Senior figure calls for major shake-up on Scottish roads


A senior figure in the development of Scotland's roads future has called for dedicated budgets enshrined in statute and a reduction in the number of authorities.

Angus Brodie, programme manager of the Roads Collaboration Programme, which has supported efficiencies and developments in the management of Scottish roads in response to budget concerns, called on the sector to consider the need for a drastic shake-up.

Angus Brodie

Speaking at the Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA) conference this month, Mr Brodie also suggested that the devolved nation should consider breaking down the barriers between local and trunk roads in the pursuit of efficiencies.

There are currently 32 local roads authorities in Scotland together with Transport Scotland as the national roads authority and seven regional transport partnerships.

'We need to recognise that 40 bodies delivering transport functions across Scotland is not a sustainable model. The Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland (SCOTS) has gone public with that that’s their view.

'We will keep on encouraging statutory changes to roads governance, into a smaller number of units somewhere between one and 33, and that's all I am going to say, and possibly local and trunk road combined. There is a very strong case for that I believe. There is a lot of protectionism as well and the trunk. I think that is the only long-term solution.

On funding, Mr Brodie added: 'I think statutory change is needed to change budgets. I think it is unfair to ask elected members to make impossible decisions to put money into roads or social care – we are basically asking members to take money out of social care and I don’t think that’s fair. If we went down the statutory route funding routes would change and we would remove those difficulties.

He said the the centralisation and rationalisation of road management 'would allow authorities to make best use of shrinking resources provide resilience and bring a sharper focus to priorities'.

He added that the Roads Collaboration Programme was looking into a developing synergies around asset planning for local and trunk roads.

'They do it totally differently, using the same data and report in different ways. That can’t be right. We want to see what's good practice based on a common set of performance indicators, looking towards national outcomes for the road network.

The supply chain could also be supported by a move towards standardisation, Mr Brodie suggested.

'I was told last year there are 82 types of asphalt used in Scotland; surely that can’t be right. We need to do something about that the supply chain have been asking about that for a long time.'

Transport Network reported last year on efforts in Scotland to develop Baseline Unit Costs.

Using data sets from the Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland (SCOTS) and the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) the research used median averages in areas such as treatment rates to establish ‘Baseline Unit Costs’ (BUCs) for highway services.

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

Senior/Principal Highway Network Management Officer

Bristol City Council
£30,746 - £37,107
These are exciting times in Bristol, as there is considerable investment in its transport and highway infrastructure in recent years City of Bristol
Recuriter: Bristol City Council

Site Inspectors

Oxfordshire County Council
£29,909- £36,153
You will provide specialist technical support to some of the most imaginative transport and town planning challenges imaginable. Oxford, Oxfordshire
Recuriter: Oxfordshire County Council

Local Transport Policy Lead

Oxfordshire County Council
£37,107 - £43,757
Define your true potential with Oxfordshire County Council Oxford, Oxfordshire
Recuriter: Oxfordshire County Council

Planning Obligations Team Member

Oxfordshire County Council
£21,074 - £29,055
You will witness first-hand the exciting developments currently taking place in Oxfordshire Oxford, Oxfordshire
Recuriter: Oxfordshire County Council

Transport Development Control Team Leader

Oxfordshire County Council
£48,551 - £55,374
We need visionary Team Leaders to help our people meet their targets. Oxford, Oxfordshire
Recuriter: Oxfordshire County Council

Head of Property, Planning and Public Protection

Powys County Council
Head of Service 2 £66,854 - £73,540 per annum
Powys County Council, open and enterprising Llandrindod Wells, Powys
Recuriter: Powys County Council

Senior Engineer

Wirral Borough Council
£30,756 to £33,136
No holding back. No excuses. Just change Wirral. Bring it on. Wirral, Merseyside
Recuriter: Wirral Borough Council

Chief Executive

Epping Forest District Council
up to £120k
A role with roots in our community. Epping, Essex
Recuriter: Epping Forest District Council

Housing Renewal Technical Officer

Torridge District Council
£21,074 — £26,470 per annum
Advice to private sector tenants, landlords, & owner-occupiers about housing disrepair & energy issues. Bideford, Devon
Recuriter: Torridge District Council

Principal Traffic Engineer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£34,106 - £37,107 - PO6/SCP 38
To provide project leadership on the design, implementation and project management on major traffic Engineering schemes. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Programme Manager Central

Oxfordshire County Council
£37,107 - £43,757
We’re on a mission to enhance Oxfordshire – and with you by our side, that vision just became a reality. Oxford, Oxfordshire
Recuriter: Oxfordshire County Council

Planning Obligations Manager

Oxfordshire County Council
£37,107 - £47,575
Committed to supporting growth across the county, you will ensure financial contributions are being actively and efficiently managed. Oxford, Oxfordshire
Recuriter: Oxfordshire County Council

Funeral Assistant

Brent Council
£28,356 - £30,108 p.a. inc. plus Standby Allowance
Salary range
Recuriter: Brent Council

Area Engineer

Camden London Borough Council
£31,836 to £36,931
Does a combination of outdoor and office based work appeal to you? Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Economic Development Officer

Amber Valley Borough Council
Grade 6 - £24,657 to £28,221 per year
Amber Valley Borough Council are currently recruiting for an experienced Economic Development Officer Ripley, Derbyshire
Recuriter: Amber Valley Borough Council

Technical Officer (Highways & Drainage)

Oxfordshire County Council
£29,909 - £36,153 per annum (depending on experience)
Do you want to improve Oxfordshire's highways to make them better for residents, business, and visitors? Oxfordshire
Recuriter: Oxfordshire County Council

Assistant Director, Public Space

London Borough of Merton
Up to c.£96k
Recuriter: London Borough of Merton

Assistant Director, Public Protection

London Borough of Merton
Up to c.£96k
Recuriter: London Borough of Merton

Highways Maintenance Manager

Plymouth City Council
£37,107 to £41,846
We are looking for a dynamic Highways Manager to lead and co-ordinate all our maintenance activities Plymouth, Devon
Recuriter: Plymouth City Council

Road Agreements Team Leader

Oxfordshire County Council
£48,551 - £55,374
Our vision at Oxfordshire County Council is to create a region that doesn’t just meet the needs of its population – it exceeds their expectations Oxford, Oxfordshire
Recuriter: Oxfordshire County Council