7 September 2023 | Collaboration | Our Work

View from the top: Keeping connected

After a week’s leave, I’ve returned into the thick of meetings, travel and preparations for Strictly Highways and the TTF Autumn Update. In fact in terms of travelling I’m writing this on a train from Dublin to Belfast, where we have the next STREETWISE meeting, funded through DfT.

The quarterly STREETWISE meetings are held within each nation, and meetings include representatives from DfT, Transport Scotland, Welsh Government, Department of Infrastructure NI, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, National Highways and Transport for London.

These important meetings are to keep the nations connected around policy and matters of emerging importance around ITS. We always try to combine meetings with a site visit and this time we are visiting the new transport hub.


                                                                                Pictured: STREETWISE members visiting the Transport Hub being built in Belfast


The agenda for Strictly Highways is almost finalised and last week the board members put their preferences forward for the final unallocated sessions. This year we’ve taken on board the feedback we previously received about increasing opportunities for networking, more time to visit exhibitors, a mix of strategic and specific subjects. It’s quite a lot of pressure trying to get the right agenda, especially for an industry that covers such a vast area and honestly, we could fill a whole month with the ideas we’ve received. This is why we’re looking carefully how we can use these beyond Strictly Highways.

It’s very much the same with the TTF agenda. Working with Darren, ITS Policy Lead from DfT, we’ve been looking at how we bring together a number of important DfT Policy Areas around transport technology that will affect every Highways Authority in England and yet we want to balance this with insights with others either internationally or nationally. Again, we are expecting to publish this within a few weeks.

It’s fair to say it’s a busy few months ahead but one that will involve lots of connecting, connections and getting to connections!

Paula Claytonsmith