12 January 2022 | Innovation | Our Work

Innovator Insights: Trevor Thompson, Roadtechs

Trevor Thompson, Business Manager at Roadtechs, speaks to Alec Peachey about breaking down barriers to innovation and how the sector must be open to change. 

 

Q. What work experience did you have before moving into highways?   

A. “I worked for the Royal Bank of Scotland – Finance Consultancy.”

 

Q. What has been your career highlight up to now? 

A. “Every time I establish a professional relationship with a customer that results in business as that means that Roadtechs are fulfilling the role of meeting the needs of those who maintain the UK network. ”

 

Q. What is the main way that today’s highways sector differs from the one you first joined? 

A. “In the past 8 years there have been pockets of innovation being adopted but many activities are done as they always have been. As an Industry the highways sector is often resistant to change.”

 

Q. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far? 

A. “Getting surface extension treatments to be accepted by more organisations as a way of maintaining the network across the UK. It offers better value for money, less disruption to the public reducing the carbon footprint by 90% and improving whole life costs by 40%.”

 

Q. What do you think LCRIG Insight readers would be surprised to learn about you? 

A. “I am an expert on UK lottery winners.”

 

Q. What do you think is the key to accelerating innovation within the roads sector? 

A. “Look for ways to make something work rather than relying on old barriers and old methods of doing things. The asset managers, contractors and local authorities who adapt will thrive and others will not – there is a choice. Find a way to make it happen!”

 

Q. How different will the sector look in 10 years time? 

A. “There will be more automated processes and materials that we have not even seen yet that will arrive onto the highways sector. The reduction to net zero will have advanced significantly for many as we all focus on the reduction of our carbon footprint.”

 

Q. What is the best way of removing barriers to innovation? 

A. Having an open mind and talking with the providers of solutions who may not be a Tier 1 but have the expertise and understanding of their materials and methods. Challenging the internal restraints.

“The number of times we hear “Yes we would like to do that, but it does not fit on the framework” or some other reason.” Or “we will never get that through our procurement team”. It is frustrating for the highways engineers and asset managers and from our perspective as a provider of proven solutions.

“The end customer – often the local authority needs to get in the driving seat in the relationship with their term maintenance contractor and drive through the solution they want rather than the one that they are provided with.

“Roadtechs have years of test data from independent laboratories confirming that Reclamite does what it says on the tin – it extends the life of the network.”

 

Below is an update on other innovation initiatives that the LCRIG team have been busy working on over the last few months:

Innovation in Highways

In November 2021, LCRIG published a report entitled ‘Innovation in highways’. The report highlights some interesting findings on the differing approaches between local authorities and the challenges around implementing innovation in highways.

You can access the full report here.

 

The LCRIG / Steve Berry ‘Think Exceptional’ Innovation fund, supported by WJ Group

Last year the first companies to receive funding as part of the LCRIG / Steve Berry Think Exceptional Innovation Fund were announced.

Connor Specialist Paving (Tac-Grid), Community Models, Fitzpatrick Advisory (DASHA), NY Highways and Liverpool John Moores University have been selected to receive a share of the £150,000 Innovation fund, facilitated by LCRIG. For more information on the Innovation fund, please click here.

 

Keep up to date on all LCRIG initiatives by subscribing to our weekly e-newsletter, the LCRIG Insight here.