Transport minister launches review of Scotland's roads

Image caption,
The review follows a critical report of the state of Scotland's road

Scotland's transport minister has launched a review of Scotland's roads after a report found more than a third were in an unacceptable condition.

Keith Brown said he had accepted the main recommendations of an Audit Scotland report into the condition of both local and strategic roads.

Audit Scotland found the maintenance backlog for repairs had risen to £2.25bn.

The review is expected to lead to a road maintenance summit in the autumn.

The national review will look at how the road network is managed and maintained, including how the Scottish government can work better with local authorities.

The review is expected to consider opportunities for better collaboration between local authorities and with Transport Scotland, and will be taken forward jointly by Transport Scotland, local authority umbrella group Cosla and the Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland.

Mr Brown said Scotland's road network played a vital role in supporting Scotland's economy by getting people to work and ensuring businesses operated effectively.

'Limited resources'

He added: "I welcome the central recommendations of the Audit Scotland report, particularly to explore how local authorities can work better with each other and with the Scottish government to make limited resources go further.

"In doing so, I want to look closely at whether international expertise and technological advances can bring greater efficiencies in the way we manage our roads."

The Audit Scotland report, which examined progress on implementing the recommendations made in a previous audit published in 2004, found only 63% of the country's roads were in acceptable condition.

The cost of the maintenance backlog had also increased by £1bn to £2.25bn since 2004.

Mr Brown said: "The review will be undertaken over the course of the summer and is expected to report in the autumn with a road maintenance summit proposed to discuss its findings.

"Meantime, we will continue to deliver an extensive programme of maintenance and improvement works on our trunk roads and motorways and address the challenge of improving Scotland's roads infrastructure as we move forward."

Scottish Labour, the Scottish Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Conservatives all welcomed the review announcement.

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