The Scottish Road Research Board (SRRB) is a partnership between Transport Scotland, the Society of Chief Officers for 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@transportscotland.gsi.gov.uk



The Board recently met to prioritise and agree the projects going forward to the 2017-18 research programme. The list of new projects includes:

  • An Assessment of the Geometric Layout of Type A Lay-bys
  • Innovative Monitoring Strategies for Managing Hazardous Slopes
  • Accompanied and Virtual Road User Surveys
  • Analysis of Griptester Data
  • Electronic Data Monitoring of Resurfacing Works
  • Developing a Road Condition Indicator for Fretting
  • Friction After Polishing (FAP) for Skid Performance Specification and Classification 
  • Speed Management Techniques for Principal Roads in Urban Settings
  • Review of Pedestrian Crossing Guidance LTN 1/95
  • Sitezone Proximity Warning System
  • LED Lights on PPE
  • Early Life SCRIM Performance
  • SCRIM Investigatory Levels 

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 in terms of:

  • Geotechnical & Drainage Engineering – such as consideration of geotechnical and drainage parameters affecting strength and durability of transport infrastructure assets
  • Design Standards, Specifications & Materials – such as consideration of road construction materials and construction methods and techniques on the strength and durability of carriageways, bridges, retaining walls and other transport infrastructure structural assets
  • Road and Transport Safety & Security – such as consideration of the effectiveness of road safety strategies and initiatives including research that informs the development, technical performance and effectiveness of road safety system, strategies and initiatives
  • Bridges and Structures – such as consideration of materials, proprietary systems, design and construction techniques and technologies in relation to the strength and durability of bridges, culverts, footbridges, underpasses, retaining walls, high mast lights and other transport infrastructure structural assets
  • Maintenance & 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
  • Traffic & 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
  • Environment & Sustainability – such as consideration of the environmental and sustainability impact and effectiveness of transport infrastructure related practices and schemes and consideration of practices, materials, proprietary systems, techniques and technologies that may be used to improve the environmental and sustainability performance of the transport network
  • Road Works – such as consideration of improvements in working practices, materials and planning, co-ordination and quality of road works throughout Scotland, along with better monitoring and compliance with legislation

Eligibility & 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


Current research projects

Fish Barriers on Scottish Major Roads

Study to understand the impacts on fish migration created by structures or major works owned or maintained by public bodies operating road networks.  The study would review the impacts associated with 27 identified structures and develop guidance for future.

Completion expected: summer 2019

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.

Completion expected: summer 2019

Roadside Advertising – Driver Behaviour

Follow on from 2015 SRRB research, “Review of Roadside Advertising” to carry out more detailed assessment of the process of driver interaction with various signing characteristics (position, height, text size etc.) in supporting a more detailed understanding of how drivers engage with advertising and how various metrics might affect this.

Completion expected: summer 2018

Road Surface Water Flooding

A scoping study to assess the potential for developing a surface water flooding prediction tool for use by road authorities to inform future improved flood prediction and hazard modelling.

Completion expected: summer 2019

Strategies for Managing Hazardous Slopes

Follow on project to implement a novel multi-level modular monitoring system to detect landslide activity prior to, during and after landslide events. The aim is to produce a business case for appropriate monitoring to enable cost-effective management of hazardous slopes in Scotland.

Completion expected: winter 2019

Developing a Road Condition Indicator for Fretting

Study to review any existing indicators of fretting using texture depth measures from SCANNER data (if available) and undertake comparisons of survey data and known fretting locations to assess if existing indicators are appropriate and/or suggest alternatives.

Completion expected: summer 2019

Evaluation of Friction After Polishing Test

This research will develop and test a methodology for using a new European Standard test method called Friction After Polishing (FAP) to classify the level of skid resistance that will be achieved with specific road surfacing materials. This will allow a much more effective and efficient approach to road surface skid resistance specification.

Completion expected: autumn 2019

Early Life SCRIM Performance

Recent examination of data from the trunk road pavement management system suggests that skid resistance values for a proportion re-surface roads fall below Investigatory Level after only a few years of service.  This study aims to examine the data in more detail to establish any patterns/trends and explore possible causes.

Completion expected: spring 2019

SCRIM Investigatory Levels

Study to review the appropriateness of the current SCRIM Site Categories and their associated Investigatory Levels, to explore their suitability for the Scottish road network, particularly on more lightly trafficked roads.

Completion expected: spring 2019

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.

Completion expected: autumn 2019

Pavement Design Using EME2

Continuation of SRRB research aiming to look at the performance of EME2 as achieved in Scotland, in comparison with traditional materials, examining how HD26 road designs should be adjusted to accommodate the findings of previous research.  The study will consider formulating a new series of design charts that consider both fatigue and stiffness.

Completion expected: spring 2020

Winter Maintenance: Liquid Treatments

Final stage of research into use of brine-only winter treatments, the study will involve a trial to investigate the use of brine only for severe temperatures and snow treatments alongside various ‘blended’ liquids that are effective at preventing ice on carriageways and offer a viable alternative to pre-wetted salt during winter periods when precipitation is not forecast.

Completion expected: autumn 2019

Attitudes to Road Works

Study to interview a sample of road users to determine their preferences and tolerances of different traffic management strategies at roadworks in Scotland. Interviews would be conducted across the country and with a range of different road users. This will provide initial data to allow future work in understanding preferences of customers.

Completion expected: autumn 2019

Value of the Local Road Network to Society

Study to fill a current gap in the understanding of the value of the local road network to society and to the economic wellbeing of Scotland, and enable local authorities to make the case for ongoing investment.  The research will also highlight the extent to which maintenance and improvement of the local road network impacts on congestion levels and their impact on our environment.

Completion expected: spring 2020

Evidence Based Defect Responses

Study to provide hard evidence to identify appropriate response times for addressing safety defects aligned to a risk-based approach thus enabling consistency across Scotland and allowing greater efficiency and value for money in maintaining the network.

Completion expected: spring 2020

Completed research projects

Speed Management Techniques in Urban Settings

Study to investigate current speed management techniques currently used in urban settings on Scotland’s trunk roads, assess their performance in relation to speed and casualty reduction, and assess the longer term compliance performance of vehicle activated speed limit signs on Scotland’s Trunk Roads.

Electronic Data Monitoring of Resurfacing Works

Literature review of methods currently in use for specifying electronic data capture for quality control and as-built record collection purposes.

Analysis of Griptester Data

Study making use of 4 week and 6 month Griptester data to explore whether a relationship can be established between early Griptester results and equilibrium skid resistance as measured by SCRIM.

Route Safety Strategy

Study to identifying the most successful casualty reduction mitigation measures and strategies adopted in various route safety strategies in Scotland, Sweden and Norway to inform future scheme development in Scotland.

QRA for Landslides

Two year study to develop the methodology for undertaking QRA for Scottish debris flow events that affect the trunk road network and for quantitatively determining the risk at selected case study sites.

Cost Benchmarking

Study to address one of the recommendations of the NRMR to develop and apply a consistent unit cost benchmarking methodology across all roads authorities.

Star Paths 

Research study to investigate the use of photo luminescent cycleway markings to encourage greater use of remote unlit cycleways connecting communities.

Sitezone Proximity Warning Sensor

Study to investigate the potential for wider roll-out of the SiteZone Proximity Warning System to help reduce the risk of vehicle personnel collisions.  Proposal submitted by A9 Innovation Group.

LED Lights on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Study to investigate the feasibility of including LED based lights within Personal Protection Equipment (PPE),a method for increasing the visibility of site staff in particular dark conditions.  Proposal submitted by A9 Innovation Group.

Tar Bound Arisings (Phase 2)

Second and more detailed phase of research study to produce updated national guidance for all roads authorities and statutory undertakers on to deal safely and cost effectively with tar bound arisings.

Lean Construction in Road Maintenance

Study to embed LEAN construction philosophy within the public road maintenance industry, through three separate but linked improvement projects involving staff from Aberdeenshire Council, Dumfries and Galloway Council and Transport Scotland.

Assessment of Geometric Layout of Type A Lay-bys

Study to investigate whether changes can be made to DMRB Type A lay-bys to create Enhanced Lay-By by altering taper ratios in order to reduce the length of taper required while not compromising safety.

Review of Pedestrian Guidance LTN1/95

Study to review the current guidance LTN 1/95, identify issues raised by stakeholders and the industry on the guidance and seek to develop an improved assessment.  This will also assist in establishing a structured decision making process to defend the decision to install or not install crossings.

Landslide Monitoring and Modelling

Landslides can cause potentially costly damage and disruption to Scottish road infrastructure. Debris-flows, a fast-moving torrent of solids mixed with water, are by far the most frequent cause and are capable of wide-reaching impacts, due to their high mobility. Many debris flow events have been recorded across Scotland, particularly at the highly active A83 Rest and be Thankful (RabT). This report builds on previous work on debris flows in Scotland. It demonstrates the potential of Terrestrial Laser Scanning and modelling to enable a better understanding of the hazards, particularly runout. A key finding of the monitoring has been the segregation of slope failure processes into either the modification of existing hillslope gully systems (producing net deposition or scour), or the development of new channels or channel regions. Both effects are significant, as they may result in the release of otherwise consolidated/poorly consolidated sediment stores.

Renewable Energy Generation and Distribution from Road Network Assets

First phase of research is to develop a process for assessing the implementation of renewable proposals (energy generating devices) for use in Road Authority context in Scotland from inception to completion – taking full account of existing processes within Authorities in Scotland (including Scottish Government), UK as a whole and elsewhere in Europe.

SCANNER Research

Collaborative research with UK Department for Transport and Consortium for Highway Condition Surveys (CHiCS) and led by Surrey County Council into three areas: Optimising the Consistency of SCANNER data; Review the appropriateness of SCANNER RCI Reporting and Review of SCANNER Condition Parameters.

EME2 with Softer PEN Bitumen (Phase 2)

Second phase of initial research into the potential use of softer pen EME2 materials on the Scottish road network. The study will take the outcomes of the initial laboratory testing work in order to develop design curves for pavement design.

Skid Resistance Performance Study

Study to consider how new surfacing materials are performing in service on the network, with outputs used to compare with Polished Stone Value (PSV) and inform improvements in skidding performance and value for money in terms of imported aggregate.

High Speed Friction Testing

Study to carry out high-speed friction testing on a range of road surfacing used on the Scottish trunk road network. A Pavement Friction Tester (PFT) will be used to collect important data on wet skid resistance. The overall aim of this research is to optimise the durability, sustainability and safety of surface courses used on the Scottish trunk road network.

The Value of the Trunk Road Network to Society and Economy in Scotland

Research to estimate the contribution of the motorway and trunk road network to the society and economy, and how to quantify the benefits of investment in maintaining the network. The research will demonstrate how this investment contributes towards the Scottish Government purpose of providing opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth. The outcomes from the project will inform the case for continuing investment in the motorway and trunk road network in the upcoming Spending Review

Road Marking Durability & Adhesion to TS2010

Second phase of earlier study to investigate issues experienced by the road marking industry in applying signing and lining markings to TS2010 surfacing. The study will involve a literature review followed by network trials and development of a draft code of practice.

Locating Underground Drainage Apparatus

Study to investigate applications of recent advances in drainage detection and how these can help reduce the need for extensive excavations. The study will involve a literature review bringing together best practice from around the world before conducting trials in different environments.

Skid Resistance of Locally Sourced Aggregate

Study to establish a methodology to determine the in-service properties (skid-resistance) of locally sourced aggregate, thereby allowing the road maintenance community access to additional sources of materials from local Scottish quarries.

TD22/06 VRS on Tight Looped Roads

Desktop review of existing studies and literature relating to the safety impact of physical barrier provision on two-way loop connector roads, and the evidence behind advice given in Clause 5.27 of TD22/06.

Long term damage to roads (compaction)

Study in consultation with the utility industry, to investigate and evaluate techniques and methods that could be used to both assess and improve the compaction of the lower layers, and improve the performance of utility reinstatements.

Effectiveness of automatic trash screen

Funding towards university led research to conduct an evaluative trial to assess the performance of up to four automated trash screens installed by Inverclyde Council with a view to drafting guidance on operation and performance in Scotland.

Pothole repair system and techniques (Phase 2)

Second phase of research, and two year study, to ascertain which pothole repair products and techniques are suitable for use as interim and/or permanent repairs. The study sets out the principal options for repairing potholes and describes a process for selecting the most appropriate solution for any given situation.

Tar bound arisings (Phase 1)

Desktop study to produce updated national guidance for all roads authorities and statutory undertakers on to deal safely and cost effectively with tar bound arisings.

Brine only trials

Allocation of funding towards collaborative trials of Brine-only spreading as a form of winter treatment, along with a wide scale trial of imbiber products.

The future of timber transport

A two-year study in collaboration with Scotland’s Timber Transport Groups to identify, develop and test a consistent methodology for the collection and collation of a national database of exit points where timber tonnages would join the public road network.

Road drainage and flood risk management

Study to investigate the conflict between road drainage design and flood risk management. The study will cover both new build and retrofitted schemes.

Review of road side advertising

Literature review into road safety implications, amenity and revenue potential of road side advertising, followed by consideration of national guidance and policy documentation for both the Trunk Road Authority and Councils.

Recycled tyres in noise barriers

Study to determine the potential for reductions in noise from major roads (trunk and local) through the use of a noise barrier system manufactured or constructed using tyre derived rubber materials (TDRM).

Durability of thermoplastic road markings

Desktop literature review to develop investigate why white lining and road markings are failing to achieve design life. A future phase of the study could include site trials and analysis.

EME2 with Softer PEN bitumen

First phase of initial research involving laboratory testing of EME2 (Enrobé à Module Élevé) Bituminous Binder Course to assess strain compatibility, rutting and fatigue through measurement of micro cracking between the bitumen and the aggregate at low temperatures.

Investigating glowing roads

Study to deliver a wide-based information-gathering report detailing the viability of the various strands of photo-luminescent technology and its potential application on the Scottish road network.

Tourist sign research

Study to investigate range of issues surrounding tourist signposting (including the cost of providing signs) and compare Scotland’s approach with that undertaken elsewhere in the UK and internationally, particularly in the Republic of Ireland and perhaps Scandinavia.

Fabric reinforcement to surface dressing

Attendance at application of Surface Dressing trial to assess laying process and applicability of the proposed control environment, followed by literature review investigating use of products / techniques from elsewhere.

Hydraulically bound materials

Literature review to gather information on the application of hydraulically bound materials (HBM) in flexible pavements and trench reinstatements and give advice on their use in Scotland.

Winter Maintenance (Phase 3) – Liquid Treatments

Study to carry out further trials to investigate the use of brine-only for snow treatments (previous research has focused solely on ice prevention) and various ‘blended’ liquids that are effective at preventing ice on carriageways.