Previous Events

Local Highways and Climate Change workshop

08 July 2013
Hercules House, London

London Climate Change Partnership, in association with Climate UK, the Environment Agency, ADEPT, Department for Transport and CIHT presented a half-day workshop on Local Highways and Climate Resilience.

This event was for local highway stakeholders concerned with the maintenance and development of the local highway network now and into the future. The aim was to provide delegates with an understanding of climate risks to the local highway network, and its relevance to their roles, and also to enable national agencies to better understand the challenges and support requirements of those who work to manage and maintain local highways.

London/South East Agenda

John Lamb, Service Director for Place at Buckinghamshire County Council, chaired the event. He opened the day and introduced a video from Norman Baker, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Transport, who said that our climate is changing and emphasized the need for local action. Indeed, he said that adptation should be considered by local authorities to bring down costs, and called for embedding of climate change into planning roads, maintaining highways, capital and maintenance programs, and decision making processes. He recognized the work of Climate UK, the Environment Agency, the Met Office, and ADEPT in helping to shape the national adaptation program, and highlighted work by the Highways Agency to assess potential risks to the strategic roads network. Read the transcript here. Watch the video here.

Kristen Guida, Director of Climate South East, thanked attendees on behalf of both Climate South East and the London Climate Change Partnership. She introduced Matthew Dear of LCCP and Carol Magras of Climate SE. She presented an overview of Climate UK and the climate change partnerships and described the climate change impacts expected in the South East and London – and the particular vulnerabilities of transport in both areas. She explained what the partnerships do to support local practitioners and encouraged attendees to get involved. Read Kristen’s slides here

John Lamb then presented about the implications of climate change for local highways infrastructure. He talked about the risks to local highways from intense rainfall, flooding, storms, and heat, the challenges for local government in addressing the risks, the interdependencies among services, and the opportunities to link with other agendas. Read John’s presentation here.

Kristen then introduced the first of two workshop sessions. Participants were invited to share their experiences with weather and climate issues, identify future threats, and tell us where they go for information and support. Read the first workshop report here [coming soon].

After the break, Tim Reeder, Regional Climate Change Programme Manager at the Environment Agency, presented about the Climate Ready support service and the national context for climate change action in the UK. Read Tim’s presentation here.

Justin Ward, a Senior Policy Officer at the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation and Rachel Toresen-Owuor, ADEPT Policy Support Officer and Senior Sustainability Officer at Buckinghamshire County Council gave a joint presentation about the useful resources available to those responsible for planning and maintenance of local highways. These cover advice for dealing with winter conditions, flooding, scour, and other sources of damage to pavements. They provided links for attendees to visit for further information. Read their presentation here.

A second workshop session explored the barriers to factoring climate change into local highways planning and maintenance, the support needed to overcome these, the messages that participants would take away from the day, and practical steps they could take upon returning to work. Read the second workshop report here [coming soon].

To round up the day, Owen Davies, Sustainability Engineer at Lambeth Council, presented some inspirational examples of sustainable urban drainage fitted into public spaces in his borough. Find Owen’s slides here.

Other resources:

– A booklet from Climate UK providing an overview of national policy, support from the profession and case studies will be published here soon.
The Resilient Road – A Roadmap for Research,   January 2013, FEHRL. Aims to determine how road transport infrastructure should adapt to the inevitable changes, increasing resilience to the potential effects of climate.
Climate Change and Evolved Pavements, ADEPT (date unknown), highlights the problems likely to occur from climate change and puts forward solutions to change standards and designs now to manage the impact on this network in the future.