A new report by the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) identifies the Scottish Trunk Road Network (TRN) as a major infrastructure asset and contributor to the country’s economy.
The TRL report The Value of the Trunk Road Network to Society and the Economy in Scotland, identified that the TRN contributes around £1.38bn (US$1.7bn) of approximate gross value added (aGVA) to the Scottish economy each year through a variety of sectors, including freight and public transport, as well as supporting more than 31,000 jobs in Scotland, including those in the construction and maintenance industries.
The wider benefits for society are also brought to the fore, and the report underlines that the network enhances connectivity, particularly for rural and remote communities where the major roads help improve access to education, employment and healthcare. The new research was commissioned by the Scottish Road Research Board, which is a partnership between Transport Scotland, the Society of Chief Officers for Transportation in Scotland, and the Scottish Road Works Commissioner.
Speaking at a recent conference on transport and infrastructure in Edinburgh, Scotland’s Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, said, “We have always known that Scotland’s trunk road network supports some of our key industries, like tourism and food and drink, and this report puts a value on that, underlining the importance of this national asset. The Scottish government and Transport Scotland are firmly committed to the operation of our strategic roads and, by the end of this financial year, we will have spent more than £8.2bn (US$10.2bn) to make sure they are safe and efficient, with 23 major improvements projects, and more than 250 lane-km (155 lane-miles) of trunk road constructed since 2007.”
Matt Sercombe, TRL’s infrastructure director, commented, “Working alongside Transport Scotland, we developed the Value of the Trunk road network to Society and the Economy (VaTSE) economic analysis tool to provide a quantitative way of describing the economic and social benefit of the TRN to Scotland. As one of the major infrastructure assets in the country, it is a real advantage that its contribution to the economy can be highlighted. Such reports are vital to secure the future of the UK’s transport infrastructure, and highlight the areas where they are working, need improvement, and future proofing.”