Opinion Former Article

CIHT: Transport Industry Responds to Challenge

Key highways and transportation practitioners revealed today told how the industry can successfully respond to the economic, social and environmental challenges they currently face.

At the Annual TAG / CIHT Conference, delegates heard how the current constraints on public funding must not be allowed to prevent the delivery of existing services and the maintenance of infrastructure for the good of society.

Speakers outlined innovative applications to tackle these issues and how the industry could provide better value for money, more efficient use of resource and improved outcomes.

Norman Baker MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport gave the keynote address and outlined that the Department for Transport’s high level targets were creating growth and reducing the carbon output.

He outlined that despite the difficult economic climate, there was still significant investment in the transport sector including the Local Sustainable Transport Fund that will see £560m invested over four years. The business cases for larger projects and 53 bids for smaller schemes have now been submitted and successful projects are due to be announced in the summer

Mr Baker also highlighted the way the Localism Bill would impact on future funding streams. This was to be achieved through simplified funding that would cut the number of separate local transport grant streams from 26 to just four . There was also to be a devolved system for prioritising and funding local major transport schemes for the next Spending Review period from 2015.

Leon Daniels from Transport for London (TfL) revealed how they were achieving efficiency savings through changing the way that they operate. Examples of this were the Continuous Savings Exercise, an annual review to reduce operational expenditure and Project Horizon, designing a new structure and ways of working for TfL.

John Smart, CIHT’s Director of Professional & Business Development who chaired the event said:

“The transport sector is an area that stimulates economic recovery whilst contributing to other key agendas such as carbon reduction and developing a healthier nation. The UK Government is currently investing money into this sector as it agrees on the importance of a developed transport infrastructure.”

“CIHT and Transportation Professionals as a whole are ready to deliver on these objectives. The challenges and current issues imposed on Local Authorities are an opportunity for innovation and efficiency in the way that services are designed, managed and provided for taxpayers and the travelling public to deliver the infrastructure the UK needs.”

Further details of the outcomes of the conference and copies of the presentations will be available on www.ciht.org.uk and a full conference report will be appearing in Transportation Professional.

Notes for editors

Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation

CIHT is a membership organisation representing over 12,000 people who work in the highways and transportation sector.

CIHT members plan, design, build, operate and maintain best-in-class transport systems and infrastructure, whilst respecting the imperatives of improving safety, ensuring economic competitiveness and minimising environmental impact.

CIHT supports its member’s professional endeavours by:
• offering training, information, professional development and support
• promoting the value added to society by the profession
• being the focused voice to Governments and other decision makers on transportation expertise and knowledge.

For more information please contact:
Daniel Isichei, Director of Communications, CIHT on t: +44 (0) 20 7336 1567 m: 07912122573 e: Daniel.Isichei@ciht.org.uk


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