Highways UK 2018

Thanks to the organisers at Highways UK for organising yet another fantastic industry event. The 2-day conference and exhibition welcomed over 4,000 delegates through the doors this year making it the most successful to date (including a contingency from A-one+).

As safety partners A-one+ hosted the safety theatre with a programme of talks, workshops and panel discussions throughout the 2 days.


A-one+ Managing Director, Clive Leadbetter opened the safety theatre on day 1 speaking touchingly about what safety means to him personally and throwing a challenge to the industry to tackle the use of plastic cones as the last line of protection for our operatives.

Next up was Kate Carpenter, CIHT Road Safety Panel & Jacobs Road Safety Service s and Mike Wilson, Chief Engineer and Executive Director, Highways England talking about a safe systems approach – based upon people, vehicles and engineering – making roads safe to work and travel upon. This session was a full house and ended in a panel discussion with networking on the close.


We heard from Steve Gooding, Director, RAC Foundation and Chris Jackson, Partner, Burges Salmon on why we need a highways accident investigation branch.

Then we moved on to behavioural insights and change techniques with Deidre O’Reilly, Head of Social Research and Behaviour Change, Highways England and Tracey Budd, Team Leader Behavioural Change and Social Research, Highways England followed by Claire Fryer, Director of Behavioural Management, Costain.

Day 2 and we moved to the serious matter of suicide. Starting with Katy Harrison, Technical Advisor for the Safer Roads People Team (Safety, Engineering and Standards) at Highways England & CIHT Panellist talking about her recent research report into road suicide and what we can do as a sector to take ownership of this issue and the devastating impact of suicide on UK roads.

As staunch supporters of suicide awareness and prevention A-one+ invited If U Care Share Foundation to deliver a workshop exploring mental health and suicide presented through personal experience. Suicide is now the biggest killer of men under the age of 45, and in women the issue is on the rise in this country. Suicide rates among low-skilled male construction workers was 3.7 times above the national average. In this session the charity foundation highlights proven ways to help you spot the signs and provide support to someone that may be struggling. Thank you, Matthew, Shirley and Ben.

Next Jenny Shepherd, Technical Lead, Commercial Vehicle Incident Prevention, TRL and Steve Havvas, Anglian Water joined us to talk about using VR as a safety tools.

And the final session was a best practice ideas and panel session led by Dr Iain Rillie, Health and Safety Technical Innovation Specialist, Highways England. Dr Rillie was joined by presenters;

·        Eric Renfrew, Fleet Services Director, Balfour Beatty Plant & Fleet

·        Andrea Green, Customer Experience Director, Costain

·        Matt Morphet, Chief Operating Officer, Chevron Traffic Management

·        Phil Beaumont, Operations, Delivery and Compliance Manager, Colas

Who spoke about innovations and practice that are delivering demonstrable safety improvements.

And our expert witness panel who explored how the initiatives contributed to the overall safety of the network and how to accelerate good ideas.

Expert witness panel joining Dr Rillie:

·        Andy Jamieson, Strategic director, Carnell

·        Lee Rowbotham, Senior Stakeholder Manager, Transport Focus

Over the 2 days we had Chris Carter, Customer and Stakeholder Liaison, and Thomas Coleman, GIS specialist both from A-one+ providing expert continuity between sessions, special thanks to you. And, we had a visit from our apprentices, always nice to see them out about getting enthused about our industry.

Meanwhile, over in the Highways England theatre, Simon Taylor was invited to talk about early targeted scheme communications improving customer experience during traffic management controls.

Thanks to all our colleagues and partners for supporting and attending this event and in the meantime, if you visited the event this year and would like to help us by giving some feedback, please complete the survey here.