Following on from the virtual Improving UK Highways and Road Networks Standards and Connectivity Conference, we take a look at some of the key themes explored from the day and why it is so important for local authorities to invest in major road schemes.
What is the impact of new technology on our road networks?
Technology will of course play a fundamental role in improving the future of UK road networks. Local authorities must therefore understand the areas most likely to impact road technology, including new mobility models, enhanced connectivity and an increase in the effective use of data. The Department of Transport led the discussion on this, providing an update on the Future of Mobility Programme and offering practical guidance from their updated Traffic Signs Manual.
How will the next period of major road investment will transform UK Highways?
Highways England examined what to expect from the Road Investment Strategy 2 and how it will fulfil the needs of all strategic road network users including freight, public transport and cyclists. This session enabled participants to better understand how the strategy will improve existing strategic road networks so that they are well designed, maintained and connected and therefore continue to serve all road users well into the future.
How to utilise government funding to create smooth, smart and sustainable roads
With Highways England delivering £14 billion in funding to improve the quality, capacity and safety of motorways and major A roads, local authorities must utilise this effectively to create smooth, smart and sustainable roads. Cumbria County Council showcased best practice, as they successfully utilised funding to trial plastic roads to tackle the emergence of potholes in an attempt to provide more stable road surfaces.
An opportunity to improve partnership working to enhance connectivity
Covid-19 has had a profound effect on all aspects of life, including on the way in which we travel and the uptake in cycling and walking has been very noticeable. Our interactive panel discussion, led by Sustrans and Transport Focus discussed how organisation's can work successfully in partnership to improve the connectivity of cycle routes and crossings.