Transport Scotland Pavement Forum

The Transport Scotland Pavement Forum (TSPF) promotes and develops best practice and knowledge sharing for the management and maintenance of Scottish trunk roads.

The TSPF was formed in 2007 to address problems with the surface layer of roads including durability, cost effectiveness and workmanship.  Due to the success and popularity of the Forum within the Scottish road maintenance community, the remit was broadened in 2010 to cover all aspects of road pavement design, construction and maintenance, including materials, drainage and innovation. 

Transport Scotland Pavement Forum: Terms of Reference

The TSPF meets quarterly and member organisations include:

  • Transport Scotland
  • Scottish Trunk Road Operating Companies
  • Mineral Products Association
  • Performance Audit Group (PAG)
  • Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland (SCOTS)
  • Refined Bitumen Association
  • Road Design Consultants
  • Transport Research Laboratory (Secretariat)

The Forum provides an opportunity for specific studies and research to be shared with the road maintenance community and acts as a crucible for the creation and promulgation of new ideas.  Accordingly, the Forum has facilitated a number of developments including the following:-

Formation of the Scottish Inspection Panel

The Scottish Inspection Panel (SIP) consists of a team of road engineers that annually inspect sections of the trunk road network that were resurfaced as maintenance schemes around two years earlier , in order to assess how they are performing. This allows us to assess not only the quality of the material used but also the workmanship and laying techniques employed. We can also consider other aspects which are not directly pavement related but can have an impact on the road pavement, for example drainage.  The team identifies recurring issues which are then raised at the TSPF for focussed attention and the development of corrective action plans.  Where a concern has been identified, subsequent SIP inspections are undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of the action plans.

The 2015 surface inspection was carried out in September and results show an improvement in the quality of work being carried out in the trunk road network Scottish Inspection Panel Report 2015. The inspection revealed a measurable difference in the quality of both the materials used and of the workmanship, as evident in aspects such as tighter construction joints and denser asphalt. This will lead to more durable surfaces resulting in improved value for money and reduced disruption to road users over the long term.

Development of a new surfacing material - TS2010

In 2010, Transport Scotland published a specification for a new road surfacing material, known as TS2010. The development of the specification was led by a technical team within Transport Scotland following a period of extended research. The Transport Scotland Pavement Forum acted as a vital sounding board by providing peer review and challenge to this process and continues to do so under an arrangement of continuous review. 

TS2010 Specification and Guidance

TS2010 is more durable than traditional thin surfacing materials and is therefore Transport Scotland’s surfacing material of choice. TS2010 has been used on several major construction projects, including on the M90 approach road to the Forth bridges. It will also be laid on the new Queensferry Crossing.  Results from the Scottish Inspection Panel indicate that the material is performing as expected and is on track to achieve a service life of at least double that of comparable materials used elsewhere.

Trial of new products and systems

New systems and products which are trialled on the trunk road network are reported to the TSPF, which provides a valuable peer review function and scrutiny of the output. Trials to date have included the use of recycled tyre rubber in roads and the use of additives in road materials to make them easier to compact and reduce CO2 emissions.

Formation of Griptester user group

The Griptester is a trailer mounted device for measuring surface friction and provides instant readings of the skid resistance of the road surface being driven on. All four Operating Companies operate Griptesters supplied by Transport Scotland to measure the early-life skid resistance of road surfacing materials.

The use of Griptesters will also allow us to understand how skid resistance changes over time for a number of different surfacing materials. This will, in turn, allow us to specify the use of locally available aggregates in an informed manner, leading to more efficient and sustainable use of the aggregate resources available to us from the quarries in Scotland.

To ensure the best use of this equipment and that we achieve this outcome a Griptester user group had been formed as a subgroup of the TSPF. This group reports on the performance and accuracy of the Griptesters in use in Scotland and is currently developing a Scottish standard for use of the Griptester.

For more information on the pavement forum, please email us at tspf@transport.gov.scot