local government

The Future of the UK Highways and Road Network

local government

08:45 - 16:20

Tuesday 23 April 2019

America Square Conference Centre, Central London

This Forum provides attendees with the opportunity to explore the future of the UK highways and road network. Delegates will discuss updates to funding such as the governments £100m Pothole Action Fund as well as hear from policy makers and sector leaders on how to deliver road improvement plans. In addition, best practice case studies will share lessons on effectively reducing congestion through innovative technology, creating key 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:
  • 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 
  • Darryl Eyers, Director of Economy, Infrastructure and Skills, Staffordshire County Council and Vice President, Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) 
  • Cllr Richard Davies, Executive Member of Highways, Lincolnshire County Council 
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

  • Sharing the vision for the future of mobility within the UK outlined in the Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy report published in March 2019
  • Discussing the future impact of connected and autonomous vehicles and what we are learning from the programme of trials and research projects across the UK
  • Exploring the work that DfT are doing to encourage smarter traffic management including the role of data 
  • Outlining the steps that the Department for Transport will be taking to help highway authorities get the most from their networks and tackle congestion

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


Sponsored Session: The Future of Connected Asset Management

The event is The Future of Highways but what does it look like? You might expect me to say the IoT, Smart Cities, connected asset management, a risk based approach, end to end lifecycle planning.. But what does all this actually mean? What will it look like? I could go through each of those things in turn but really, they’re all aiming to achieve the same thing, getting the best value from the money we spend. And remember, this isn’t just local authority money or Highways England money, this is all of our money, this is tax payers money.

I can then bring it to life a little with some examples of what the future will look like and end by saying how we’re talking about the future, but in reality, this is all possible now.

Adrian Hull, Strategic Consultant, Infrastructure Asset Management, Yotta (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


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

  • Outlining the Mayor of London and TfL’s Vision Zero approach to eradicating deaths and serious injuries on London’s roads by 2041
  • Exploring the proposed plans put forward reduce road danger, such as lower speed limits within the Congestion Charging Zone and creation of a Direct Vision Standard for Heavy Goods Vehicles
  • 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: 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)


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 holds 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
  • The role of benchmarking in ORR’s work 

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


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


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: Reducing Road Improvement Times Through Collaborative Working

  • Assessing how Staffordshire County Council utilised funding from Innovate UK to develop the Staffordshire Connected Roadworks Project 
  • Exploring how this project helped to streamline highways maintenance work
  • Understanding how creating a collaborative working environment helped to optimise roadworks and increase user satisfaction
  • Discussing how technology helped to transform the services Staffordshire County Council offered through the Smart City platform
  • Sharing the lessons learnt from the success of this scheme and how it has helped to reduce roadwork times and increase economic benefits

Darryl Eyers, Director of Economy, Infrastructure and Skills, Staffordshire County Council and Vice President, Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT)  (CONFIRMED)


Closing Keynote: Reviewing the UK's Current Road Network

  • Exploring the state of user satisfaction with England’s Strategic Road Network and what highway 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. Highways England, in partnership with Innovate UK, have launched a £20 million project to revolutionise the maintenance and construction of the UK’s major roads and motorways. This project aims to improve the quality of journeys, increase road safety and encourage a more intelligent use of vehicles across the UK’s road networks. 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.

Simon Bradbury, Delivery Planning Manager- Vision Zero, Transport for London

Simon Bradbury leads the road danger reduction team in Transport for London. The team has responsibility for setting London’s Vision Zero strategy and ensuring London remains on track to deliver reductions in fatal and serious casualties. Simon has more than 15 years experience in transport planning and policy, in particular focusing on casualty reduction, cycling, walking and sustainable transport more generally. His experience includes more than ten years at TfL as well as senior level roles in transport consultancy and with local authorities. Key projects Simon has led on include managing Vision Zero strategy at TfL, travel demand management for the Olympic and Paralympic Games and planning delivery of key London cycling programmes.

Anthony Ferguson, Deputy Director, Traffic & Technology, Department for Transport

Anthony Ferguson has been in charge of the Traffic & Technology team in the Department since 2015. This role encompasses traditional traffic management policy, i.e. things like streetworks, parking and traffic signs, as well as exploring the potential for new technology and innovation to improve the lot of road users. A career civil servant in DfT and its many other incarnations, previous roles included bus and taxi policy, managing the Crossrail hybrid Bill, development of government policy on airport expansion and helping to create the Greater London Authority before the first Mayoral elections in 2000.

Darryl Eyers, Director for Economy, Infrastructure and Skills, Staffordshire County Council

Darryl Eyers is the Director for Economy, Infrastructure and Skills at Staffordshire County Council. His role covers: Economic Development, Highways and Infrastructure, Transport, Waste, Strategic Planning, Skills for Employment, Apprenticeships and Adult & Community Learning. He is also the Vice President of the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) with his Presidency starting in Summer 2019: www.adeptnet.org.uk. He has worked at Staffordshire County Council for 17 years progressing through a range of senior roles across the organisation. Darryl has recently become a parent for the first time and is trying his best to not look tired.

Cllr Roger Lawrence, Transport Portfolio Holder, City of Wolverhampton

Roger is the Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council and the Wolverhampton Labour Group.  Roger was first elected in 1983.  As Leader Roger is also the Chair of the Cabinet, the decision making body at the Council.

Prior to being elected to St Peter’s ward Roger worked for Sandwell MBC and as a researcher for a number of Universities. He was educated at Millbrook School, New York and St Catharine’s College, Cambridge.

He has an MA in Community Studies from Keele, and an Msc in Policy Studies from Bristol. He has a D Soc Sci from the University of Bristol for a study of Cross Border Collaboration in Central and Eastern Europe.

Roger cites local democracy, urban regeneration, regional development, organisational and structural change and social inclusion as his main political interests. He has published on European Structural Funds, the Voluntary Sector, and Citizenship.

Roger is the transport lead for the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA). Roger is supported by the Co-operative Party and supports co-operative principles.

Elliot Shaw, Executive Director of Strategy and Planning, Highways England

Elliot Shaw is Executive Director of Strategy and Planning at Highways England, the company that operates, maintains and enhances England’s 4,300 miles of motorways and major A-roads. Within Highways England, Elliot has responsibility for the development of strategy for England’s strategic road network, the company’s organisational transformation agenda, its analytical and economist functions and the relationships with key statutory and regulatory bodies, including the Office for Rail and Road and Transport Focus.

Before joining Highways England, Elliot was a civil servant at the Ministry of Justice and Department for Transport. Prior to this, Elliot was a management consultant, working in Accenture’s UK and US strategy practices.

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

Richard Coates is Deputy Director for highways at the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). He has 20 years’ experience within infrastructure and regulation. He previously held senior roles at the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets, leading teams in the electricity distribution and transmission price controls.


Richard joined ORR in 2010, initially leading the review of Network Rail’s asset management, and associated expenditure plans. He currently leads ORR’s monitoring of Highways England’s performance and efficiency, and its work informing the development of the next Road Investment Strategy.

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

Previously a transport planner at WSP, Joel now manages the UTMC section of Leeds City Council. A keen interest in how traffic signal optimisation could be improved led to him undertaking a PhD on the subject and the outcomes of his research formed the basis of the successful Leeds City Council Roads for the Future competition entry. Joel is particularly interested in how CAV technology can be used as the catalyst to provide transformational change to the way the road network is used.


You May Also Like