local government

UK Highways and Road Networks: Improving Standards and Connectivity

local government

08:45 - 16:00

Wednesday 15 April 2020

Central London

Early Bird Discount Offer: Use discount code SVTCPT9 to receive a 10% discount on your booking for a limited time only! *Discount does not apply to private sector organisations.

This Forum provides attendees with the opportunity to explore the future of the UK highways and road network. Delegates will discuss the latest policy updates, such as the evaluation of the Road Investment Strategy 1 and the move towards phase 2. In addition, best practice case studies will share lessons on implementing innovative technology into road networks, creating major local road networks and raising road network standards through a reduction in potholes and road damage 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:

  • Anthony Ferguson,  Deputy Director, Traffic & Technology, Department for Transport
  • Elliot Shaw, Executive Director for Strategy and Planning, Highways England
  • Martin Tugwell, President, Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation
View the agenda and additional speakers

According to the RAC Foundation there are 38.7 million vehicles licensed to use roads within the UK in 2019. The road networks within the UK carry 90% of passenger journeys and nearly 70% of freight journeys meaning it is imperative to the UK economy that road networks must be improved and maintained.

The Road Investment Strategy (RIS 1) was launched in 2014, it set out the long term goals for 2015-2020 including investing £15.2 billion in to major road schemes to improve the existing networks. It also set out additional goals of improving networks for cyclists, reduce the noise impacts of motorways and prevent death and serious injury on road networks.

The Department for Transport concluded a consultation on the UK’s Strategic Road Network (SRN) in February 2018. This consultation saw a split in opinions about whether increased investment in the road network and others that favoured investment in existing networks. Following this consultation the Department for Transport published a draft version of their Road Investment Strategy 2 which established the governments goals for the next 5 years, including representing users, supporting housing and economic growth whilst improving safety and maintenance.

It was announced in March 2019 that Councils across England would be allocated an additional £50 million to repair potholes and improve flood resilience across road networks. This funding is in conjunction with £151 million in extra allocations to reward councils for best practice in road repairs. After the success of the 2015 and 2017 local highways maintenance funding, the government announced that they will be launching 2019 and 2020 funding rounds equalling £198 million. This fund enables local highways authorities to bid for major projects in England that would otherwise be difficult to fund through usual formula funding.

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.


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 (invited)


Special Keynote: Outlining the Impact of New Technology on UK Road Networks

  • Understanding the five areas most likely to impact road transport and technology in the UK including; vehicle automation, connectivity, electric vehicles, new mobility models and an increase in the utilisation of data
  • Discussing the current landscape for connected vehicles within the UK and how data flows need to be created to support the rise in connected and automated vehicles
  • Highlighting how traffic authorities and local governments can ensure that smart motorways are suitable for the use of autonomous vehicles
  • Outlining the recent release of updated guidance from DfT, Traffic Signs Manual, and the impact that this will have on traffic signals and road markings on UK highway networks
  • Sharing guidance on how local authorities can work in partnership with Highways England to bring autonomy to their local road network

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


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Improving Road Infrastructure by Utilising Innovative Technology

  • Understanding how Buckinghamshire County Council successfully won £4.5 million of funding from the ADEPT SMART Places Live Labs programme which aims to implement digital innovations for local transport networks
  • Discussing how Buckinghamshire County Council will trial smart road technology with the aim of generating energy piezoelectricity and hydromechanical dynamics from cars and utilising this to power local street lamps and pollution monitors
  • Outlining how these innovations will help the local area to reduce traffic congestion, reduce costs by tracking imperfections in the road surface and whilst being environmentally friendly
  • Exploring how this trial has the potential to impact national and international practices for establishing local road networks

Councillor Mark Shaw, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Transport, Buckinghamshire County Council (invited)


Case Study: Working in Partnership to Deliver Major Road Improvement Schemes

  • Outlining how South Gloucestershire Council and Bristol City Council were awarded £12.6 million from the Department for Transport’s Local Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund to make vital improvements and enhancements to the local road network
  • Understanding how the two councils worked in partnership to minimise disruption to road users and provide high quality improvements ahead of schedule and within budget
  • Highlighting how the councils worked with local road users to ensure that funding was utilised in a way that maximised the benefits for both businesses and local communities
  • Discussing how this maintenance work aimed to reduce future maintenance work on local roads by improving road drainage through the implementation of an innovative rolling crown design

Jon Munslow, Place, Asset and Infrastructure Manager, South Gloucestershire Council (invited)


Case Study: Incorporating Cycling Routes into Local Road Networks to Improve Sustainable Transport

  • Understanding how Southampton City Council launched their ten-year cycling strategy in 2017 as a way of modernising its key strategic transport links and improve sustainability within the city
  • Outlining how the council have invested over £11 million in to cycling infrastructure in order to increase the amount of people using cycling as a means of traveling to key employment hubs
  • Discussing how Cycle Freeways were established to allow cyclists to travel along major routes safely by segregating users from other road traffic
  • Highlighting the challenges faced when implementing this cycle strategy, including designing routes that bypass busy trading estates whilst ensuring safety measures where in place for cyclists and pedestrians

Councillor Jacqui Rayment, Cabinet Member for Place and Transport, Deputy Leader, Southampton City Council (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Delivering the Road Investment Strategy 2- What to Expect

  • Outlining the key Strategic Road Network users including; freight, public transport and cyclists, and the different needs that each group have and how these will be fulfilled through the RIS2
  • Understanding how Highways England delivered £3.8 billion of investment between 2018-2019 and the impact that this has had on the strategic road network within the UK
  • Discussing the role that technology will play in improving road networks in an emerging technology landscape including connected vehicles and digital infrastructure
  • Highlighting the key objectives within the RIS2 including the Northern Trans-Pennine corridors, the Oxford to Cambridge expressway and improvements to the M25 South-West quadrant

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


Special Keynote: Monitoring and Assessing Road Delivery Improvements Across the UK

  • Understanding the ORR’s role in monitoring the improvements to England’s Strategic Road Network and ensuring Highways England operate efficiently
  • Outlining the key targets, set by ORR, for Highways England to achieve before the implementation of the RIS2, including improving user satisfaction, reducing noise and maintaining network conditions
  • Exploring the ORR’s role in assisting government on road issues and providing advice on the current and future performance of Highways England
  • Sharing the lessons learned from the review process of the RIS1, including risk management, and the applications this will have for any reviews of the RIS2

Richard Coates, Deputy Director – Highways, Office of Rail and Road (invited)


Special Keynote: Improving Local Road and Highway Networks

  • Outlining the CIHT’s review in to Improving Local Highway funding and operation across the UK and the latest findings from this, including the need for a new approach to maintenance
  • Exploring the importance of understanding the current state of road networks to help identify the amount of investment and time needed to improve and maintain these vital channels
  • Discussing the role of local authorities in improving the local highways network, including the opportunities presented by collaborative working

Martin Tugwell, President, Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Utilising Funding to Implement Preventative Measures for Potholes

  • Outlining how Surrey County Council utilised over £1 million worth of funding from the government’s Pothole Action Fund to implement a preventative programme
  • Highlighting how they used a variety of methods to combat potholes, including hand lay repairs, machine repairs, jet patching, Rejuvophalt and thermal patching
  • Discussing how this programme was effective in removing or preventing over 40,000 defects on the roads and preventing approximately 22,000 potholes in the year 2018/2019
  • Exploring how implementing preventative measures will allow Surrey County Council to maintain the local road network and lessen the impact of severe weather events

Lucy Monie, Head of Highways & Transport, Surrey County Council (invited)


Closing Keynote: Exploring the Role of Local Authorities in Implementing Connected Transport

  • Outlining the current challenges facing local authorities in relation to Connected Transport including, procurement, big data and lack of specialist knowledge
  • Encouraging local authorities to work with local businesses and academia to create mutually beneficial relationships to establish smart mobility innovations at scale
  • Exploring what the future of national and local road networks may look like and how this will impact the movement of people and goods across the UK
  • Understanding what local authorities can be doing to encourage the implementation of connected transport, including engaging with data schemes such as the Transport Data Initiative

Karla Jakeman, Connected Transport Innovation Lead, Innovate UK (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Chairs Summary and Close

*programme subject to change

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