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

Senior Engineer (Development Control)

Wrexham County Borough Council
£36,876 - £39,782 per annum
We are looking to appoint a suitably experienced and qualified candidate to work within the Contracts and Engineering team Wrexham (Wrecsam)
Recruiter: Wrexham County Borough Council

Strategic Director Growth and Regeneration

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£119,940 to £131,935
A decade of investment invites the opportunity of a decade! Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Strategic Director Environment and Climate Change

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£119,940 to £131,935
A decade of investment invites the opportunity of a decade! Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Funeral Operative (As and When)

Brent Council
£24,462 - £26,274 p.a. inc. (pro-rata)
The person will not need previous experience in funeral services as full training will be given but experience would be an advantage. Brent, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Brent Council

Senior Engineer – Transport Policy

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£38,800 - £52,600
This is an exciting opportunity to improve road safety and create healthy streets in a busy and dynamic central London borough. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recruiter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Environmental Health Officer / Health and Safety Practitioner

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£33,600 - £45,400 per annum plus performance related pay
The ideal candidate will have a detailed knowledge/understanding of Health and Safety legislation.  Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recruiter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Head of Operations

Rossendale Borough Council
£49,408 - £52,899
The Head of Operations is a key leader in the Senior Management Team. Rossendale, Lancashire
Recruiter: Rossendale Borough Council

Commercial Officer

Rossendale Borough Council
£25,801 - £29,636
We are keen to improve our recycling levels, tackle the climate change agenda and take pride in our open spaces. Rossendale, Lancashire
Recruiter: Rossendale Borough Council

Principal Electrical Asset Officer

Birmingham City Council
£34,788-£42,683
The role requires the post holder to be a key technical specialist for the Authority’s Highways Electrical Asset Management function, providing... Birmingham, West Midlands
Recruiter: Birmingham City Council

Transport Planning Officer 

Plymouth City Council
£32,878 - £42,683
This is a full time position (37 hours per week) with flexible working arrangements. Plymouth, Devon
Recruiter: Plymouth City Council

Highways & Drainage Team Manager

Newport City Council
£37,849 - £40,760
You will be skilled at analysing multiple sources of information, making excellent decisions, and driving difficult situations towards a... Newport (Casnewydd)
Recruiter: Newport City Council

Senior Environmental Health Officer (Housing Lead)

Mole Valley District Council
£37,821 - £42,329
An exciting opportunity for a Senior Environmental Health Officer to join our forward thinking Environmental Health Partnership Oxted, Surrey
Recruiter: Mole Valley District Council

Street Works Compliance Officer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£29,636 - £31,371 per annum
For further information on the role please click. Telford, Shropshire
Recruiter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Senior Sustainability & Resilience Officer

Essex County Council
£30001.0 - £34017 per annum
This opportunity is to be offered on a 6-month, fixed term / secondment contract basisInterviews scheduled to be held Friday 17th April Job Purpose Es England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recruiter: Essex County Council

Highway Electrical Maintenance & Installation Operative (Street Lighting) Apprentice

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
National minimum wage, currently £8.20 in first 12 months, increasing to £8.72 thereafter
If you are looking for hands on experience and learning on the job then an apprenticeship could be the right route for you. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Highways Civil Engineering Technician Apprentice x 3

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
National minimum wage, currently £8.20 in first 12 months, increasing to £8.72 thereafter
If you are looking for hands on experience and learning on the job then an apprenticeship could be the right route for you. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Safety, Health & Environment Technician Apprentice

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
National minimum wage, currently £8.20 in first 12 months, increasing to £8.72 thereafter
If you are looking for hands on experience and learning on the job then an apprenticeship could be the right route for you. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Strategic Director, Environment & Regeneration

Brent Council
Circa £155,000
Brent is the Borough of Cultures - the most diverse in London - and as a Council we believe in delivering for our communities. Brent, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Brent Council

Street Cleansing Operative x6

Redbridge London Borough Council
£20,466.00 - £20,835.00
This role will involve working as an individual as well as part of a team, litter pick the streets in the local area, empty the litter bins. Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Assistant Engineer - Grade 3

Northumberland County Council
£27,905 - £31,371
Assistant Engineer (Structures) - Band 7 (SCP 24-28) The Council Northumberland County Council operates a huge range of services across one of the ... County Hall, Morpeth
Recruiter: Northumberland County Council

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Inside:

  • Exclusive: Self-assessment results
  • Keeping up momentum on major roads
  • The Lifelines Resilience approach
View the latest issue

Latest Video