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@transport.gov.scot




SRRB research 2019 competition launch

Can you help Scotland’s roads authorities combat the Climate Change emergency?

The Scottish Roads Research Board (SRRB) are offering undergraduate students, or groups of students , the opportunity to apply for research funding for innovative research projects. This provides students with the chance to work with industry to deliver interesting research projects that could help Scotland’s roads overcome the Climate Change emergency.

Applicants should submit a description of their proposed research project detailing objectives, methodology, timescale, risks, deliverables and funds they require to drew.hill@transport.gov.scot.

Responses should be no longer than two sides of A4.

2017-18 research programme

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

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

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: summer 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: summer 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

Queensferry Crossing Wind Study

Study to review the current wind thresholds for operating the new Queensferry Crossing, particularly the threshold regarding the closure of the bridge to double decker buses, which is currently 60mph winds. Overall the key objectives are to ensure safety and to minimise disruption to bridge users.

Completion expected: summer 2020

Tar Bound Arisings Stage 3 Detailed Testing

Further stage of research to identify a definitive test for tar bound arisings, the outcomes from which would assist in positively identifying tar bound arisings and how they should be dealt with.

Completion expected: spring 2020

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.

Completion expected: spring 2020

Boulder Hazards

Study to develop a systematic approach to the management of boulder hazards comparable to that adopted for debris flows and falls from rock faces. 

Completion expected: spring 2020

Specification of Skid Resistance

Study to investigate the relationship between aggregate source, PSV, TS2010 skid class requirement, aggregate size and stress levels of sites to evaluate confidence levels in using PSV and skid class as a proxy for in-situ skid resistance as measured by SCRIM. 

Completion expected: spring 2020

Continuation of GripTester

Further stage of research study to identify a relationship between six months skid resistance measured using GripTester and equilibrium skid resistance measured using SCRIM on TS2010 materials.  The research will make use of 2019 datasets to derive predictions of the skid resistance that will be achieved with TS2010 mixtures.

Completion expected: spring 2020

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.

Completion expected: spring 2020

Evaluation of Road Studs

A literature review into the life of stick down road studs v traditional milled cat’s eyes to understand the differing life expectancy. The study has been prompted by concerns raised over the lifetime in which they perform, particularly in light of winter maintenance operations such as snow ploughing.

Completion expected: spring 2020

Completed research projects







Student research competition 2019

Can you help Scotland's road authorities combat the climate emergency?

Scotland is in great place to tackle the challenges of the global climate change emergency but no matter how good we are in reducing carbon and waste we must adapt to the changes in climate that are already locked in. The Scottish Road Research Board want to hear from you if you have an idea for how the roads in Scotland can adapt. We are looking for innovative projects related to roads that will provide real benefits for safety, construction, operation and maintenance.

This opportunity can offer undergraduate students:

  • direct access to the maintenance operations of both local and national roads
  • the chance to work with experts to establish how your research might be applied across Scotland
  • the possibility for a summer secondment in 2020.


A total of £10,000 is available - but this may be separated into separate lots. The money will mainly be for equipment and materials.

Who can apply

Undergraduate students or groups of students from across Scotland who believe they have an innovative research idea that falls within the context of our research themes.

How you can apply

You should prepare and submit a description of your proposed research project, explaining the methodology, objectives, timescale, risks, deliverables, and the funds you require. Please keep your response to no longer than 2 sides of A4. Projects must be roads related, fall within the context of research themes defined on the SRRB website, and realise real benefits in terms of either safety, operation, or functionality of either trunk or local roads.

The closing date for entries is Thursday 31 October 2019. Applications and queries regarding the competition should be directed to Drew.Hill@transport.gov.scot.

What happens next

A separate panel of the SRRB will meet to assess applications on the criteria of methodology, objectives, timescale, risks, deliverables, and the funds required. This will particularly focus on needs and priority in relation to combatting the Climate Change emergency. The panel findings will be announced in November 2019.

Who we are

The Scottish Road Research Board (SRRB) is a collaborative research partnership including Society of Chief Officers for Transportation in Scotland (SCOTS), the Scottish Road Works Commissioner (SRWC), and Transport Scotland. We commission research and analysis to deliver direct improvements in safety, construction, operation, and maintenance of the Scottish road network. We also coordinate research within the roads community in Scotland, and have links to other world research organisations.

We are governed by a Board of senior roads professionals, who meet quarterly to consider new bids for research funding, and to prioritise, co-ordinate, commission, and manage research through our framework of contractors and consultants.

Further opportunities

We may recommend highly regarded projects for presentation at national events. Successful applicants may be provided the opportunity to undertake a Paid Summer Placement with either Transport Scotland, Scottish Local Road Authorities, or other relevant organisations depending on their research.

Any such placement will be for an 8 week period, likely commencing in July 2020. Any dates will be confirmed on selection of the students, to try to accommodate other responsibilities they may have.

The placement will include a number of site visits which will provide students with an invaluable insight into the planning, construction, and maintenance of local and national roads projects.

Later during 2020, all applicants will have the opportunity to present their research to the SRRB, and to have their work published on the Transport Scotland website. Winners will be given the opportunity to visit the Forth Road Bridge, for an engineering master class with and a trip to the top tower.