New winter service strategies needed for a resilient network


Local authorities and their private sector partner organisations need to continue to develop their winter service strategies even in the face of a succession of mild winters to help develop more resilient roads across the UK network.

That will be the message delivered by several speakers at next week’s Cold Comfort conference and exhibition held on May 17th and 18th at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. Cold Comfort is the third in a series of specialist conferences organised by Highways magazine and Transport Network this year.


The event, sponsored by AEBI Schmidt and Mercedes-Benz, will deliver a series of best practice case studies and technical sessions under the theme of ‘Driving Efficiencies and Raising Standards’. It considers how, before even the first drop of rain falls, the industry can develop strategies and new ways of working to make its roads more resilient against more frequent extreme weather as well as snow and ice.

'With more local authorities spreading at marginal temperatures over the last few years, they have had to make sure they are planning for the formation of ice as well as preparation of snow falls and more frequent extreme weather. That means continued investment in equipment that can predict and monitor weather and road conditions more accurately and also systems that can help winter service operatives turn that information into data that can be quickly used to make crucial decisions at the right time,' said Adrian Tatum, events producer for Highways and Transport Network.

The conference programme will once again reflect the demand for a greater understanding of how to manage and plan for extreme weather events, including unique insights into the strategic planning, implementation and delivery of projects that have taken place in the UK, delivered by those with first-hand experience of the challenges and opportunities they bring.

This comes as the National Winter Service Research Group (NWSRG) consider whether it should extend its remit to cover extreme weather and flooding. This follows the publication of the new code of practice-Well-managed Highway Infrastructure, meaning the major part of the national guidance for winter service will now reside with the NWSRG’s Parctical Guide for Winter Service.

This year the event welcomes Bryan Beitzel from the Village of Buffalo Grove, Illinois as its keynote speaker. He will speak alongside some of the most experienced winter service experts in the UK and Cold Comfort will once again feature a large exhibition with the very latest products, equipments, concepts and services from suppliers in the sector.

There are still favourable rates for both local authorities and private sector companies available but they are now limited. To book a place, please go to:

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