16 December 2021 | Collaboration | Our Work

View from the top: A round up of 2021

Looking back with a smile on my face…

Earlier this week we issued the first in a series of our new member updates that I referred to in my View from the Top last Thursday. This quarterly publication provides all the detail about our achievements during the course of 2021, and I’m delighted to say we have something to shout about.

In summary the year we are leaving behind looks something like;

Membership – has grown by 47% during the year, and all indications point to this growth continuing through 2022. Many organisations went through the renewal process after their first 12 months of membership, and we were delighted with our membership retention rate of 95%. It was a great indication that the support we provide to our members, and the focus on our three pillars of Innovation, Collaboration and Net Zero really is relevant to our membership base.

Collaboration – we became the first organisation of our type in the world to achieve independent certification to ISO44001 which acts as validation for our collaborative profile. We embarked on this journey to strengthen our collaborative working practices and to provide an even stronger conduit across the highways sector bringing together all the constituent parts to deliver new value that none of us could achieve by working independently. DfT can now state that over half of England’s Highways Authorities are part of a single collaborative effort that meets the exacting requirements of the ISO standard. What a proud moment it was to realise that LCRIG had become part of a very special club – owners of a global first.

Communications, Events and Webinars – due to the Covid uncertainty, we were unable to run our annual Strictly Highways event in person, however this didn’t stop us from communicating with our members through many different channels, facilitating fresh thinking in the industry. During the year, we held 47 webinars, attended by over 2,000 registered attendees with a further 3,000 registered to access videos on demand.

Strictly Highways 2021 – we built our virtual event platform, which allowed us to run Strictly Highways as a virtual event. The conference took place in October, with Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at DfT, Baroness Vere, delivering the opening keynote speech.

  • Over 600 registered to attend
  • 30 sessions delivered over 2 days
  • Over 40 speakers (including DfT, National Highways, CIHT, RSTA, LGTAG, OZEV, Innovate UK, CECA, ADEPT, AIA, Highways Sector Council, NWSRG and many more)
  • 30 exhibitors
  • 4 DfT Special Recognition awards presented
  • Over £7,500 raised for Trinity Hospice charity

LCRIG Insights – our weekly newsletter continued through the year, and we now have a circulation of over 2,000 people receiving LCRIG Insights each week.

Innovation Board – through 2021 our focus on Innovation grew with the creation of the LCRIG Innovation Board. Members were invited to come forward with their innovations and pitch the concept to the Innovation Board, who gave advice and feedback to over 20 companies. LCRIG also released a report based an innovation survey facilitated by the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA), highlighting the challenges local authorities face around implementing innovation.

The LCRIG / Steve Berry Think Exceptional Innovation Fund, sponsored by WJ – local highway authorities, universities, private sector companies and innovative individuals were invited to apply for a share of a £150,000 Innovation Fund for road surface treatments made available through the Local Council Roads Innovation Group (LCRIG) in partnership with the leading highway marking and safety business WJ Group, who funded the project. Five organisations were selected to receive funding and we look forward to updating our members on the progress of the innovations in the coming months.

Transport Technology Forum (TTF) – in August 2021, a new partnership was formed between LCRIG and the TTF to promote best practice, collaboration, and innovation. LCRIG worked closely with the DfT and TTF to help manage the application process for a traffic signals funding allocation.

  • Fund of £15m
  • 121 councils were invited to apply for the funding
  • 101 submitted applications
  • 90% response rate, a level of response described by the DfT as “unprecedented”

These are just some of the things that are noted in the first Member Update. For more detail and to find out about some of the initiatives planned for 2022, you can find a link to the update here.

Finally, I would like to wish you all a very peaceful and happy Christmas as we prepare for the year ahead.