The Scottish Road Research Board (SRRB) is a partnership between Transport Scotland, the Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland (SCOTS) and the Scottish Road Works Commissioner (SRWC).

We annually commission research and development work to deliver improvements in safety, construction, operation and maintenance of the Scottish road network.

Our Objectives

Our objectives are to promote and deliver innovation; share new products, techniques and knowledge across Scotland’s road sector. We aim to:

  • coordinate research activity within the roads community to provide a targeted, prioritised, focussed framework to the development of new processes, procedures, proprietary products and materials across all sectors, properly undertaken and communicated to all
  • establish better formal links with academia
  • identify new appropriate potential sources of research funding
  • establish links with other bodies undertaking road related research, coordinate activity and communicate results and research activity to the wider roads community.

Our Priorities

Our delivery priorities include:

  • improved connections across Scotland and internationally
  • better journey times, better reliability, quality and accessibility
  • low carbon technology & infrastructure, reduced emissions
  • increased safety, more innovation
  • continuously improving performance and organisation

How we Work

The SRRB comprises a Board of senior roads professionals from Transport Scotland, SCOTS and the SRWC with research conducted on our behalf by specialist research contractors and / or consultants. 

We meet on a quarterly basis to co-ordinate and prioritise ongoing research and to consider new bids for funding.

Our research programme is co-ordinated and managed by a Programme Manager who performs a Secretariat role in providing overall coordination and reporting to the SRRB.

Eligibility & Selection

Projects must be roads related and fall within the context of defined research themes, and realise real benefits in terms of safety, operation and functionality of trunk and local roads.

We assess each project proposal, and those aligning with our delivery priorities are incorporated into our research programme.

How We Are Funded

The research programme is jointly funded by Transport Scotland and SCOTS.  Our research budget is around £400,000 per annum.

How We Report

All project reports and other relevant information are disseminated to the roads community in the form of technical reports, advice notes and guidance documents. In most cases, reports are uploaded to this website on a regular basis.

We also recommend projects for presentation at national events such as Road Expo.

For more information on the SRRB research projects, please contact our mailbox at SRRB@transport.gov.scot




SRRB announces 2023-24 research programme

The Scottish Road Research Board is pleased to announce its 2023-24 research programme. The list of new projects includes:

  • Inclusive Kerbs Study (Phase 4)

  • Accessibility of Zebra Crossings (Phase 3)

  • Setting appropriate sensor measured texture for asphalt surfacing

  • Effect of rolling resistance of road surfaces on carbon emissions


  • Effectiveness of mammal mitigation in reducing wildlife casualties


  • Impact assessment of zero emission economic development activities

Please see the research programme for further details.

Project themes

The themes of the SRRB research programme are aligned with the Scottish Government’s purpose and seek to encourage research projects that support the activities of both trunk and local road authorities.

Environment and sustainability

Such as:

  • consideration of the environmental and sustainability impact and effectiveness of transport infrastructure related practices and schemes
  • consideration of practices, materials, proprietary systems, techniques and technologies that may be used to improve the environmental and sustainability performance of the transport network

Additionally, transport related carbon reduction and net zero research topics are considered relevant to this research theme.

Climate change impacts and climate change adaptation

Such as the consideration of practices, materials, proprietary systems, techniques and technologies which can be adapted to build a safer, reliable and more resilient transport network. 

The circular economy 

Such as the consideration of practices, materials, proprietary systems, techniques and technologies to encourage optimal utilisation of Scottish resources and retain valuable material in the transport network.

Lean design, designing out waste and valued engineering solutions are included in this research area of interest.

Maintenance and operation of roads and other transport infrastructure assets

Such as consideration of practices, materials, proprietary systems, techniques and technologies that may be used to maintain the serviceability of the transport infrastructure during winter or other adverse weather conditions or events.

This also includes research to further explore maintenance and operations while anticipating an increase in extreme weather events.

Additionally, how resource exchange mechanisms can be used to ensure resources and energy efficiency throughout the network to extend the life of the transport network’s materials and structures. 

Geotechnical and drainage engineering

Such as consideration of geotechnical and drainage parameters affecting strength and durability of transport infrastructure assets.

Design standards, specifications and materials

Such as consideration of road construction materials, construction methods and techniques on the strength and durability of carriageways, bridges, retaining walls and other transport infrastructure structural assets.

Road and transport safety and security

Such as consideration of the effectiveness of road safety strategies and initiatives. This includes research that informs the development, technical performance and effectiveness of road safety systems, strategies and initiatives.

Bridges and structures

Such as consideration of materials, proprietary systems, design and construction techniques monitoring performance or other technologies in relation to the strength, maintenance, operation and durability of bridges, culverts, footbridges, underpasses, retaining walls, high mast lights and other transport infrastructure structural assets.

Traffic and transportation

Such as traffic modelling and consideration of the service levels, capacity, economic performance and cost effectiveness, and growth for roads and other transport modes.

Health and equalities

Such as consideration of technology, material, innovation and services that:

  • improve health (e.g. air quality)
  • encourage equalities (including demographic, geographic, socioeconomic and protected characteristics)
  • reduce inequality in relation to the transport network

Road works

Such as consideration of materials, construction methods, techniques and innovation around the performance and impacts of road works reinstatements and ancillary activities. 

The key aim shall be to provide research which can inform road works policy development and lead to minimising impacts of road works on the environment, road users and the wider community.

Eligibility and selection

To be eligible for funding, projects must be roads related and fall within the context of the research themes outlined above.

Projects should realise real benefits in terms of safety, operation and functionality of trunk and local roads in delivering the Scottish Government’s Purpose.

In addition, projects should:

  • be of priority to the Scottish roads community
  • investigate Scottish circumstances where these are likely to differ from the rest of the UK
  • demonstrate a sound business case.

Projects are assessed by the Programme Board, and those aligning with our delivery priorities are incorporated into the research programme.

On-going contributions and memberships

National Winter Service Research Group (NWSRG)
On-going contribution to the NWSRG research programme

National Asphalt Research Consortium (NARC)
Ongoing contribution to the National Asphalt Research Consortium (NARC).
National Asphalt Research Consortium (NARC) - The University of Nottingham

Current research projects

Suitability of Kerb Profiles (Phase 3)

Continuation of research into kerb heights across Scotland. Phase 1 saw the completion of a research-based study examining the minimum and maximum range of kerb heights and form for roads. The study concluded that there is a lack of available academic evidence behind the specification of kerbs considering inclusive mobility. It identified that there is a potentially huge research commitment to provide kerbs that deliver maximum accessibility for all user groups.

Phase 2 continued the research, looking into the kerb heights and profiles currently used across the Scottish road network through site surveys. Establishing opportunities for improving kerb heights and characteristics a number of sites were presented in interviews.

Phase 3 will build upon the Phase 2 research, continuing the data gathering to identify personas and improve the sampling evidence base for developing a more standardised approach to kerb designs and settings which consider inclusive mobility needs.

Tar Bound Arisings Stage 3 - Task 2

Continuation of research project to determine whether an alternative method could be identified to support the characterisation of tar bound arisings. Stage 3 has comprised two tasks to date. Stage 3 - Task 1 was carried out in two steps: Task 1A, a review of the current guidance and approach and Task 1B, the review of the currently available screening/testing methods. Task 2 will be divided into

Service Life of Reinstatements

Study to assess whether the introduction of reinstatement quality plans and extended guarantee periods for utility reinstatements are fundamentally intended to increase the quality of reinstatement and therefore extend the average service life. A baseline assessment of past/current service life is required, with the intention that the baseline can be used in future years to assess the ongoing service life of reinstatement and give some measure of the effectiveness of policy changes.

Accessible Zebra Crossing Research - Phase 2

Second phase of study to consider the benefits of zebra crossings to some vulnerable road user groups, and the potential for improvements to address any short comings particularly in regard to accessibility for blind and partially sighted pedestrians.

Continuous Footways and Floating Bus Stops

The Continuous Footways study aims to identify tactile indicators that could be included in standard details to enable blind and partially sighted people to identify the crossing and be guided across it. The research will explore user behaviour at ‘live’ sites to explore influence of a variety of factors on how well continuous footways operate.

The Floating Bus Stops study aims to explore user behaviour at a number of a 'live' sites of bus stop bypasses. The objective will be to explore influence of a variety of factors on how well these bus stops operate, in terms of user volumes, conditions, and user perception.

Value of Local Road Network (Phase 3)

Third and final stage of study to determine optimum roll-out phasing of the Minimum Variable Product (MVP) model across Scotland's local authorities, along with an exploration of deeper definitions of generic value judgements within different settings, and further in-depth consideration of the detailed value impact of proximity to the trunk roads network.

Road Surface Noise Reduction Techniques

Research study to produce technical guidance (IAN) associated with low noise surface materials as noted in HD 36/06 and based on specification detail in the (unpublished forthcoming) 900 Series of the Specification for Highway Work.

Video Based Road Defect Surveys

Trial aiming to assess if the outputs of video surveys could improve quality and reduce costs of road surveys of Scottish road network.  The project will report on the accuracy of the video survey in identifying defects and possible maintenance schemes, the costs associated with video surveys compared to traditional methods and a qualitative assessment of the safety and deliverability of each approach.

Structural Health Monitoring of Burnshot Bridge

Study around the construction of the new Burnshot Bridge to allow monitoring of the behaviour of support columns in relation to the surrounding reinforced soil, to monitor the displacement and stress/strain behaviour of the pre-stressed beams, and to monitor the true benefits of stainless steel rebar in bridges.

Vulnerable User Perception of Speed

Study to investigate the difference between vulnerable road users’ perception of vehicle speeds and actual speeds, and how this contributes to the level of public anxiety/difficulty when crossing roads.

Landslide Forecast, Detection and Notification

Study to deliver a “proof-of-concept-level” landslide forecast, detection and notification system capable of implementation at A83 Rest and Be Thankful and with the potential for application to other locations susceptible to landslide hazards.

Adaptive Flood Level Markers

Study to develop a Decision Support System (DSS) for the road bridges managed by Transport Scotland based on the “adaptive” Flood Level Marker. The system will calculate water level thresholds for structures over water for different scour scenarios and, according to new information on scour depth collected by a monitoring system, inform the inspector about which water level threshold triggers a prioritised inspection.

Completed research projects












2023 Student Research Competition

Can you deliver research for Scotland’s road authorities to help tackle the current climate emergency?

The SRRB are offering £10,000 in funding for research proposals which explore and deliver improvements in safety, construction, operation and maintenance of the Scottish road network, with a focus on the current climate change emergency

As a result of the global climate emergency, Scotland is seeking to address its greenhouse gas emissions by setting ambitious targets to limit the nations contribution to future climate change. Technical innovation will be essential to combat climate change and move toward net zero.

The Scottish Road Research Board (SRRB) are inviting research proposals that can assist Scotland's road authorities with their ambitious goals to reduce the impacts of climate change and work towards net zero by 2040.

Proposals must be roads related and should fall within the context of the project themes defined on the SRRB website. The projects should demonstrate tangible benefits in terms of either safety, operation, or functionality on either trunk or local roads. Please note that any students who have received funding through previous editions of this competition are not eligible for future funding.

Submissions are now being accepted, closing 22 December 2023. Successful candidates will be notified by 31 January 2023.

To apply, you should use the application form below, making sure to explain your methodology, objectives, timescale, risks, deliverables and funds required. Please keep your response to no longer than 2 sides of A4.


Who can apply?

This competition is open to undergraduate students, postgraduate students, or groups of students, from across Scotland.

How much is available?

The SRRB have a total of £10,000 available to help fund research projects.

What happens next?

Following the deadline a dedicated panel appointed by the SRRB will meet to assess applications. There will be a particular focus on needs and priority in relation to net zero. The panel findings will be announced by 31 January 2023.

Further opportunities

Where possible we will connect you with Roads professionals to provide guidance during the research period. All successful applicants will be expected to present their completed research to the SRRB, and have their work published on the Transport Scotland website.

For more information please contact: SRRB@transport.gov.scot