Collaboration | 24 May 2022
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23 February 2022 | Collaboration | Our Work
The Northwest Highways Alliance (NW LCRIG) held its first meeting of 2022 earlier this week.
Paul Binks, chair of the group and highways asset manager for Lancashire County Council, updated members on a range of activities and plans going forward.
The Northwest group was set up to collaborate, benchmark and support each other, but also to contribute to the wider LCRIG network.
The first item at the meeting on Tuesday (22 February) was a presentation by Sharon Andrews from Measure2Improve who updated the group on the NHT survey.
The NHT Public Satisfaction Survey collects public perspectives on, and satisfaction with, Highway and Transport Services in Local Authority areas. It is a unique, standardised, collaboration between Highway Authorities across the UK enabling comparison, knowledge sharing, and the potential to improve efficiencies by the sharing of good practice.
Sharon spoke about some amendments to the questionnaire with some questions being modified and others being completely removed. She also explained that there had been massive changes to the reporting with a lot more functionality.
After listening to feedback from members it was agreed that there would be a further review of the NHT survey and other benchmarking data, at the next meeting of the Northwest group which is expected to take place before Easter.
During the meeting it was agreed that the group’s Terms of Reference should be updated to reflect the way it has been working with members meeting virtually instead of in-person due to the Covid pandemic.
There was then a two-minute hot topic round up from each authority:
Blackpool Council has been looking into the ISO 55000 accreditation for Highways Assets. They will be undertaking a gap analysis in the coming weeks. It was explained that this is very similar to Self-Assessment but with a little more information.
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council is currently seeking a new Asset Manager, and the submission closing date is 25th February.
The council are trying to raise the profile of highways with their members. The LTP Capital Programme next year will all go through the Project Amber Framework.
Cumbria County Council
It was explained that the main thing happening in Cumbria is that they are going through a major local government reorganisation. As of April 2023, Cumbria County Council will be split into two unitary authorities:
Cumberland – Covering the North and West
West Moorland & Furness – Covering the South and East
Cumbria has suffered recently with the storms like many other authorities on top of their normal winter maintenance workload. The council is also struggling with a shortage of HGV drivers for their gritters.
Cumbria have moved all driven inspections to videos and are currently experimenting with footway surveys.
Cheshire West & Chester
Cheshire West and Chester have a new Term Contract, new Director and new Head of Service. The whole of their highways department has had a restructure. Their new way of working is focused on customer experience. The maintenance of work is being taken in house.
Manchester City Council
Manchester City Council finish their five-year investment programme this April.
They have produced a two year forward plan which shifts their focus to local roads and footways.
Halton Borough Council
The focus at Halton Borough Council is on Active Travel and trying to persuade people to look at it.
Lancashire County Council
One of the main things that Lancashire County Council are looking at is their drainage projects with analysis of the network being carried out.
Finally, LCRIG Secretariat, Susanne Ingham, updated the group on some upcoming events including the Project Amber Workshop, Transport Technology Forum (TTF) Conference and LCRIG’s proposed Innovation Festival.
To get in touch with Paul, please email: [email protected]