Strictly Highways Event, Press Release
Local Council Roads Innovation Group (LCRIG), established in 2013, has helped Local Councils secure £130 million in Local Highway Capital Funding.

LCRIG is ‘Run by Councils for Councils’ as ‘the national support network’ for asset management; with the purpose of achieving the objectives set by the Department for Transport, particularly for Self-Assessment.

LCRIG will be hosting their first national annual conference, ‘Strictly Highways’ on the 12th and 13th September 2018, at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool. Invitations will be extended to Local Council to attend the two-day Conference and the Conference Dinner. We are also pleased to be welcoming our Keynote Speaker, Steve Berry, Head, Highways Maintenance, Innovation, Resilience, Light Rail and Cableways Branch, Department for Transport. It is also a pleasure to confirm that the tickets to attend are free of charge for Local Council representatives.

The Members of LCRIG are also pleased to announce the launch of the new website, which will host the ‘Portal’ that enables Councils to upload their Self-Assessment scores and evidence in a standardised format which can be uploaded automatically and accessed directly by the Department for Transport. The additional benefits of the ‘Portal’ are that the Section 151 Officer can access the information and Auditors are able to check the submissions on line, year on year. Furthermore, the ‘Portal’ provides a unique platform to enable Councils to retain their evidence all in one place. The ‘Portal’ is also a valuable tool for benchmarking that can also be used to identify strengths and weaknesses nationwide.

Currently with Member Councils, located throughout England from Plymouth to North Tyneside, support each other by developing new common methodologies and strategies to determine the true state of the Highways Infrastructure; to facilitate long term robust business plans and determine the correct level of investment for today and the future. The Member Councils also utilise the website to demonstrate their achievements and share ‘Best Practice’ by uploading their Case Studies and Strategies. The new ‘Forum’ will also be a valuable source of information, guidance and support for Councils.

LCRIG was established in 2013 by Will Britain, Head of Highways and Traffic Management Services; following the success of Project 30 whereby Blackpool Council made a very bold strategic decision to invest £30m to make improvements to the roads throughout the Network, consequently claims for personal injury have dropped significantly from £1.8m per annum to less than £50k per annum. Blackpool Council then shared their asset management learnings with many Local Councils on a collaborative basis.

Steve Berry, Head, Highways Maintenance, Innovation, Resilience, Light Rail and Cableways Branch, Department for Transport, a regular attendee of the LCRIG meetings said, ‘I welcome the work that Will Britain and members of LCRIG has undertaken since the Group was established in 2013. The Group has been instrumental in supporting best practice, asset management and working collaboratively to support local highway infrastructure, engineering and operational matters in the highways maintenance sector by discussing key issues, helping to develop and disseminate guidance and advice concerning the policy and management of highway assets, as well as helping each other learn lessons, sharing experiences and improving the overall resilience of the local road network.

LCRIG aims are to support the highway authorities on their journey to transform highway maintenance services. The Group is collaborating to enable change not only to help achieve savings and efficiencies but to ensure that we all work together as a highways community to ensure that road users see improved highway services.

I look forward to working and continuing to attend LCRIG to update members on key priorities and work in partnership with Group members to address some of the issues they are facing.

I am particularly excited and honoured to be speaking at the Strictly Highways event later this year which will be a very successful event.’

Will Britain commented that, ‘through our asset management programme Blackpool Council became a centre of excellence in highway asset management. We have spent many years on this journey in gaining the true understanding of the value of our road network and have always worked on our obligation to return our learnings back to the industry. It is my aspiration that we will keep continuously improving and this can only come as part of collaboration with other practitioners.

I am very pleased to report that after Blackpool established the Local Council Road’s Innovation Group several councils have come on board and many others have signalled a desire to join.

The best thing about this is that we can still learn from others and the additional value we can all bring to the table with a regional or UK wide collaborative effect, which is now essential to gain Tier 3 funding.’

One of the key aims of LCRIG is to keep asset management simple and use any innovation to assist explaining the implication of funding levels to decision makers. The success of LCRIG is based on sharing best practice through demonstration, thus making vast efficiency savings. The best practice developed needs to be repeatable, scalable, transferable, and sustainable in order that it brings about an upward shift in confidence needed in this industry to demonstrate to politicians and residents of the UK that the best use of public funding provided by the Treasury to the DfT is being made.

Susanne Ingham, Executive Officer and Secretariat added, “Charlotte Bromley and I are so pleased to be at the forefront of the future development of the Local Council Roads Innovation Group. We are looking forward to supporting the existing Members and welcoming new Member Councils. We are also working on developing collaborative partnerships with Key Organisations, industry Associations, the Media and the Supply Chain’.

For further information about the conference ‘Strictly Highways’, membership, partnerships or sponsorship, please contact [email protected] or [email protected]
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