Drone photo A591 of credit Gaist Solutions Ltd

Technology meets Highways at WRA Congress in Glasgow 31 Oct – 1st November 2016

This years’ World Road Association (WRA) UK Congress in Glasgow, 31st October (Dinner Debate) and 1st November (Congress), provides a unique insight into the UK and international progress toward risk-based resilience for managing our highways assets.

Assessing damage to the A591 using drone technology
Credit: Gaist Solutions Ltd

Much of our highway network (particularly the local road network) is demanding more intensive maintenance due to age and general deterioration. We are also needing to manage the impacts of adverse and exceptional weather conditions on the condition of our networks.

These technical challenges demand better risk / scenario modelling for climate, and understanding use of our highways networks, so we can prioritise our maintenance activities to create best value.

Set against this context, those traditionally responsible for managing our highways assets need sight of the technological disruptions from outside the sector, which have the potential to help us deliver a more effective highways network.

Moving from the traditional model of managing a technical product, we are shifting to embrace an understanding of our highways as a service. In this context, we must look at that the technologies we can utilise to help us manage the highways asset more effectively.

‘Managing networks in a challenging climate’ is this year’s keynote speech, by WRA First Delegate and CEO of Transport Scotland Roy Brannen.

In-keeping with the WRA congress ethos of bringing together top UK government officials with UK industry representatives and international speakers, the event provides:

  1. UK Government position, with Graham Pendlebury (Director, Local Transport, Department for Transport, and Chair of UK Roads Liaison Group), and Nicola Debnam (Asset Management Director, Highways England)
  2. An international panel with representatives from United States, Norway, Belgium, France and New Zealand sharing their viewpoints on asset management and wider resilience, and taking questions from the audience
  3. Insights into potential ‘Special Projects’ the WRA are supporting, given their significance worldwide, including:

4. How to manage risk, resilience and delivery

  • UK Roads Liaison Group (UKRLG) outlining the shift to a risk-based approach, Lila Tachtsi, Atkins, and Vice Chair of WRA UK (Note: the UKRLG updated Code of Practice will be published on 28th October 2016)
  • Flood risk management – David Porter, Department for Infrastructure, Northern Ireland
  • The supply chain – Geoff Allister OBE, Chief Executive, Highways Term Maintenance Association (HTMA)

I’m looking forward to liveblogging this year’s event (@teresacjolley, @futurehighways), along with Justin Ward (@ukrlg) something I’ve had the pleasure of doing in previous years. The international perspective is always refreshing, and something the WRA is of course uniquely placed to deliver.  I’m excited to hear about use of Drones, and Satellites too 😉

If these topics are of interest to you (and why wouldn’t they be?!) then come and join us in Glasgow on 31st October (Dinner Debate) and 1st November (Congress). There are a few tickets still available, including limited complementary places for public sector organisations. Book online, or contact CIHT for more details.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *