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 2021-22 research programme

The Scottish Road Research Board is pleased to announce its 2021-22 research programme. The list of new projects includes:

  • Automatic Compaction Control Specification
  • Accessibility of Zebra Crossings (Phase 2)
  • Continuous Footways & Floating Bus Stops
  • Suitability of Kerb Profiles (Phase 2)
  • Value of Local Road Network (Phase 3)
  • Value of Local Road Network (Roll Out of Phase 2)
  • Vulnerability of Scottish Road Network to Flooding
  • Boulder Hazards (Phase 2)
  • Ongoing Maintenance of Burnshot Bridge

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 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

Compaction Control Specification

Study to develop a specification for monitoring and control of onsite compaction using real time automatically collected electronic data. This will replace existing destructive sample testing methods with more efficient and safer processes that deliver a more consistent and compliant compaction level and thus longer lasting roads.

Zebra Crossings (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.

Suitability of Kerb Profiles (Phase 2)

Second stage of study to find evidence based conclusions to appropriate kerb heights and profiles, along with any associated design elements.

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.

Vulnerability of Scottish Road Network to Flooding

Study to develop a framework for defining the vulnerability of roads to adverse weather-related flood events. The framework could be applied to evaluate the vulnerability of the Scottish road infrastructure and to assess its risk and resilience to critical events, allowing the identification of the most vulnerable components and support risk mitigation strategies and management actions.

Boulder Hazard Assessment (Phase 2)

Second phase of study to expand the boulder hazard inventory to consider boulders across the wider Study Area at the Rest and be Thankful site, using UAV survey undertaken for the Operating Company BEAR to capture photogrammetry data across the wider study area allowing the identification of boulder locations, colour coded to indicate their individual low/medium/high hazard rating.

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 2021

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: Summer 2021

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: Summer 2021

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 2021

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: Summer 2022

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: Summer 2021

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: Summer 2022

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: Summer 2021

Value of the Local Road Network Stage 2

Study to further develop the value model to include detailed/verified social and future value criteria, test the model in three geographical areas, and extend the model to include the trunk road network, to create a ‘whole network’ model.

Completion expected: Summer 2021

Recycled Materials in Road Construction and Maintenance

Collaborative study between all Scottish road authorities and the main material suppliers to undertake a literature review of published research into the use of recycled materials in road construction/ maintenance, collate all current UK trialling and testing of recycled materials in road (and associated) infrastructure, and identify any materials/processes worthy of further consideration and/or research.

Completion expected: Summer 2021

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.

Completion expected: Summer 2021

Early Pavement Failures

Study to identify why sub-surface layers have caused early failure when the material initially appeared sound. Then to develop a protocol for evaluating whether in-situ binder/base materials might be susceptible to a similar failure mechanism. The final part of be work would be to introduce this protocol into the standard site investigation that is carried out prior to maintenance works being designed.

Completion expected: Summer 2021

Winter Maintenance Liquid Treatments

Continuation of trials to optimise precautionary treatments for use on trunk roads and will support the development of operational guidance at UK level.

Completion expected: Autumn 2021

Kerb Heights

Study to review kerb heights being used across the Scottish road networks and consider recommendations to trunk road operators, local authorities, planners and architects on more appropriate kerb to be used that provide maximum accessibility for all user groups.

Completion expected: Summer 2021

Zebra Crossings

Study to find possible solutions that would increase safety for the most vulnerable user utilising Zebra Crossings, and use the findings to influence the guidance in the Roads For All Good Practice Guide, due for publication in Summer 2020.

Completion expected: Summer 2021

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.

Completion expected: Summer 2021

Completed research projects