The Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) virtual Spring Conference opens next week (13 – 15 April) under the key theme of Reshaping Everyone’s Future.
This digital event will feature live speaker Q&As throughout the three days, as well as networking opportunities with industry professionals via Hopin and CIHT's exclusive event networking group.
Senior figures from the Department for Transport will be speaking, including transport minister Baroness Vere and Sally Gibbons MCIHT, its head of traffic signs and street design policy.
Network Rail chair Sir Peter Hendy (pictured) will be speaking, while from the roads sector, Sue Hitchcox, Highways England project director will be discussing the Lower Thames Crossing.
This CPD accredited event will cover key issues such as the decarbonisation of transport and creating better places through providing the right transport for communities.
It will also address innovation in transport, including how to improve asset management and delivering digital infrastructure.
Delegates will be able to take part in over 18 sessions with more than 30 speakers.
Find out more here.
David Lowery has taken over as managing director of Galliford Try’s Highways business, after Duncan Elliott brought forward his departure.
Mr Lowery joined the company earlier this year after being identified as a successor to Mr Elliott, who the company said made a decision last year to step down and pursue new opportunities.
It said Mr Elliott has now decided to bring forward his departure, following a successful period in charge of the business that included the recent appointment to the final phase of the Grantham Southern Relief Road.
Mr Elliott will remain with the business over the next few months to complete the transition.
Galliford Try chief executive Bill Hocking said: ‘Duncan has done a fantastic job and leaves the Highways business in a great position.
'David is someone we identified as a rising talent and we are delighted to have been able to confirm his appointment as managing director. I look forward to working with him in his new role and thank Duncan for his efforts during his time here.’
Mr Lowery said: ‘I am delighted to be given the opportunity to lead the Galliford Try Highways team.
‘As a business we are in a great position for the future with excellent relationships with our key clients and I look forward to working with our people and our stakeholders to maintain our progress in the future.’
Mr Lowery joined Galliford Try as operations director from his previous role as executive director for the Eiffage Kier Ferrovial BAM Joint Venture working on HS2.
The company said his career in civil engineering began over 20 years ago, and that he has both extensive experience of the highways sector and significant knowledge and experience beyond that, ‘including his strong advocacy for our inclusion agenda’.
RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding will be the president of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK (CILT(UK)) for 2021.
Mr Gooding, who is also a columnist for Highways magazine and a Trustee of the Rees Jeffreys Road Fund, will begin his one-year presidency at the start of the year as the transition arrangements for the UK’s departure from the EU end.
CILT said that alongside the board of directors and its vice presidents, Mr Gooding will promote the organisation as ‘the essential home for those involved in the movement of goods and people, and their associated supply chains’.
It added that he will build on ‘the significant work of his predecessor, Paul Sainthouse, who helped steer the Institute through the coronavirus pandemic, supported the work on merging CILT(UK) and CILT International and led the Institute during its centenary year in 2019’.
Mr Gooding said: ‘After several years serving as a vice president of CILT, I have come to know the Institute well and I am honoured to be made president. 2021 looks set to be a year when the skills of CILT members will be tested to the full as we start to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, and we exit the EU.
‘I am keen to see CILT continue to support its members by promoting best practice, providing training and awarding qualifications to deliver on the Institute’s core mission to deliver professionalism in motion.’
Chief executive Kevin Richardson said: ‘I am delighted to welcome Steve Gooding as the new president of CILT(UK). Steve’s experience and expertise will help lead CILT into a new era, as we work to develop our professions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and promote the importance of this great profession.’
Prior to his appointment at the RAC Foundation in 2015, Mr Gooding was director general at the Department for Transport.
Claire Mann has been appointed managing director of South Western Railway (SWR) with current MD Mark Hopwood returning to sister company GWR.
Ms Mann (pictured), who will take up the post early in 2021, has more than two decades of experience in the transport sector.
She is currently director of bus operations for Transport for London (TfL), responsible for the day-to-day running of the capital’s 9,200-strong bus fleet. She was previously director for Docklands Light Railway, also at TfL.
Ms Mann has also held roles as operations and safety director at Arriva Trains Wales; general manager east at the former First Great Western (now GWR) and customer service director at London Overground.
Mr Hopwood, who is currently interim managing director of SWR, will return to be MD of GWR on 4 January 2021. The role of MD at SWR will be covered by its chief operating officer, Mike Houghton, until Ms Mann joins.
She said: ‘This is a railway close to my heart and one that is vital for connecting so many diverse communities. I am passionate about delivering an excellent customer experience and building on the great work already underway to transform this railway.
‘People are the most important part of any successful operation and I am looking forward to meeting the teams and individuals across the SWR network.’
Steve Montgomery, MD of SWR majority shareholder First Rail, said: ‘Claire is well-placed to lead SWR as we continue our £1.2bn programme to transform the travelling experience for our customers.
‘Although passenger numbers may be suppressed at the moment, people will want to travel again for work or leisure, and we are ready to play our part in helping the economic recovery across the network.’
He added: ‘I’d like to thank Mark Hopwood performing this important interim role over the past year.’
This year the ADEPT autumn conference heard of a masterclass in scientific and political management - New Zealand did not just minimise COVID deaths it eliminated excess mortality; it actually gained lives during a pandemic.
True, the nation is far-flung with a small and mostly sparse population, but the achievements of its strategy are incredible.
Wellington, April 2020
Professor Michael Baker, Department of Public Health, the University of Otago in New Zealand, is an expert in epidemics and pandemics, having experience managing such threats since the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.
He told UK local government directors that 'all-cause mortality in New Zeland has declined by 5%' largely due to its stringent lockdown approach not only eliminating COVID but also seasonal influenza.
'Through the GP system for tracking influenza, we had no [influenza] cases at all. There was the odd virus still detected, but it was a 99.9% reduction. Our excess winter mortality vanished,' he said.
'We actually saw a decrease in mortality. There was no increase in suicides, although we do expect an impact on mental health. Overall, 1,500 fewer deaths occurred this year as a result of the reduction in respiratory infections.'
He added that New Zeland has the lowest COVID mortality rate in the OECD at around five per million.
One of its key elements was 'highly functioning local agencies, which are essential to test and trace', prof Baker said.
New Zealand was only at 100 cases on no deaths on 23 March when it went into intense lockdown.
Rather than mitigation or suppression, New Zealand went straight for an elimination plan based on three approaches.
This involved excluding cases by managing the border; managing outbreaks with test and trace, isolation and quarantine, and reducing transfer at population level using masks, reducing travel and social distancing.
While the borders were never completely closed, travel into New Zealand went down to about 1% of the pre-elimination period, and on two days there were no arrivals or departures at all.
After five weeks at its top lockdown level (four) and two weeks on the level just below, the nation emerged into a virus-free country.
'For 100 days, we eliminated the virus. We had a resurgence from imported cases, but that has been stamped out within a few weeks,' prof Baker said.
Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy, president of the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH), said the New Zealand example, as well as nations in Asia that successfully managed the virus, showed that health and economy had to be linked rather than set against each other.
She also compared the success of local agencies in New Zealand, with the more centralised approach in the UK.
'We are in a tricky position where decision making is still held nationally. Locally we want to pick things up locally, but it is still controlled nationally.
'Policy needs to be more local by default, and local authorities need to influence national policy more.'