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.

Highways jobs

Surface Water Engineer

Essex County Council
£30001.0 - £35350 per annum
At Essex County Council, we're passionate about helping deliver economic growth, the best starts in life and the chance to age well for people in the England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Highways Operations Manager

Swindon Borough Council
Salary up to £41,494 p.a.
In this key role, you will plan, organise, co-ordinate and control the workforce Swindon, Wiltshire
Recruiter: Swindon Borough Council

Senior Engineer (Highways Maintenance Design)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£22,462 - £29,636
Are you looking for an opportunity to work as a Senior Engineer, whilst still being able to develop your career and have a good work-life balance? Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Highways Projects Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£33,153 - £35,755
Looking for strong team players interested in working with a variety of professional and community partners across Cambridgeshire and... Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Senior Heating Engineer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
Up to £48,692 per annum
Looking for a Senior Heating Engineer who will work as part of one of the small professional teams. London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Senior Traffic Management and Parking Engineer

North Yorkshire County Council
£34,788 to £42,683
Are your skills and experiences suited to a traffic and parking engineer position? Is project work something you enjoy doing? Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Lead Practitioner (Infrastructure)

Newark & Sherwood District Council
£33,799 to £35,934 per annum
Newark and Sherwood is looking to recruit to its newly created post of Lead Practitioner for Infrastructure. Newark, Nottinghamshire
Recruiter: Newark & Sherwood District Council

Senior Parking Manager

Brent Council
£55,638 - £58,779 p.a. inc.
As Senior Parking Manager, you will be responsible for the effective management of the Council’s Parking Services contract Brentford (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recruiter: Brent Council

Highways Inspector

Hackney London Borough Council
£28,752 - £32,577
We are seeking an experienced Highways Inspector to join the Highways Team. Hackney, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Hackney London Borough Council

School Crossing Patrol

Brent Council
£21,591 - £22,377 p.a. inc. pro rata. (£11.50 per hour)
A school crossing patrol officer is responsible for assisting children to cross the road safely on their way to and from school. Brent, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Brent Council

Assistant Director - Environment

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council
£82k per annum
Our Assistant Director – Environment will ensure clean, safe and attractive communities. Redcar, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council

Traffic Engineering Team Leader

Telford & Wrekin Council
£39,782 - £42,683
This is an exciting opportunity to join Telford & Wrekin Council’s Network Management Team Telford, Shropshire
Recruiter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Street Lighting Client Officer

Enfield London Borough Council
£37,842 – £40,728
As a Street Lighting Client Officer, you will assist the Streetlighting Client Manager in managing the Council’s Street lighting Service Provider Enfield (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recruiter: Enfield London Borough Council

Pest Control Officer

Brent Council
£26,745 - £28,725 p.a. inc.
Brent Council's Pest Control and Hygiene service continues to see a growing demand in its pest control services. Brentford (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recruiter: Brent Council

PCN Appeals Officer

Brent Council
£26,745 - £30,711 p.a. inc.
We are looking for an experienced parking professional to join the Notice Processing Team Brentford (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recruiter: Brent Council

Citizen & Consumer Protection Team Manager - Trading Standards

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Band H, SCP 38-43 (£40,760 - £45,591 per annum) (£21.13 - £23.63 per hour)
We have an exciting opportunity to recruit to the position of Citizen & Consumer Protection Team Manager Sandwell, West Midlands
Recruiter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Key Route Network Manager

Liverpool City Region
£63,753 - £71,747
An exciting new opportunity has arisen within the Integrated Transport Directorate of the LCR Combined Authority Liverpool, Merseyside
Recruiter: Liverpool City Region

Community and Environmental Support Officer

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,554 - £21,166
Community and Environmental Support Officers have one of two main focuses; Community Safety or Environmental. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Assistant Director

Hammersmith & Fulham London Borough Council
£92,826 - £111,231
This is an ideal opportunity for an expert waste management professional to make a real impact and to lead the service to outstanding. Fulham, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Hammersmith & Fulham London Borough Council

Partnership Director (Fixed Term for 2 years)

Tactran
£79,165 - £83,020
An exciting opportunity has arisen for the post of Partnership Director for the Tayside & Central Scotland Transport Partnership (Tactran). Perth, Perth and Kinross
Recruiter: Tactran

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Valuing our roads: What is a network worth?

Also inside:

Traffex review 

Diary of a flood.

Beautiful roads

Live Labs exclusive briefing 

View the latest issue

Latest Video