Opinion Former Article

Delegates at Annual Conference Look to Shape the Future

The Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) Annual Conference 2018 ‘Highways: Change, Innovation and the Future’ took place on Thursday 8 March at the Park Plaza Victoria, London.

The day-long event featured shared insights from industry leading speakers, knowledge sharing interactive sessions and networking. Attendees heard from industry leaders across the private and public sectors.

International Women’s Day 2018

This year’s CIHT Annual Conference fell on International Women’s Day 2018, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

CIHT Diversity & Inclusion Charter

Looking to develop the talent and skills to match future requirements, Sue Percy, Chief Executive CIHT encouraged conference participants to engage with the CIHT Diversity & Inclusion Charter. Signatories to this Charter believe that a commitment to diversity and inclusion is essential to reflect the communities we serve. CIHT believes that it makes business sense because it helps organisations attract and retain the best talent, enables them to understand and meet clients’ needs more effectively and so provide a better quality service.

Sue Percy said: “As an organisation we strive to encourage best practice in recruitment, retention and career progression practices across our sector. At CIHT we support the development of good diversity and inclusion policy by collecting and sharing examples of practical activities that contribute to progress with CIHT and other signatories. We work together to develop and adopt future protocols and practice that support the implementation of the aims of this Charter. We recognise, respect, capitalise and celebrate contributions from different people to strengthen team performance.”

In support of International Women’s Day, CIHT carried out a number of activities, more detail of which is available here.

Highways: Change, Innovation and the Future

Delegates had the opportunity to discuss issues that will influence the future in the highways and transportation sector. These included:

Unlocking economic growth through development

Elliot Shaw, Executive Director of Strategy and Planning at Highways England focused on ‘The Road to Growth’ – drawing upon extensive research, consumer and stakeholder feedback to provide the vision for a high performing road infrastructure that positively impacts the economy, employment and housing market.

Collaborative working is the way forward 

Steve Gooding, Director, RAC Foundation facilitated senior leaders (Matthew Lugg, Director of Public Services, WSP and Vice President, CIHT,  Dana Skelley, Director of Strategy and Operational Excellence, Skanska Civil Engineering and Dave Wright, Executive Director, Kier Highways) discussing lessons learned in their own careers.  

Dave Wright, Executive Director for Kier Highways warned that there has never been such a shortfall in revenue funding as great as it is today while at the same time technology is playing a more significant role in delivering much needed capacity.

Lessons for the future from the USA - Institute of Transport Engineers – America
Sue Percy, Chief Executive, CIHT interviewed Jeff Paniati, Executive Director and CEO, Institute of Transport Engineers (ITE) looking at the future challenges for the sector in the USA.

Jeff Paniati commented: “ITE and CIHT have much in common. Our collaboration is helping members of both organisations become more knowledgeable about the transformations in transportation that are taking place in our respective countries and globally.”

Developing skills and talent for the future

Managing industry issues arising in the near future was the theme of the Afternoon Plenary Panel facilitated by Dr Sue Sharland, Past President CIHT 2015 - 2016.

She said: “Our organisation and the industry are changing. Transport, infrastructure and technology should be considered in a much broader context in promoting intelligent transport in a connected world. We will continue highlighting CIHT’s role to everybody involved in transport infrastructure, including complementary sectors such as telecoms and utilities.”
The Conference was well supported by sponsors Amey Consulting, Beale & Company, Kier, Yotta, WSP and Colas.

Breakout sessions throughout the day looked at:

Collaboration across industry public and private sector partners - BSI, Suffolk County Council, the Institute of Collaborative Working and Kier showed how collaboration could bring real results and value.

Developing new skills and talent across the industry – Delegates heard from young members and professionals from A-one+, Devon County Council, WSP, Atkins and Colas about how their work is making a difference across a range of different areas.

Changes to the network:  Transport for the North outlined their strategy for investment and WSP led the session looking at the development of the Major road network and what the implications for the Local Road network might be.

Innovation - Yotta and Dorset County Council explored how innovation can change the way services are delivered using technology to drive change.
Andrew Hugill, Director of Policy and Technical Affairs, CIHT said:

“Over the last few years there has been a welcome change in how the highway network’s importance has been recognised by government with new structures for delivery and changes to funding for strategic roads put in place. At the today’s conference we were able to build on the positive view of highway infrastructure and draw understanding from a range of high quality speakers and exhibitors how the highways sector is changing, how innovation is changing the sector and how the future highways sector will develop.”
A full write up of the conference and presentations used at the event will be available shortly

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