2 Leadership and Organisation

2 Leadership and Organisation

2.1 Transport Scotland

As the national transport agency for Scotland our purpose is to deliver a safe, efficient, cost-effective and sustainable transport system for the benefit of the people of Scotland, playing a key role in helping to achieve the Scottish Government’s Purpose of increasing sustainable economic growth with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish. Further information is available from our website www.transportscotland.gov.uk.

Transport Scotland Asset Management Framework

Transport Scotland is organised into six Directorates:


Delivering commitments on rail services, infrastructure and improvements and leading policy development.

Trunk Road & Bus Operations 

Undertaking management and operational duties and delivering maintenance, improvements and Special Projects on the trunk road network. Delivery of Concessionary Travel and development of Integrated Ticketing. Providing Procurement Policy, Environment and Sustainability advice, IT, Media and Communications Strategy.

Aviation, Maritime, Freight & Canals

Overseeing and developing port, canal, ferry, freight and aviation policy and legislation.

Transport Policy

Strategic transport policy development, high-level engagement with external partners and associated legal and policy frameworks.

Major Transport Infrastructure Projects

Delivering improvements to the trunk road network, e.g. new roads and road widening.

Finance, Corporate & Analytical Services

Financial management, accounting, reporting of Agency budgets and provision of analytical support and advice. Providing HR and facilities support services, performance monitoring and corporate strategy.

This document focuses on the trunk road responsibilities of Transport Scotland’s Trunk Road and Bus Operations Directorate (TRBO). TRBO is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Scottish trunk road network and the delivery of asset management.

2.2 Transport Scotland’s Trunk Road Assets

The Trunk Road Network

The trunk road network is comprised of route corridors that are considered to be of strategic importance to the economic stability and growth and social wellbeing of Scotland. The trunk road network is vital because it connects our cities, rural communities and the ports that serve the islands. Key trunk road network statistics are:

  • 3,429 route kilometres of motorways and main roads.
  • 1,874 bridges and footbridges including major estuarial crossings of strategic importance, and 2,347 other structures.
  • Accounts for 6% of the total road network in Scotland, but carries over 35% of all traffic and over 60% of all HGV traffic.
  • Has a gross Asset Value of over £20bn.

Asset Management Framework

Summary of Transport Scotland Trunk Road Assets

The trunk road network comprises a wide range of asset types (for example, carriageway, structures, lighting and drainage) which together provide a service to road users. Table 2.1 summarises the main types of trunk road assets that we manage and maintain.

Table 2.1: Summary of Transport Scotland’s Trunk Road Assets

Asset Type




Part of the road constructed for use by vehicular traffic. Includes turning lanes, bus lanes, crawler lanes and acceleration/ deceleration lanes.

Motorway 596 km

Dual C/way 518 km

Single C/way 2,315 km

Footways & Cycle Facilities

A part of the road exclusively for the use of pedestrians or pedal cycles.

912 km footway

66 km cycle facility

Asset Type




A bridge or other structure that impinges in any way within the footprint of the trunk road boundary or that materially affects the support of the road or land immediately adjacent to it.

1,874 bridges/footbridges

569 culverts

916 retaining walls

535 high mast lights/CCTV

327 gantries

Road Lighting

Lighting specifically provided to illuminate the road.

20,263 lighting points

Road Markings

Longitudinal lines, hatched lines, transverse lines and special lines and markings.

Over 12,580 km

Technology Equipment

Variable message signs, cabinets, detector loops, emergency telephones and weather stations.

10,256 units

Fences & Barriers

Vehicle restraint systems, pedestrian barriers and boundary fencing.

4,894 km


A system of gullies, drains and pumping stations that capture and transport water away from the carriageway/footway.

86,387 gullies

3,682 km linear drainage

6,471 culverts

53,086 manholes


An area where the carriageway is below existing ground level within an excavation or has been raised above existing ground level.

2,054 km

Signs & Signals

A sign for the purpose of regulating, warning, guiding or informing traffic, or a system of lights for controlling traffic flow.

109,453 signs

1,833 signals


Trees, hedges, grassed areas and verges.

7,925 km hedges & verges 12,376 trees.

35,984 km2 of grassed areas

2.3 Maintaining our Assets

Transport Scotland is responsible to the Scottish Ministers for overseeing the management and maintenance of the trunk road network. To assist with this, we employ Operating Companies, works contractors, concession companies and the Performance Audit Group.

Operating Companies

Most of our asset management improvements have been embedded into and are delivered through our Operating Company Contracts. The Operating Companies (OCs) are private sector companies responsible for delivering our programmes of maintenance on the trunk road network, working under term maintenance contracts to Transport Scotland. These contracts are divided into four regional units (North West, North East, South West and South East) and the Forth Bridges unit. The contracts have been running in some form since 1995, are currently in their 4th Generation, and have the following delivery objectives:

  • Sustainable Delivery – to deliver OC services in a sustainable manner and aid carbon emission reduction.
  • Reliable Journey Times – to assist in the provision of journey time information to Traffic Scotland and allow a ‘customer orientated’ approach to be further developed in the way roads are managed and maintained.
  • Continuous Improvement – to deliver continuous improvement, skilful management and innovation including in safety.
  • Value for Money – to achieve the maximum efficiency in the use of the substantial sums of money expended on the maintenance of the network.
  • Flexibility – to accommodate changes to the trunk road network and future policy changes.

The Operating Companies oversee, coordinate and undertake cyclic and routine maintenance, winter service and emergency response. In addition, they undertake structural road maintenance, bridge strengthening and maintenance, safety and condition inspections, road safety and minor improvement schemes. Further information on the Operating Company contracts can be found at www.transportscotland.gov.uk/road/maintenance/operating-companies.

As well as the Operating Companies there are currently six individual Design, Build, Finance and Operate (DBFO) contracts. These contracts require that the Commissionaires take responsibility for all maintenance activities over 30-year concession period. Consequently, all DBFO activities are excluded from the lifecycle plans presented in this RAMP.

Performance Audit Group

The Performance Audit Group (PAG) is an independent private sector organisation, employed by Transport Scotland, that monitors the performance of the Operating Companies. PAG audits, monitors and reports on the financial, technical and performance aspects of the Operating Companies to a plan agreed with Transport Scotland. It also reviews payment requests from the Operating Companies, carries out inter-Unit comparisons and investigates if they are providing value for money when asked to do so by Transport Scotland. PAG’s objectives are to:

  • Make the most of public resources by delivering value for money.
  • Ensure the needs of road users are met.
  • Enable effective management of the trunk road asset.
  • Facilitate continuous improvement.
  • Encourage sustainability and reduce the impact on the environment.

The partnering ethos between Transport Scotland, the Operating Companies and PAG continues to pay dividends in terms of a mature and constructive working relationship between the parties. Further information about PAG can be found at www.performanceauditgroup.co.uk.

2.4 Investing in Transport Scotland’s Assets

To maintain an asset stock the size of the Scottish trunk road network takes a considerable investment, of both time and money. Figure 2.1 presents a distribution of how the trunk road asset management budget is spent across the main asset management activities. These asset management activities cover a wide range of maintenance activities, from inspections, to routine and cyclic maintenance, to structural maintenance and more substantial refurbishments and improvements.

Figure 2.1: 2014/15 Expenditure Grouped by Main Asset Management Activities

Figure 2.1: 2014/15 Expenditure Grouped by Main Asset Management Activities

Further details of our lifecycle activities for the main asset types and associated funding requirements to deliver them are given in Section 5 Lifecycle Planning, and Section 10 Financial Management and Valuation.

2.5 Developing our Approach to Asset Management

What is Asset Management?

We fully embrace the principles of asset management and the requirements set down in an international standard (International Organisation of Standardisation ISO 55001). Our definition of asset management is:

Asset management is the coordinated activities we use to manage our assets in order to maximise customer satisfaction, maintain high levels of safety, improve journey time reliability, manage risks, and enable delivery of our outcomes and priorities in the most efficient and sustainable manner.

Cover Example

Put more simply, asset management is doing the right things, at the right time and at the right price.

Importance of Asset Management

We see asset management as a means to deliver a more efficient and effective approach to the management of trunk road assets through longer-term planning. Such an approach enables more efficient and effective use of resources, while fulfilling legal obligations, delivering stakeholder needs and ensuring that the trunk road network remains safe.

The significant challenges we face have reinforced the view that a systematic process is needed to manage the trunk road asset. These include:

  • Increasing customer expectations for an accessible and available trunk road network and for safe and reliable journeys.
  • Managing and maintaining a road network that is resilient to damage from wear and tear and which is ageing and increasingly subjected to more traffic and severe weather.
  • Financial constraints placing more emphasis on the preservation of existing assets for the long-term with clear messages of ‘more for less’, ‘sweating the asset’ and ‘make the most of what you have’ that create a culture for making best use of existing assets.
  • Providing improved financial accountability and transparency and demonstrating that decisions made, and the resulting work, provide tax payers with good value for money.
  • Maximising the contribution of road maintenance to sustainability and the environment through appropriate material and construction choices.
  • Training and retaining staff in a competitive market and recruiting from a limited pool of skilled, experienced and qualified engineers and other specialist personnel.

Asset management provides a means to face these and similar challenges through the development of a coordinated and systematic approach that seeks to deliver the most efficient and effective approach over the long term. The full benefits of asset management will only be realised when it is embedded as our recognised and accepted way of working. To achieve this we continue to implement a long-term plan of asset management learning, development, implementation and continuous improvement as outlined in Section 9.

2.6 Asset Management Steering Group

In order to ensure appropriate governance and ownership of asset management within Transport Scotland, an Asset Management Steering Group has been set up to promote good practice, ensure continued commitment to asset management and review and update our planned programme of asset management improvements as required (see section 9.7). The remit of the group includes:

  • Endorse the current Asset Management Policy, Strategy and Plan, and set the direction of future policy/strategy.
  • Ensure that asset management processes are properly understood and embedded through effective training and communication.
  • Discuss annual customer survey findings and identify priorities for improvement.
  • Endorse regular ISO 55000 gap analyses of the organisation, review progress against the planned programme of improvements and endorse changes to the plan, if appropriate.