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Highways Voices 1 May - the future of mobility panel discussion
Episode 163rd May 2024 • Highways Voices • Paul Hutton
00:00:00 00:29:46

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"A lot of our time is firefighting, fixing day to day problems, maybe some signal timings, but it's hard to look into the future when we don't have time," admits City of York Council's Sean Bulmer in a panel discussion at the SWARCO User Group meeting in Coventry, featured on this week's Highways Voices.

Mr Bulmer was joined by Emily Madsen from Staffordshire County Council who admits she struggles for time in her day job so "coming to events like this helps me think about the future".

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The local authority representatives were joined by CEO of the Local Council Roads Innovation Group (LCRIG), Paula Claytonsmith and SWARCO's MD in UK and Ireland, John Pickworth. They discussed Innovation and planning for the future, strategies for more efficient transport around technology and localised approaches.

The need for incremental progress and the role of private sector involvement were also discussed to help, for example, the ability for an authority to make the most out of the data it has. "It's how you use that data, how you present that data," Mr Pickworth explains. "Is it presented in a way that enables decisions to be made?"

Ms Claytonsmith added that support for authorities is vital. "I spoke to [one] who says they've literally got 20 or 30 different systems, each holding different sets of data, not communicating. And I think now that we're in a much more complex environment, the fact that we don't have as many people in our teams... So actually having an integrated system that allows you to make complex decisions drawing in different data becomes ever more important."

You'll hear more on this fascinating discussion, recorded in a rather echoey hotel conference room, which also covers infrastructure obsolescence and funding priorities as well as risk taking, innovation, challenges and priorities.



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