19 October 2023 | Collaboration | Our Work

View from the top: Connected Vehicles, Reflection on Highways, and a surprise visit!

This week has been a busy event week for the team.

On Tuesday Susanne, Keely and Charlotte supported a unique event at UTAC (previously known as Millbrook proving ground). This event led by Andy Graham, Chair of the Transport Technology Forum Connected Vehicles group was an opportunity for an invited audience of civil servants, National Highways, and others to see upcoming technology that could transform the use of connected data and information in cars. Those who came to the LCRIG Innovation Festival, will have had a chance to see some of the technology mentioned above.

This week has also been the week of Highways UK, where some of the team; Shelley, Susanne, Keely, and I were at the Local Authority Pavilion stand organised by ourselves on behalf of LCRIG, TTF, LGTAG, ADEPT and DfT’s UKRLG. This hub became a hive of activity over the two days for councils, suppliers, and civil service colleagues. On occasions I stepped back just to watch the interactions, and it was great to see such enthusiasm for LCRIG’s work. To see so many people visit the stand just shows the excellent work going on amongst ADEPT, LGTAG, LCRIG and TTF and just how much we each collaborate with each other whilst also supporting the sector across all levels.

We had a surprise visit to the stand from the Roads Minister, Richard Holden on Wednesday where he met Susanne, Martin, and me. I was able to talk for a good period about the collaboration and innovation activity going on amongst our members; both councils and supply chain. Then on Thursday I met the Shadow Roads Minister, Bill Esterson. Again, this was a great opportunity to talk about all that we are doing as a not-for-profit to support all levels of the supply chain and councils.

I was pleased to have taken part in two very different panels, one around connecting the unconnected which discussed the importance of connectivity in rural areas. The Leader of Oxfordshire Council talked about the work they are doing, we heard from Transport for the North, the confederation of Passenger Transport, myself from a broader policy perspective and chaired by Yogesh Patel from Ringway.

The other panel I enjoyed being part of included: Stephen Fidler DfT, Transport for SE (Rupert Clubb), Plymouth Council and incoming ADEPT President Anthony Payne, Ringway Jacobs’ Philip Horton and Chaired expertly by David Ogden from COLAS. We had a lively and wide-ranging discussion about investment in local roads to connect and enhance communities.

Finally, I must mention a couple of other presentations. One by Michael Dnes, at DfT on his Roads to Tomorrow, which we will be supporting. Michael talked about the work he is doing to initially listen to Councils on their barrier challenges around possible future technologies. The other presentation being Darren Capes, DfT who talked to a packed audience about the £70m which will become available to councils over the next coming weeks.

Next week, I am taking a break before the next busy period, and so Kerry will be updating on the exciting progress we’ve made around Skills and apprenticeships.