28 June 2021 | Innovation | Collaboration

Second #AsktheDfT event to focus on development of data standard for highways condition

Members of the Local Council Roads Innovation Group (LCRIG) will once again have the opportunity to put questions directly to senior personnel from the Department for Transport (DfT) with LCRIG’s second #AsktheDfT event set to take place on 27 July. 

The event which is entitled ‘Surveying roads: moving away from the status quo’ will be focused around the development of a data standard.

Following the 2019 Transport Select Committee report ‘Local roads funding and maintenance: filling the gap’, DfT has undertaken a review into the technology and data required to develop the best insight into highways condition at a national and local level.

SCANNER technology continues to be robust and valued by many local authorities. However, in reviewing the current surveying regime, DfT considers that the current UKPMS standard limits choices for local authorities by mandating which surveying technology they must use to fulfil their Single Data List obligations. 

Mandating a single form of road surveying technology could limit innovation in this sphere with negative consequences – ultimately – for the breadth, scope, and accessibility of road condition data outputs. This also restricts local authorities’ choice to a single surveying technology, or results in additional surveys being carried out using other technologies, with associated costs to the authority.

To provide local authorities with more choice, DfT is developing a data standard for road condition monitoring which warrants multiple technologies, including SCANNER, to carry out surveying for fulfilling Single Data List obligations.

This data standard would be designed to achieve the following principles: widely used; well-maintained over time; allows innovation; ensures high-quality, comparable data is generated. 

In order to get feedback on this the Department for Transport (DfT) is working with the Local Council Roads Innovation Group (LCRIG) to deliver its second #AsktheDfT event. 

Mark Macgarty, Senior Policy Adviser – Highways Maintenance, Data and Innovation, Local Transport, said: “This data standard provides an exciting opportunity to align DfT and local authority needs around road condition monitoring, opening up the market for innovative suppliers whilst granting LAs the power to choose the surveying technology and data outputs which best support their asset management strategy. We are keen to hear from the LCRIG community to get your views and look forward to engaging with you going forward.”

The event will bring together a panel of experts to answer your questions, which will be focused around the development of a data standard.

LCRIG are inviting members to submit questions in advance of the event, which is taking place on 27 July, and those that are chosen will be put to the experts. Audience members will be given the opportunity to ask the questions themselves as well as follow up. 

The DfT hopes to achieve the following:

  • Gain an understanding of the challenges facing councils so that they can develop the scope of the data standard
  • Hear directly from councils to get a variety of different perspectives.
  • Understand where the pinch points are and get a view of what good looks like. 

Panellists will include:

    • Mark Macgarty, Senior Policy Adviser – Highways Maintenance, Data and Innovation, Local Transport
    • Ashley Singh, Road Conditions and Road Length Statistics Official, Statistics Roads and Freight
    • Laura Murphy, Head of Road Network Statistics, Statistics Roads and Freight

You can register for the event HERE. 

Submit your questions to LCRIG Content Director Alec Peachey at [email protected] by no later than 13 July 2021. 

The webinars will be free to all members from both the public and private sectors. Local government non-members (i.e. all local highway authorities) will also be able to attend. Only those who are members of LCRIG will be eligible to ask questions in advance of each webinar. Private sector organisations who are not members will not be able to participate in the events.   

Organisations interested in becoming a member should contact Secretariat & Executive Officer Susanne Ingham at [email protected]