Date lodged: 24 May 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has undertaken on how the condition of pavements, footpaths and roads impacts on the confidence and mobility of older people.
Answered by: Humza Yousaf 7 June 2018
The Scottish Government is committed to working with local government to help improve the condition and safety of roads and footpaths in Scotland for all road users, including older people.
Ipsos Mori gathers road user’s views in the ‘Perceptions of the Trunk Road Network in Scotland’ survey on behalf of Transport Scotland. This includes questions relating to general satisfaction with condition of road surfaces and footways. In addition, specific questions are asked regarding satisfaction with the availability of footways, pedestrian crossing points, dropped kerbs and the provision of lighting on footways. In 2017, the majority of respondents were satisfied with all these aspects.
The results of these surveys support the overall Customer Care objective for the Trunk Road Network in Transport Scotland’s Performance Management Framework. In addition, the results inform where changes in budget allocations may help to achieve the desired performance.
Overall, Transport Scotland’s budget for maintenance of the trunk road network has increased by around £65 million to £433 million for 2018/19. Transport Scotland’s operating companies also have a contractual obligation to inspect the trunk road network at 7-day intervals to identify any defects that require prompt attention (Category 1 defects) because they present, or could present, an immediate hazard to road users.
In addition, walked detailed footway/cycleway inspections are also carried out at regular intervals (with frequencies based on the level of usage of the footway/cycleway). The surface of roads is also subject to an annual detailed inspection.
Transport Scotland also seeks to ensure that the design, construction, operation and maintenance of our trunk road infrastructure create an environment which can be used by everyone regardless of age or disability. In partnership with our colleagues in the Roads for All Forum, which includes representatives from a range of accessibility and disability groups, we have focused on delivering a trunk road network accessible to all. To this end we have set aside £2 million within the current financial year specifically to address barriers to accessibility on the trunk road network.