Causeway Technologies is delighted to have exhibited at The Chartered Institute of Highways & Transportation’s Annual Conference, held at the Victoria Park Plaza London on Thursday 8th March 2018.

Bringing together a wide range of senior figures across the highways sector, the conference is designed to facilitate in-depth discussion around the future of the highways sector and the role that innovation and collaboration will each play in driving the industry forward.

The CIHT president, Andreas Markides, set the tone for the conference, asking a number of poignant questions to shape subsequent discussions. Just how is the highways sector changing? How is innovation changing the sector? How will the highways sector develop and what will our highways look like in 10-20 years’ time?

Divided into a number of interactive breakout sessions, workshops, interviews and plenary panels, the conference’s structure allowed delegates to explore each of these specific questions and themes in greater depth, with topics ranging from the issues that highways and transportation administrations are facing globally, to the challenges and opportunities of bringing new skills and talent into organisations.

Setting the scene for the current state of the highways industry, the Morning Plenary Panel brought together various key senior figures to discuss their views, namely: Matthew Lugg (Director of Public Services, WSP), Dana Skelley (Director of Strategy and Operational Excellence, Skanska Civil Engineering) and Dave Wright, (Executive Director, Kier Highways).

Dave Wright used this as an opportunity to talk technology, collaboration and innovation, explaining the importance of these three themes to Kier’s dedication to improving safety and customer service. Building on the central theme of collaboration, Dave Wright also stressed its importance both internally within companies, and across the sector, between competitors. Viewing collaboration as a way to unify the industry and collectively address current and future issues, Dave summarised his thoughts in a two simple sentences: “Without collaboration, we won’t achieve anything in the industry. Alone, we might go fast, but together we will go further.”

As the morning continued, delegates participated in various of interactive workshops, allowing more focussed and personal discussion around their most pressing and pertinent issues - from changes to highways networks, to the practicalities of industry innovation and how it will change ways of working.

After lunch, the Afternoon Plenary Panel sparked further exploration of the pressing issues, focussing on those that the industry will need to address in the near future. The panel consisted of: Lizi Stewart (Managing Director of Highways and Aviation, Arcadis), Will Buckby (Partner in Beale and Company), and Gergely Raccuja (Strategic Consultant, Amey Consulting). Lizi Stewart focussed on user mobility and consumer behaviour, speaking through project ‘Spitsmijden’ which has been trialled in the Netherlands. The project aims to incentivise behavioural change with regards to peak time car travel, rewarding people for driving outside of peak time, working from home, or using alternative travel methods. Interestingly, 50% of participants continued with this altered behaviour after the incentives stopped. Understandably, this provided food for thought, sparking discussions on the viability of similar methods being used in the UK to reduce highways congestion.

Will Bucky then steered the conversation back to the theme of collaboration, looking to the future through reflection upon the past. He emphasised that whilst the government has been criticised for continuing to award Carillion with contracts, one of the reasons these projects have been able to continue despite Carilion's liquidation is that these ventures were taken on jointly in collaborative projects, enabling their partners to continue work. This is yet another example of how collaboration can and should be used to improve the resilience of the highway sector as a whole and of individual organisations alike.

Unsurpisingly, as the day drew to a close, delegates were left with a greater appreciation of the responsibility we each have to collaborate strategically and drive the highways sector forwards. With this in mind, Causeway Technologies would like to thank CIHT for allowing us to exhibit at such a thought provoking conference and to contribute to so many thoughtful discussions.

If you were unable to attend the conference or visit our stand, feel free to download soft copies of the collateral we provided on the day:

Previous Article
Next Article

Read more about Infrastructure and Maintenance