Road Safety Defect Management

All Scottish Roads Authorities implement the guidance contained in “Well Maintained Highways: Code of Practice for Highway Maintenance Management, July 2005”. However, each authority applies the guidance in different ways, often due to established local practice and resources. The guidance requires each authority to prioritise inspection and repair of defects to road infrastructure, and this varies considerably between councils. There is clear potential to make financial savings through agreeing a consistent approach across the country.


Failure to repair defects can sometimes lead to public liability insurance claims from drivers and pedestrians. Whilst these claims will be robustly defended legally by each council, the case can be weakened when individual councils do things differently.


This project sought to develop a consistent interpretation of the Code of Practice, which would be agreed by all Scottish Roads Authorities during 2015.


The key features of the project were:


  • Standardisation of interpretation of the national Code of Practice
  • Common categorisation of defects
  • Common inspection regime (including training)


A draft guidance document was developed and passed to SCOTS Roads Group in March 2015. The project is now being taken forward by SCOTS, and will recognise the forthcoming new UK Codes of Practice.


Angus Bodie
Programme Manager

Tel. 07794 762863

Email Angus


Shaun Millar

Project Officer

Tel. 01506 283837

Email Shaun