Event details

Join this dynamic conference where we delve into the spending and projects shaping the UK highways and transport networks. From electric to combustion vehicles and active travel, we're ensuring a sustainable network for safe travel for years to come.

A robust highway system plays a crucial role in economic growth, job creation, and community connectivity. Last year, local authorities invested £4.5 billion in road maintenance, with £2.7 billion designated for structural treatment, £1.3 billion for routine and other treatments, and £0.5 billion for highways maintenance policy and strategy. National Highways matched this investment at £4.4 billion, demonstrating a serious commitment to road fitness.

Recent investments have prioritised decarbonisation and technological advancements. For instance, transport for the North's Strategic Transport Plan aims to foster sustainable economic growth through connectivity initiatives. With significant funding from the £4.7 billion Local Transport Fund, the North and Midlands will witness substantial improvements in local transport links, including road and rail upgrades from 2025 to 2032. Additionally, Network Rail has earmarked £45.4 billion for railway enhancement projects under this current control period (CP7), beginning in March 2024, to create a more efficient and environmentally sustainable railway system.

With the responsibility falling on a select few, join this thought-provoking online conference to engage with industry experts and authorities, explore interactive panel discussions, and gain key insights into shaping the future of transportation.

Register now to be part of the conversation.


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  • 08:55 AM - 09:25 AM

    Future Proofing Transport Networks

    The introduction of the £4.7 billion Local Transport Fund will substantially boost funding levels for local transport links in the North and Midlands, multiplying by nine times from 2025 to 2032. This empowers local leaders to enhance roads, junctions, mass transit, lighting, and EV infrastructure. Levelling Up Fund 2 allocates £19.5 million for 92 EV charging points and 52 zero-emission buses in North East England, cutting 7797 tonnes of CO2. Alongside this, Transport for the North (TfN) has released an ambitious plan for sustainable economic growth, emphasising the importance of improved connectivity to stimulate economic activity and facilitate transport decarbonisation.

    This panel aims to discuss strategies for future-proofing UK transport networks, current funding initiatives, and the significant influence Netzero has in future proofing the UKs Transport networks.

    James Gleave
    James Gleave Transport Strategy Manager Transport for the South East

    James is leading Transport for the South East's work on refreshing Transport Strategy. He is also engaging with other Strategic Transport Bodies in the development of their Transport Strategies. He has over 20 years of experience in transport planning and transport policy development. In addition to working on projects ranging from building new railway lines to installing zebra crossings outside of schools. He is also a Board Member of the Transport Planning Society.

  • 09:35 AM - 10:05 AM


    Between 2015 and 2020, National Highways allocated over £120 million across 159 innovation initiatives through the Innovation and Modernisation Fund. The vision for Digital Roads extends past 2025, aiming towards 2050 and beyond. Embracing digitalisation promises to unlock additional value from road investments. We stand at the dawn of a digital revolution in road infrastructure, anticipating more transformation in the next decade than witnessed in the past century. This presents a unique opportunity to enhance road safety, elevate customer experience for all users, and align with the objectives for achieving net zero emissions.

    Join this panel to explore future strategies for implementing digitalisation in highways and transportation networks.

    Paul Chandler
    Paul Chandler Head of Traffic Management Digital Services Department for Transport

    Paul Chandler, is currently a Head of Traffic Management Digital Services at Department for Transport (DfT), bringing experience from previous roles at Department for Transport (DfT), Westminster City Council as Streetworks Manager and GeoPlace LLP. With a robust skill set that includes Strategic Planning, Procurement, Project Delivery, Project Planning, Commercial Management and more, Paul Chandler contributes valuable insights to the industry.

  • 10:40 AM - 11:10 AM


    New technologies are revolutionising transportation, promising cleaner, safer, and quieter streets. The UK's Department for Transport (DfT) spearheads this transition, targeting net zero emissions and innovation. A 75% increase in rail freight capacity by 2050 underscores sustainability goals, reducing carbon emissions. However, challenges demand strategic planning and investment. In the North East, £163.5 million enhances bus services, while a £7 billion allocation in 2022 upgrades local transport, lowering fares and relieving living costs. This funding also boosts tram, cycling, walking, and rail networks, benefiting thirty-one regions through the government's bus transformation program, crucial for achieving 'Net Zero' in transportation.

    This panel aims to discuss advancements in multi-modal transportation and funding's impact on improving public and goods transportation journeys.


    Phil Bibby
    Phil Bibby Executive Member for Highways and Transport Hertfordshire County Council

    I retired from Banking in 2006, and entered local politics in 2009, when I first became a County Councillor. Soon after, I also became a Borough Councillor for Woodfield Ward, Stevenage. In May 2018, I became Executive Member for Highways and Transport for Hertfordshire County Council. As well as my strategic role for the County Council, I really enjoy working on behalf of my communities, which I also do as a school governor at The Leys Primary and Nursery School. In the past, I have been finance director and captain of my golf club, treasurer of a large sports club and chairman of a tennis club, but I am currently a director / trustee of Groundwork East, who do good work to improve the environment.

    Kate Morris
    Kate Morris Head of Transport Planning Leeds City Council

    Kate Morris is a Chartered Engineer and Chartered Transport Planning Professional with wide ranging experience in both the private and public sectors. She has over 30 years experience in the transport sector from policy and strategy development through to design and implementation.. She is Head of Transport Planning at Leeds City Council with responsibility across areas including policy and strategy, transport planning, development control and ITB, UTMC and traffic. Prior to joins Leeds she was a director at AECOM, leading the Strategic Planning and Advisory Sector across the Europe, Middle East, Africa and India.

  • 11:45 AM - 12:15 PM

    Decarbonisation and Biodiversity

    National Highways aims to achieve no net loss of biodiversity by 2025, having planted over 260 hectares of species-rich grassland. The Environment and Wellbeing Fund invested £69.2 million in 274 projects to reduce noise, enhance biodiversity, and mitigate water outfalls and flooding, while reducing the UK's carbon footprint. The Environment Act 2021 will soon mandate 10% biodiversity net gain for planning permissions in England. Government funding supports innovative projects to decarbonise UK highways, aligning with the Net Zero by 2050 goal. Network Rail's £45.4 billion five-year plan prioritises efficiency and environmental sustainability, focusing on improving train performance and resilience to climate change while delivering top service to passengers.

    Attend this panel discussion to explore initiatives and the ongoing developments towards decarbonisation and biodiversity conservation in transport networks and highways.

    Stephen Elderkin
    Stephen Elderkin Director of Environmental Sustainability National Highways

    Stephen Elderkin current role is as Director of Environmental Suitability at National Highways. The Environmental and Sustainability division which Stephen leads at National Highways works with its executive directors and board on the 2050 net zero target and bring together its environmental teams and carbon team into one central division, raising the profile of environment within the organisation and creating additional capacity and capability. Before joining National Highways, his career focused on environmental sustainability, including within central government. His roles included leading the government analysis for the Climate Change Act, carbon budgets and energy efficiency policies.

    Ian Hawthorn
    Ian Hawthorn Assistant Director - Highways London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham

    Ian Hawthorn is the Assistant Director of Highways for London Borough of Hammersmith. Within his current role he leads on Greening the grey agenda, EV Charging, Hammersmith Bridge, Flood Risk, Network Management, Contract Management and Green infrastructure including street trees. Along with this Ian is also Chair of the Councils Climate adaptation Steering group, current Chair of the London Technical Advisory Group, London Highways Engineers Group and Member of Roads UK Board.

    Nigel Riglar
    Nigel Riglar Director of Environment and Community Services South Gloucestershire Council

    As Director of Environment and Community Services at South Gloucestershire Council, Nigel is responsible for the Council's placed based services such as, planning, strategic infrastructure, highways, transport, economic development, waste, climate change, environmental services, regulatory services, community safety and development. Nigel has held this position since 2018, previous roles include Commissioning Director for Communities and Infrastructure at Gloucestershire County Council and Deputy Chief Executive for Stroud District Council.

    Rachel Allison
    Rachel Allison Climate Change Specialist HS2

    Dr Rachel Allison is a climate professional who has worked across academia, consultancy and industry. She is a specialist in climate change with experience of researching the physical science basis, supporting climate mitigation efforts and delivering climate adaptation solutions. She is currently Climate Change Specialist at HS2 where she acting as a subject matter specialist, providing technical knowledge and support on climate adaptation and resilience management across the whole HS2 project. Additionally she supports HS2’s colleague carbon conscious training, facilitating workshops which provide colleagues with a recognised certification in carbon reduction and climate action.

  • 12:50 PM - 13:20 PM

    Road Safety

    In March 2024, the government allocated £38.3 million, to improve safety on 17 of the country's most dangerous roads. This forms part of a £185.8 million investment aimed at preventing over 2,600 fatal and serious injuries over the next 20 years. From Devon to Durham, 99 roads across England will undergo safety upgrades. Over the next two decades, these improvements are expected to significantly reduce fatalities and serious injuries, potentially by up to 30.8% on certain roads. Measures include new junctions and roundabouts, improved signage and road markings, updated road surfacing and landscaping, and better pedestrian crossings and cycle lanes. This additional funding is predicted to save 385 lives and also improve congestion, journey times, emissions, and economic growth.

    Join this panel to learn more about these crucial safety enhancements happening nationwide, spurred by a recent surge in funding.

    Anne-Marie Penny
    Anne-Marie Penny Senior Road Safety Policy Adviser, Road User Safety National Highways

    Anne-Marie has worked in road safety for 16 years.  She was involved in a life-threatening motorbike crash in 1995 and her passion to reduce road crash casualties and the physical and mental trauma that results, stems from this experience. After 14 years in the private sector Anne-Marie joined Kent County Council’s road safety team where she was the Road Safety Development Manager, and led on motorcycle safety, moving on to manage the Kent and Medway Safety Camera Partnership.

    She has received Prince Michael of Kent International Road Safety Awards for the Save 478 Lives casualty reduction programme and the Driving Business – Safely partnership initiative, and has been a volunteer for Inspiring the Future, a trustee of the Eastern Alliance of Safe and Sustainable Transport. She hosted the FIA Foundation International Road Safety Scholarship & currently sits on the Association for Road Risk Management Council. Now with National Highways, Anne-Marie leads on Driving for Better Business, the key strategic programme in the National Incident and Casualty Reduction Plan.

    Darren Divall
    Darren Divall Regional Road Safety Manager Transport for West Midlands

    Darren Divall's role at TfWM is to enable, support and facilitate road safety improvements across the West Midlands Combined Authority region. As Lead Coordinator for the 16 Regional Road Safety Partnership organisations, Darren ensures delivery of a robust and fit for purpose strategic approach aimed at achieving a 50% reduction in the number of killed and seriously injured casualties by 2030. His current focus is on the delivery of a Regional Road Safety Action Plan based on robust statistical evidence and community based insight, along with a new multi-agency Operational Working Agreement for average speed enforcement.

    Darren began his road safety career in 1998 and has worked for three UK local authorities as well as TRL. He has over 20 years of international experience, formulating multi-sector road safety strategies and action plans, conducting road safety management capacity reviews, data collection and analysis, identifying solutions for vulnerable road users, delivering behaviour change and education programmes, and building capacity at all levels through research, technical notes and training.

    Darren is a former Chairperson of the Institute of Road Safety Officers and Head of Road Safety GB Academy. He is also a judge for the Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards and represents TfWM on the PACTS Safe System Forum.

  • 12:25 PM - 12:40 PM

    Keynote Speaker: Ann Carruthers

    Ann Carruthers
    Ann Carruthers Director of Environment and Transport Leicestershire County Council

    Ann Carruthers is Director of Environment and Transport for Leicestershire County Council responsible for all highways, transport, environment and waste services. She leads a team of 1,000 people operating a predominantly in-house delivery model.

    Before joining Leicestershire CC, Ann has worked with a number of local authorities across Scotland and England covering the highways, transport, environment and growth agendas. This included working with Edinburgh City Council developing their congestion charging and tram projects and Kent County Council in dealing with the issues posed by Operation Stack, a potential new UK hub airport and engaging Government in an innovative Growth and Infrastructure Framework. Ann also spent a number of years as National Travel Demand Manager with Transit New Zealand responsible for introducing sustainable transport options and new ways of working across New Zealand’s state highway system.

    Ann is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation and has taken over the role of ADEPT President for the forthcoming year.


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