Opinion Former Article

Roads body makes senior appointment

Department for Transport’s director of Local Transport Graham Pendlebury has been appointed as the UK First Delegate to the World Road Association. He takes over the role from Transport Scotland chief executive Roy Brannen.

The World Road Association (PIARC) was established in 1909 and has existed since the dawn of the motor age. It brings together the road administrations of 121 governments and has members – including individuals, companies, authorities and other organisations – in over 140 countries.

As the UK’s First Delegate Roy Brannen served as vice chair to PIARC’s Strategic Planning Commission (SPC), was the strategic theme co-ordinator for safety, and represented the UK on the executive committee.

Graham Pendlebury will now represent the UK on the SPC and executive committee. “I’m excited to become the new UK First Delegate,” he commented. “I want to build on the excellent work done by Roy Brannen to ensure that the UK remains a key player at the WRA. We have much to offer, but also the chance to learn from best practice in other countries.”

During Roy Brannen’s tenure as First Delegate from 2012 to 2017, the UK drew out expertise from the Winter Road Congress in 2014, including the applicability of brine only spreading for winter treatments which is currently being researched by Transport Scotland.

The XXVth World Road Congress in 2015 was held in Seoul, South Korea, and brought together 2700 delegates. The UK contributed to a range of technical sessions, had a national pavilion and hosted a reception with the British Ambassador.

Roy Brannen also oversaw the development of a road safety manual that was acknowledged by the United Nations as an important international effort to improving global road safety.

The UK also convened a security seminar in 2014 and contributed to two special projects on the Importance of Road Maintenance and on an International Climate Change Adaptation Framework for Road Infrastructure.

Roy Brannen said: “It’s been a real privilege to serve as the UK First Delegate for the last five years and I’m pleased that as a team we have been able to contribute positively to the wider international agenda on roads and transportation. For the next four year cycle I have no doubt WRA UK will continue to play a strong part in the work of the association with Graham in the role and I wish him and the wider team every success.”

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