7. Our Resources

Scottish Trunk Road Network Asset Management Strategy: November 2018

7. Our Resources


The trunk road network is the single most valuable public asset in Scotland and we will continue to manage it as such.

We will continue to use a data driven approach to make the case for future investment in the network, to ensure it remains safe, serviceable and sustainable, whilst supporting sustainable economic growth.

Our asset management approach helps us understand when and where to spend our budgets, to maximise the value to tax payers and customers.

What is the value of our assets?

Each year we provide the Scottish Government with a valuation of our trunk road assets to determine their current monetary value. All government departments are required to operate their finances using resource accounting with their accounts reflecting the value of the assets under their management. This demonstrates value for money through direct links between investment in the network and changes in asset condition and asset value. This provides a robust business case for maintaining and enhancing funding levels and facilitates informed discussions with Scottish Ministers and other stakeholders.

  • To rebuild the network from new as of April 2018 would cost £23.4 billion
  • To replace it in current condition as of April 2018 would cost £17.4 billion

The methodology used to calculate these valuations complies with the International Financial Reporting Standards as expressed in the Financial Reporting Manual (FReM).

How are we funded?

Investment in the trunk road network is funded by the Scottish Government through capital and revenue budgets which are set out in Spending Reviews.

We have been able to develop a clear, long-term vision for managing the trunk road network and articulating the associated funding requirements to support sustainable economic growth. This has enabled additional capital maintenance funding based on solid asset management principles, robust asset data and sound lifecycle plans. Our ability to demonstrate a business case with good quality evidence alongside a track record of delivering value for money was integral to securing this additional funding.

How do we invest in our network and services?

We use information about the condition of our assets to identify and prioritise schemes of work to maintain and improve our network. We have also developed a clear value-management process, which considers safety, journey time and reliability, environmental factors, and value for money. This approach aligns to international best practice, ensuring effective and efficient investment.

What plans do we have for the future?

We will continue to use data to make a robust case to maintain and enhance the funding provided for trunk road maintenance. In addition, we will continue to develop new processes which identify future funding requirements and the consequences on asset condition.

Our People

We recognise that our people are the core of Transport Scotland, and everything we do.

Our plans to develop our asset management capability are centred around developing the capacity and capability of our staff.

Who is responsible for delivering asset management?

Transport Scotland's senior management and staff understand the benefits of asset management and are proactively taking steps to further embed asset management in their processes. It is a significant achievement to have aligned the working practices of over 100 professionals with our strategic approach. This also extends into our supply chain, including contractors responsible for delivering operations on the network, and external suppliers providing specialised goods and services.

How do we engage with our people?

We have a well-developed embedment programme in place to continue our asset management journey and ensure that the benefits of asset management are realised. This involves having a common understanding across our Directorate of our asset management improvement work, our Strategy, and delivery of our Strategy through our Road Asset Management Plan.

In 2017, Transport Scotland received sector-wide recognition of this embedment work, courtesy of the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation's Asset Management award. The focus on people was a critical factor in this success, in terms of upskilling and development of competences, and wider engagement with buy-in from all levels across the organisation and throughout the supply chain.

How do we develop our people and their skills?

The embedment programme has seen our staff and supply chain provided with appropriate asset management training and an understanding of the new tools and processes developed to support our long-term asset management strategy. We have a skills and competency framework for asset management roles, building on the Scottish Government's Skills for Success Framework. This aligns with ISO 55000 and the Institute of Asset Management (IAM) principles.

Support for our approach

The senior leadership team within the Roads Directorate supports the implementation of effective asset management and its key role in delivering Transport Scotland's priorities. They are committed to supporting the changes required within the organisation to ensure that asset management is fully and successfully embedded and continuing engagement with other road operators both in the UK and world-wide to share asset management knowledge and experience.

Our approach is to empower all our staff to carry out effective asset management. This culture is supported by senior management who promote the sharing of best practice and the identification of opportunities to improve the asset management regime. This fosters ownership and accountability across the teams delivering and enabling asset management. Staff throughout the organisation recognise the benefits of effective asset management, understand the achievements so far and continue to support further improvements.

Our future learning and development plans

Transport Scotland plans to build on the good work already done, developing the IAM competencies mapped to identified asset management roles, and tailored to our organisation. This will allow staff to further develop their capabilities in asset management, particularly those who join the organisation or from other roles within Transport Scotland.