local government

The Future of the UK Highways and Road Network

local government

08:45 - 16:20

Tuesday 23 April 2019

Central London

Early Bird Discount Offer

10% off all advertised rates for a limited time only. Discount available to public / voluntary organisations only


This Forum provides attendees with the opportunity to explore the future of the UK highways and road network. Delegates will be updated by policy makers and sector leaders in delivering road network improvement plans and government funding, including the governments £100m Pothole Action Fund. In addition, best practice case studies will share lessons on effectively reducing congestion through innovative technology and raising road network standards across the UK.


This forum is designed for Local Government and Local Enterprise Partnerships. Job titles will include:

  • Chief Executives
  • Heads of Economic Growth
  • Heads of Transport
  • Infrastructure Delivery Managers
  • Project Managers
  • Business Development Directors
  • Heads of Resources
  • Transport and Development Planner
  • Business Development Directors

This Forum is also open to the Private Sector to encourage networking and debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Sir Christopher Chope MP, Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Highways
  • Anthony Ferguson, Deputy Director, Traffic & Technology, Department for Transport
  • Elliot Shaw, Executive Director Strategy and Planning, Highways England 
  • Richard Coates, Deputy Director – Highways, Office of Rail and Road
  • Anthony Smith, Chief Executive, Transport Focus 
View the agenda and additional speakers


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair’s Welcome Address

Steve Gooding, Director, RAC Foundation (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Outlining the Current UK Road Network and Highways Landscape

  • Outlining the current landscape of road and highways improvements across the UK
  • Highlighting the work of the All Party Parliamentary Highways Group in supporting road improvements across the UK
  • Understanding the importance of local authorities working together with government departments to improve road and highway conditions
  • Examining the current challenges facing the transport sector regarding road and highway improvements and the next steps needed to ensure these issues are effectively tackled

Sir Christopher Chope MP, Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Highways (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Outlining the Government's Future Vision for the UK's Road Network

  • Outlining the steps that the Department for Transport will be taking to help local transport authorities tackle congestion
  • Discussing the impact the £200 million road funding investment will have on UK infrastructure and how it will impact local councils and help them to make improvements
  • Sharing guidance on how local authorities should utilise transport funding to increase connectivity within towns and cities to improve user experiences and decrease congestion
  • Exploring how local councils can utilise the Self Assessment Questionnaire to gain funding to improve road infrastructure

Anthony Ferguson, Deputy Director, Traffic & Technology, Department for Transport (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Eliminating Death and Serious Injuries on Roads Through Vision Zero

  • Outlining TfL’s Vision Zero approach to eradicating deaths and serious injuries on roads in London by 2041
  • Exploring the proposed plans put forward by the Mayor of London and TfL to improve road safety such as speed restrictions within the congestion zone and creating a Safer Junctions programme
  • Understanding the impact that new safety measures will have on freight vehicles, taxis and buses
  • Discussing how to encourage safer road behaviours from pedestrians and cyclists, including raising standards of road user education

Simon Bradbury, Senior Delivery Planning Manager, Transport for London (TfL)  (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Effectively Reducing Congestion Through A Key Route Network

  • Outlining the aims of the Congestion Management Plan for the West Midlands including road investments and improving road safety
  • Sharing guidance on establishing A Key Route Network Framework to improve local connectivity across the West Midlands
  • Exploring how Transport for the West Midlands(TfWM)will work in partnership with the Police and Crime Commissioners to improve road safety across the region
  • Discussing the lessons learnt from TfWM’s trial of using mobile technology to encourage the use of public transport with the goal of reducing congestion

Cllr Roger Lawrence, Transport Portfolio Holder, City of Wolverhampton (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Implementing Road Network Improvements Across the UK

  • Outlining the key findings of The Strategic Road Network Initial Report (SRNIR) recommendations for Road Period 2 (2020-2025)
  • Understanding how Highways England will utilise intelligent networks to improve UK road infrastructure through the use of connective vehicles and drones
  • Sharing the lessons learnt from the Highways England Delivery Plan Update 2018 to 2019, including the significant network improvements such as the Lower Thames Crossing
  • Highlighting the next steps for improving UK road networks leading up to 2020

Elliot Shaw, Executive Director Strategy and Planning, Highways England (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Monitoring Efficiency and Delivery of the Road Investment Strategy

  • Examining how the ORR hold Highways England to account and ensure they deliver their 2020 strategy on time and ensure value for money
  • Expanding on the ORR’s role in the second Road Investment Strategy including the Efficiency Review and monitoring Highways England’s performance at delivering RIS2
  • Discussing how possible efficiency improvements can be made when making road improvements and how to implement this on a local level
  • Outlining the key findings of the ORR review of Highways England’s capital delivery plan and exploring the next steps for this strategy up to 2020

David Hunt, Head of Economics and Policy, Highways, Office of Rail and Road (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Utilising Pothole Funding to Improve Road Standards

  • Exploring how Lincolnshire County Council will utilise the extra £13.7 million funding to effectively repair potholes
  • Discussing how the Council will use their Highways Infrastructure Asset Management Plan and how this will affect their approach for repairing potholes
  • Understanding the challenges faced when tackling potholes over 5,500 miles of road, including placing temporary traffic lights or road closures
  • Sharing guidance on how working in partnership with local business, local councils and government will help to reduce the damage from potholes

Cllr Richard Davies, Executive Member of Highways, Lincolnshire County Council (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Utilising Data to Improve Traffic Management

  • Sharing guidance on how Leeds City Council successfully bid for the National Infrastructure Commission funding
  • Examining how the data generated from digitally connected cars has been used by Leeds City Council to improve traffic light systems
  • Highlighting the key lessons learnt so far when utilising data as a method to improve traffic management, such as how best to reduce congestion and tailbacks
  • Discussing the next steps for Leeds City Council in relation to the digitalisation of their transport networks

Joel Dodsworth, Urban Traffic Management and Control Manager, Leeds City Council (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Reducing Road Improvement Times Through A Lane Rental Scheme

  • Exploring how Kent County Council implemented a lane rental scheme to improve road work repair times
  • Assessing how successful the lane rental scheme has been in reducing the amount of time road repairs take
  • Understanding how Kent Council have utilised the revenue produced from this scheme to fund additional projects to further improve roads across the county
  • Sharing the lessons learnt from the success of this scheme and how it has helped to reduce the impact of road works whilst producing an economic benefit for the council

Simon Jones, Director of Highways, Transportation and Waste, Kent County Council (invited)


Closing Keynote: Reviewing the UK's Current Road Network

  • Exploring the state of user satisfaction with UK roads and highways and what local authorities can do to improve the user experience of roads
  • Understanding how Transport Focus and Highways England have worked in partnership to improve road surface quality to maximise user satisfaction
  • Assessing users’ experience of smart motorways and the recommendations that Transport Focus have made to ensure road users’ experiences are impacting improvements

Anthony Smith, Chief Executive, Transport Focus (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Chairs Summary and Close

*programme subject to change

According to a report by Transport Focus, the independent Road User watchdog, road user satisfaction for 2017-2018 was below Highways England’s target of 90% set by the Government in the road investment strategy. With traffic on motorways and major roads having grown by over 50% since 1993 and forecast to continuing growing by another 31% by 2041, it is becoming increasingly important to continuously improve the UK’s road networks. Improving road networks can help to save lives, reduce congestion and impact user experiences, so it is imperative that this becomes the focus of infrastructure improvements.

The most recent Budget announcement resulted in an allocation of £28.8bn of funding to UK roads to undertake necessary improvements to England’s highways between 2020 and 2025. With 1 in 5 roads in the UK being classified as structurally poor this has become a priority for the Government.

Local authorities are being incentivised by the government to self-assess their road infrastructure improvements through the use of the Highways Maintenance Capital Funding Self-Assessment Questionnaire. This aims to help local authorities to undertake minor repairs to bridges and highways and repair potholes. It is vital that local authorities and local enterprise partnerships across England work together to improve highways and roads; failure to do so could lead to compromised road safety and lower driver satisfaction.

Anthony Smith, Chief Executive, Transport Focus

Anthony Smith is Chief Executive of Transport Focus the independent statutory consumer watchdog for Britain’s rail passengers, users of the Strategic Road Network and bus, coach and tram passengers outside London.

Transport Focus uses its substantial evidence base to drive change for all transport users. Anthony qualified as a solicitor then worked for five years as principal consumer lawyer for the Consumers’ Association, publishers of Which? This was followed by a year as the legal consultant for Consumers International, a worldwide federation of consumer groups.

Prior to joining Transport Focus, Anthony was deputy and acting director of ICSTIS, the then regulator of premium rate telephone services. Anthony is a member of the Civil Aviation Authority’s Consumer Panel.

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