The implications of landslides on the operation of the road
network and thus on the economy of Scotland were brought into sharp
focus in August 2004, when significant rainfall led to serious
events on roads in the north and west of Scotland.
Improving communications, enhancing the country’s
transport infrastructure and supporting a stable economy are vital
elements of the work of the Scottish Government and Transport
Scotland. For these reasons the importance of advancing our
understanding of landslides in Scotland was immediately
The Scottish Road Network Landslides Study, a programme of
detailed research, began immediately after the events of 2004 and
continues today. The study sets a benchmark in terms of the
assessment of such large areas at relatively large scale.
The results documented here provide us with a comprehensive
picture of the future risk of landslides in Scotland and the
evidence that we require to properly plan for and manage that risk,
reducing as far as possible the impact on our roads and road
This study has been delivered primarily by experts from
Scotland’s geotechnical community. They have drawn on their
own international experience, and that of others, and experience
from other disciplines, as appropriate. They have used technology
in innovative ways to achieve the objectives of the study. The body
of work produced places Scotland amongst other leading nations
involved in the study of landslides and landslide management. I
would like to thank all of those involved.
A number of the recommendations made in this study have already
been taken on board and activities are underway in key locations to
manage the exposure of road users to landslide hazards.
I believe that continued investment in this study, its
recommendations and the associated study of the broader
implications of climate change on the road network will ensure that
Scotland is well placed to deal effectively with landslide events
in the future.
Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change