Amount spent on changes made to incorporate Gaelic translations: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested


Can you please tell me how much money has been spent by the Scottish Government re-painting all signposts, ambulances, police cars and indeed every change made to incorporate the Gaelic translation.




I enclose a copy of the information you requested.

The answer to your question is

Transport Scotland costs associated with Gaelic Signage


As with the majority of work to implement the unified ScotRail brand across the rail network, the introduction of the Gaelic language has taken place during ScotRail’s routine maintenance cycles with all costs being met by ScotRail from existing budgets.  As a result, no significant costs have been incurred by the Scottish taxpayer in relation to this work.  However, there was a marginal cost of £1,646.25 (in 2010) this was in relation to trademark protection of several Gaelic elements. 


In relation to Transport Scotland expenditure, I can confirm that Transport Scotland maintain a membership with Gaelic Place Names, who provide the organisation with researched and proofed place name translations.  This membership is paid at a rate of £2,000 per annum.   

Information on the amount spent on the construction and maintenance of bilingual signage is not held but I can confirm that Transport Scotland has directly spent the following on Gaelic signage or material in the past three years:

Gaelic identity work - £3,476.15 (excl. VAT)

Gaelic Translation – “A seatbelt can save a child’s life. And it’s the law” - £34.50 (excl. VAT).

Total: £3,510.65 (excl. VAT).

It may be helpful to note that in the period 2002 to 2010, over £2 million was invested in providing signs on the A87, A887, A830, A835, A828, A85, A82 and A83.  This policy was agreed with Highland and Argyll & Bute Councils in 2002.   

Transport Scotland does plan to introduce bilingual signs on the A9 as part of the dueling process as an extension of this policy.  We will take forward a strategy for implementation of bilingual signs on the A9 primarily on the basis of opportunities created by programmed improvement works or planned maintenance.  This provides an affordable and cost effective way of extending the bilingual signs policy.


With regards to the public ferry service contracts with CalMac and Serco Northlink Ferries (SNF) Transport Scotland do not hold this information and I would therefor refer you to the operators.

Caledonian Macbrayne

Serco Northlink Ferries

Ambulances, Police Cars

In relation to the above Transport Scotland do not hold this information and I would therefor respectfully request that you contact the relevant authorities.

Scottish Ambulance Service

Police Scotland


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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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