Economic, Environmental and Social Impact of Changes in Maintenance Spend on Roads in Scotland Summary Report

3 Developing the Potential Scenarios

3.1 Applying Funding Constraints in Practice

The nature and extent of the impacts of reductions in the total maintenance budget depend on how the reductions are allocated across maintenance activities. Each activity was considered in terms of its relative contribution to overall corporate objectives categorised as:

  • Safety
  • Access
  • Reliability
  • Network condition
  • Sustainability
  • Customer care

For example, the objective of maintaining directional road signs is primarily to enable reliable and predictable travel for road users, whereas the objective of maintaining road barriers is to enable safe travel for the road users and pedestrians.

Pragmatic views were taken of the relative importance of each of the various objectives and the contribution made to those objectives by the different maintenance activities on local and trunk roads. Application of this approach resulted in different reductions across the activity budgets for each of the reduced funding Scenarios as shown in Appendix A.

The results of applying the approach are broadly in line with road maintenance practitioners' experience. In particular, the activities which are reduced most are those related to carriageway maintenance. This has an important effect on the outcomes from this study as the quantified impacts are all related to the effect of carriageway maintenance.

3.2 Sampled Approach for the Local Roads Analysis

There are 32 Scottish Local Authorities. For earlier studies, SCOTS has assigned each Local Authority network into one of five categories (city, urban, semi-urban, rural and island). It was not possible to carry out a quantified analysis on each Authority, so a sampled approach was adopted which considered 8 Authorities in detail, and scaled up the results from the analyses from the sample of Authorities to the full network based on consideration of the Authority types (see Appendix B for further details).