Roads Minister praises work of LCRIG and local councils during keynote speech at Strictly Highways 2021
Roads Minister, Baroness Vere praised the work of the Local Council Roads Innovation Group (LCRIG) during a keynote speech delivered as part of the organisation’s annual Strictly Highways conference on Wednesday (6 October).
Speaking about the progress of the group over the last 12 months, she said: “I am aware how LCRIG has evolved rapidly over a relatively short period, culminating in becoming a ‘Community Interest Company’ in 2020, enabling the group’s ability to further help the highways sector.
“As our industry continues to face new challenges of climate change and decarbonisation and striving to improve social value through better design of our network, it is vital that industry stakeholder groups continue to work positively together, as well as with the Department for Transport, as we Build Back Better from Covid-19.
“LCRIG has certainly been busy over the last year, with the pandemic not halting progress. Take procurement, I look forward to hearing more about the development of your new globally recognised framework approach – which has secured the input of a dozen construction companies, working together to design and implement new solutions to old problems.”
Earlier this year, LCRIG and the Transport Technology Forum (TTF) announced a new partnership to promote best practice, collaboration and innovation across the sector.
The TTF is supported by the Department for Transport (DfT) and Innovate UK. It exists to give leadership, direction and support and to stimulate investment in innovation and technology solutions.
Baroness Vere also highlighted the partnership during her speech, adding: “The TTF has a strong track record of bringing the roads technology community together, encouraging engagement and helping the sector align with government policy. I am sure the strengths that LCRIG bring will only enhance this work.
“The TTF is crucial to ensuring the take up of new technology is coordinated and accessible to all irrespective of size or capability. “It has done great work so far organising events and webinars, collecting local authority traffic data during the response to Covid-19, and publishing guidance on cyber security, procurement, and scheme evaluation.”
Speaking ahead of the Spending Review on 27 October, the minister (pictured) thanked the sector for the work it has done to maintain and improve highways during the past 18 months.
Summing up, she said: “Our local highways will always be among our most valuable national assets. Critical to the way our economy operates. Vital to the way our society operates too. That’s never going to change. That’s why all your work on road innovation is so beneficial, and your contribution so appreciated.”
Strictly Highways brings together the whole highways community, including the councils, the Department for Transport (DfT), academia and the industry associations. The event enables everyone to learn about new innovation and technology, share experiences, receive updates from the DfT and showcases the industry associations.
Baroness Vere’s full speech will be available to watch on demand from Friday (8 October).
Day two of the virtual conference takes place today (7 October). Details of the full agenda can be found here.
A carbon-saving alternative to traditional methods of resurfacing roads is currently being used for the first time by VolkerHighways’ Bath and North East Somerset highways term maintenance team to carry out essential resurfacing works to the A368 at Chelwood, Somerset.
With just one week to go until LCRIG's Innovation Festival takes place at Newark Showground, the final programme for the event has been announced and features a wide range of speakers from across the highways community.