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Highway Structures

The council is responsible for over 740 bridges located throughout West Lothian.


Of these, some 594 bridges are managed and maintained by the council. The remainder are managed and maintained by bodies such as Transport Scotland, Network Rail, Scottish Canals and Sustrans.

The Structures team manage and maintain highway structures within West Lothian, so as to provide structures that are safe to use, fit for purpose and meet agreed performance targets.


West Lothian Council currently carries out visual inspections (general inspections) of structures every two years and more detailed inspections (principal inspections) every six years.

Results of these inspections are used to establish, cost and prioritise future maintenance programmes.

Bridge Management System

The bridge stock is managed using the Confirm Structures Database, which holds details of all council bridges. Inspection Reports are also held in this database together with details of the Condition Indicator for each bridge.


Maintenance work undertaken by the Structures Team is normally identified through the General and Principal Inspection Programme. However, reports from members of the public are also valuable in identifying necessary bridge work. Defects to structures are rated according to their extent and severity.

Accidental Damage

Accidental damage is mainly caused by vehicular impact. This often results in damage to bridge parapets or, in the case of over height vehicles, damage to the bridge deck.

Listed Structures

There are currently 31 listed bridges in West Lothian. When we undertake works to any listed structure we are required to consult with the Councils Planning section and also Historic Environment Scotland in order to ensure that what we are proposing to do and the materials we plan to use are suitable.

Reporting Damage to Structures

You can report damage to any structure in West Lothian by contacting the Council's 24 hour Customer Services Centre on 01506 280000. A brief description of the damage and location of the structure is very useful in helping us identify the relevant structure.

Building a Bridge or Retaining Wall in West Lothian

If you have plans to build a road, pedestrian bridge or retaining wall which you wish to be maintained by the council, the leaflet -  Building a Bridge in West Lothian [310KB]  sets out our requirements. The leaflet is a step by step guide through the technical approval process, from design to adoption. Copies of the necessary standard forms and certificates are available to give an idea of what is required and can be downloaded below:

The Structures Team  is responsible for the following;

  • the management and maintenance of highway structures;
  • regular inspections e.g. general and principal inspections of highway structures;
  • routine/preventative and essential maintenance;
  • upgrading and replacement works;
  • management of sub-standard bridges;
  • assessment and strengthening;
  • design, specification, contractor procurement, site supervision and project management of bridge works;
  • abnormal loads routing;
  • graffiti cleaning on highway structures;


Assets managed by the Structures Team include:

  • Road, Rail and Canal Bridges
  • Footbridges
  • Underpasses
  • Culverts
  • Retaining Walls

The bridge stock comprises masonry, concrete, steel, timber and composite structures.

M8 and M9 Motorway maintenance

Customers who wish to report new road defects, gritting issues, potholes, litter etc. on the M8 and M9 trunk roads should contact BEAR Scotland (opens new window)  via the following details:

The contract to maintain the M8 and M9 Motorways, slip roads and overbridges was awarded by Transport Scotland (opens new window)  to Bear Scotland in August 2020 for a minimum period of eight years until at least 2028 (Previously these trunk roads were maintained by Amey).

Partnership Working

West Lothian Council currently works in partnership with other structure owners and partner organisations including:

The council is also a member of the Society of Chief Officers of Transport in Scotland (SCOTS) Bridges Group.