Senior figure calls for major shake-up on Scottish roads

23/04/2018
Dominic Browne

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.

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.

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Inside

  • The £2.5bn Surrey partnering contract
  • The politics of protest
  • Stoke's roadworks league
View the latest issue


Highways jobs

Shopmobility & Public Convenience Attendant

Grade 3 - Starting at £18,657 per annum, pro rata rising to £19,905
We are looking for an individual who works well in a small team to deliver an excellent level of service at our flagship Market Road Public Conveni... Chelmsford, Essex
Recruiter: Chelmsford City Council

Waste Collection Operative - HGV Driver/Loader

Grade 5 - Starting at £23,403 per annum, rising to £25,791
If you enjoy working outside and would like to make a positive contribution to the collection of both waste and recycling in the Borough, this coul... Chelmsford, Essex
Recruiter: Chelmsford City Council

Director of Climate Emergency & Behavioural Change

£95,000 to £109,000 per annum
At Waltham Forest we are developing an ambitious, transformative agenda to tackle the global Climate Emergency. Waltham Forest, London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Waltham Forest

Street Works and Permitting Manager

£44,863 - £51,817
Are you a qualified highways engineer who wants to make a difference to the efficient running of the highway network within Lincolnshire? Lincolnshire
Recruiter: Lincolnshire County Council

Warehouse Assistant/Driver

£20,903 - £24,491 per annum
An opportunity has arisen for the recruitment of a Warehouse Assistant / Driver. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recruiter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Highways Officer

£27,741 to £30,451
Are you someone who is looking to progress their career with one of the most highly regarded highway services in the country? Brompton, Northallerton
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Highways Officer

£27,741 to £30,451
Are you someone who is looking to progress their career with one of the most highly regarded highway services in the country? Boroughbridge, York
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Parking Enforcement Supervisor

£30,585 - £31,557
As part of a major service transformation, Haringey is seeking to recruit to a new number of new positions. Haringey, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Haringey London Borough Council

Bus Support Officer

£24,086
We are looking for people to work as part of our exciting new bus team! Camden, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Camden London Borough Council

Environmental Health/Environmental Protection Officer - Noise

£41,607.00 - £44,598.00
This post attracts an essential car user allowance. The post holder is able to take part in the Council's flexible working scheme. Tower Hamlets, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Tower Hamlets London Borough Council

Greenspace & Environment Enforcement Officer

£20,092 - £24,491
You will work as part of a team undertaking environmental enforcement activities which focus on improving the street environment Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Strategic Transport Modelling Manager

£47,695 - £55,226
You will provide leadership to the organisations program of transport model development Leeds, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Engineer - Highway Planned Maintenance

£22,183 - £27,041
We are seeking to appoint an Officer with highway experience. We are delivering a Highway Investment programme across... Stockport, Greater Manchester
Recruiter: Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Chargehand Driver, Non-HGV (Street Services)

£22,185 - £22,587
Street Services provides a highly important service to all of the borough’s residents and visitors Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Environmental Cleansing Operative (Street Services)

£21,030 - £21,408
Street Services provides a highly important service to all of the borough’s residents and visitors Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Waste Operative (Street Services)

£22,185 - £22,587
Street Services provides a highly important service to all of the borough’s residents and visitors Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Cleaning Operative

Grade 2 - £17,715 per annum, pro rota.
Chelmsford City Council are seeking a self-motivated, experienced and customer-focused Cleaning Operative to join our cleaning team. You will provi... Chelmsford, Essex
Recruiter: Chelmsford City Council

Assistant Quantity Surveyor - Highways Contracts & Commissioning (multiple posts)

£27,741 - £29,577
In return, the Council offers a variety of benefits including Local Government Pension Scheme, flexible working and an opportunity to be... Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Performance & Assurance Manager - Highways Contracts & Commissioning

£38,447 - £41,412
The post holder will provide professional contract performance management and compliance support to... Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Construction Cost Manager - Highways Contracts & Commissioning

£43,597 - £46,875
With exciting new developments and high profile projects underway and in the pipeline for many years to come, working with... Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Highways Presents

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Video