvement. But it is likely it will be the outcome of the Transport Governance review that will have the biggest impact on strategic collaboration in Scotland.

Funding is a major issue of course. Is there any progress/thoughts on generating income from roads in Scotland?

Funding to roads authorities has decreased by 26% in real terms over the past five years.

SCOTS sees no evidence to suggest that there is an end to these significant budget cuts, and more importantly the constant reduction in funding to the nation’s largest and most important element of infrastructure. SCOTS will be giving evidence to the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee in Holyrood on 2 October on our views on the pre-budget and financial scrutiny for roads maintenance.

Can you give us some key issues you will be raising in your talk at Traffex Scotland and what discussions you hope to raise at the event?

I will target the need for increased collaboration; the need for the National Transport Strategy to deliver on its promises; and the need for a properly funded road network to make us resilient for the effects of climate change and the continued move to electric vehicles.

To register for your free visitor pass for Traffex Scotland and Bridges Scotland please click here.

Register now for full access

Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

comments powered by Disqus
highways jobs

Collision Investigation Officer

Transport for Greater Manchester
£26,844.00 - £38,228.00 Per Annum
Are you excited by the opportunity to make a difference to the roads of Greater Manchester? Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Transport for Greater Manchester

2 x Environmental Health Officer (Food, Health & Safety)

Dacorum Borough Council
£31,218 to £39,786 (Inclusive of London Fringe Weighting) + Car Allowance   
Seeking to appoint 2 x fully qualified Environmental Health Officer’s to work within our... Hertfordshire
Recuriter: Dacorum Borough Council

Senior Traffic Engineer

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
£32.029 - £34.788
We seek an enthusiastic and experienced traffic engineer to manage our Traffic Team. East Riding of Yorkshire
Recuriter: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Head of Asset Management (Regeneration & Environment)

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
£55,856 - £59,773
We have a current vacancy for the role of Head of Asset Management, and we are looking for a dynamic individual to lead the service Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Recuriter: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Environmental Education Assistant

Brent Council
£22,779 - £24,030 p.a. inc. (pro-rata)
Looking for instructors who complement our enthusiastic, motivated and friendly staff team. Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Structures Asset Manager

Kent County Council
£52,713 - £58,774 per annum (salary dependent on experience) 
If you have the ability to succeed in either of these roles and are able to prioritise competing demands and objectives, coupled with... Ashford, Kent
Recuriter: Kent County Council

Structures Senior Engineer

Kent County Council
Starting salary £33,082 per annum
Providing engineering support for maintenance of highway structures, liaising and working closely across KCC. Ashford, Kent
Recuriter: Kent County Council

Development Management Engineer

Warwickshire County Council
£37,849 - £39,782 per annum
The successful applicant for this post will be capable of taking the lead on work within the team associated with... Warwickshire
Recuriter: Warwickshire County Council

Permit Officer – Place

Enfield London Borough Council
£27,228 - £29,241
You will have the ability to understand and learn relevant legislation and be able to work on your own initiative but also work as part of... Enfield (London Borough), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Enfield London Borough Council

Senior Policy Planner

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£32,643 – £45,704 depending on skills
Are you looking for working arrangements that enhance your work-life balance? London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Community Services Manager

Copeland Borough Council
Competitive Salary
Looking for an energised and enthusiastic candidate to lead and focus the service through the challenges set by the Resources and Waste Strategy. Moresby, Whitehaven
Recuriter: Copeland Borough Council

Highways Infrastructure and Maintenance Manager - Highways Network

Bridgend County Borough Council
£37,813 - £40,760 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arrived inside the Highway Asset Maintenance Team within the Communities Directorate. Bridgend (Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr)
Recuriter: Bridgend County Borough Council

Business Support Officers - Transport Team (2 Jobs)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,554 - £21,166
Within the Transport Team you will be required to work flexibly in accordance with the needs of the service, which can men... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Transportation Planning Manager

Brent Council
£55,638 - £58,779 p.a. inc.
ou will have an excellent knowledge and understanding of transport policy at both local and national level. Expertise of both people and... Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Commercial Contract Supervisor

Wirral Borough Council
£30,507 to £32,878
No holding back. No excuses. Just change Wirral. Wirral, Merseyside
Recuriter: Wirral Borough Council

Technical Officer – Pest Control

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,554 - £23,836
This job is temporary for up to 11 months from the date of appointment to cover the absence of the current post holder. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Divisional Director Neighbourhoods & Sustainability

Glasgow City Council
£83,708 - £95,232 (LDR3a, Grade 11)
This innovative role will contribute to the Council Strategic Plan Theme of A Sustainable Low Carbon City Glasgow, Glasgow City
Recuriter: Glasgow City Council

Principal Transport Manager

Be First
Competitive Salary
As our Principal Transport Manager, you will deliver the Local Implementation Plan, ensuring the £2.4million TFL budget is used effectively London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Be First

Highway Operations Manager

Croydon London Borough Council
£43,590 - £45,585
We are seeking an enthusiastic, motivated and well organised highway operations manager Croydon (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Croydon London Borough Council

Structures and Watercourse Manager

Croydon London Borough Council
We are seeking an enthusiastic, motivated and well organised manager to look over the structures team and wider Highway section. Croydon (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Croydon London Borough Council