Road maintenance work was let in 2001 as four operating company contracts. The BEAR Scotland consortium, which comprises Babtie, Ennstone and Ringway, won the two contracts covering the north-east and north-west regions, valued at £215m, and Amey took the two contracts covering the South-east and South-west areas, worth £176m together. These contracts run for five years with an option to extend them by a further two years.
Work valued above £150,000 has to go to competitive tender. Major new road schemes are let under a competitive tender form of contract, some of which will be PFI deals. The largest of these is the £130m M77 project where work is expected to start on site in 2003.
Current and future projects
Following the July 2002 spending review, the Scottish Executive has been able to increase its investment in trunk roads and motorways. Expenditure in this area increased quite sharply in 2001/02, up almost 40%, and this trend is forecast to continue to 2005/06, although more in line with inflation.
Capital investment will rise over the next four years, from £89m in 2002/03 to £104m in 2003/04 and to £116m by 2005/06. Several large schemes have been let in 2002, including the £40m A1 Expressway between Haddington and Dunbar, and the £23m upgrade of the A8 at Baillieston. The largest Scottish road scheme let to date is the £130m project to build a new section of trunk road and motorway serving Glasgow. This scheme covers about 25 km of dual trunk road and motorway and work is expected to start on it in early 2003 with completion planned for 2005. The Scottish Executive has invited tenders for its £28m project to build a bypass on the A78 around Ardrossan, Saltcoats and Stevenston, and work on this scheme is expected to start next summer.
Plans are being developed for a second crossing over the river Forth, at Kincardine, and a much larger £250m extension to the M74. The latter would finish the northern extension of the M74 to Glasgow. Work is expected to start in 2006.
As of April 2001, the trunk road network in Scotland comprised 378 km of motorways, excluding slip roads, 481 km of dual-carriageway A roads and 2470 km of single carriageway A roads – a total of 3329 km. Adding motorway slip roads to this total would increase it by 159 km.
In August 2002, the Public Audit Group produced a review of the performance of the companies undertaking the new trunk road management and maintenance contracts. In broad terms, the companies, BEAR and Amey, had met their contractual agreements although there were some areas where improvements were required. Concerns were raised about the time taken to reach the service levels required in the contracts and about data collection. The PAG noted that, at the time of writing the report, these concerns were being addressed.
Chief roads engineer, trunk roads division John Howison Contact details
St Andrews House,
Edinburgh EH1 3DG
phone: 0131-556 8400
fax: 0131-244 1826
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Scottish Executive (trunk roads)