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Mission Statement from the new Chief Executive

Although the RSTA is a relatively young Association, many of its composite parts have a long and proud history of proven service to the highway community. My mission is to shape and develop the RSTA as it grows into becoming the recognised UK authority on all road surface treatments. We have made a good start and now need to build upon our achievements and continue to work to raise the industry's profile. We are a big industry with a turnover of over £1bn per year and it is my intention that our voice will be heard by all industry stakeholders.

We have much to offer and it is especially important in these difficult times that we demonstrate leadership when highway budgets are coming under ever-increasing pressure and government is looking to make significant reductions in public expenditure. We all have a role to play in getting our key messages across: surface treatments, if properly designed and executed, mean sustainable roads and sustainable budgets!

It is important that the RSTA has a healthy dialogue with all of the key client bodies. I have already had introductory meetings with Transport Scotland, The Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT), previously CSS, and the Highways Agency with further meetings planned over the coming months.

Our new PR agency has been working to generate a number of hard hitting press releases to coincide with a series of public presentations that I delivered last autumn. These have aimed to generate awareness of the many benefits provided by the use of all surface treatments. I say ‘all' because we are now evolving into an organisation with many new members who offer alternatives to the more traditional surface treatments. It is important that clients are fully aware of the range of treatments available and our tailored training courses on surface dressing, slurry-micro surfacing and the engineers toolbox are designed to deliver the latest technical knowledge to clients' engineers and technicians.

During October and November we ran a series of regional meetings to give members the opportunity to discuss the RSTA's business plan and I am delighted to report that the plan was endorsed by members at an EGM held in Warrington on November 19th. The plan contains some important proposals particularly affecting the way that the RSTA is to be funded from 2010 onwards. If you still have not seen the business plan please obtain a copy from the Colchester office.

The world is changing at a fast pace, with ever increasing legislation and regulation. It is my intention that the RSTA will continue to work hard to provide the necessary advice and representation that members require. A key future requirement will be the need for members to measure and report the carbon footprint of all their activities. There is a growing expectation that clients will expect their supply chain partners to provide this information from 2010 onwards. To help address this issue, the RSTA has recently entered into a project at Nottingham University to develop carbon calculators for surface treatments. I encourage you to get involved in this important work.

RSTA Annual Dinner and Conference Tickets for the RSTA Annual Dinner, to be held at the Belfry on 15th April 2010, are selling fast so please contact the Colchester office to reserve your table. We already have over 225 delegates attending the event. We have four excellent speakers from the Highways Agency, Transport Scotland, The County Surveyors Society and Nottingham University.

RSTA Assessment Centre

Due to the very specialised nature of surface treatments and the relatively
small number of appropriately experienced assessors, the RSTA created its own
Assessment Centre as a way of maintaining a high quality workforce and
observance to Sector Scheme 13.

The Assessment Centre is accredited to assess NVQ Level 1 through to Level 3 in
all major surface treatment processes. The Construction Skills Certification
Scheme (CSCS) in conjunction with the RSTA issue specifically endorsed cards
which list the particular qualifications of the holder. In order to achieve
this endorsed card, candidates are required to use the RSTA standardised
portfolio and the assessors must satisfy the RSTA Internal Verifier (IV) that
they have the relevant experience and knowledge to assess these particular

Clients can be assured of qualified workforce and adherence to SS13 when
considering tenders.

ConstructionSkills grants are available for companies and the amount is
dependant upon the NVQ level. This is a company specific grant which the RSTA
is not involved with but further information on this can be found on ConstructionSkills webpage.

Train 2 Gain is another funding route initiative which provides additional
grants for candidates who meet the particular criteria which in previous years
have amounted to over £1,000 per completed candidate.

Carbon footprint calculator

Local Authority national indicator NI 185 – Percentage CO2 reduction from LA operations, requires local authorities to calculate the carbon footprint of their buildings and services. This could lead to road maintenance contractors being asked to supply this information for their products and operations. To help its members answer this question, the RSTA has joined with the University of Nottingham to fund the production of a carbon calculator for road surface treatments. The work will form part of a PhD study at the Nottingham Transportation Engineering Centre and will be guided by a Steering Group of RSTA members and client bodies including the CSS, Highways Agency and Transport Scotland.

A carbon calculator for asphalt, asPECT, has just been released by Highways Agency, the Asphalt Industry Alliance and TRL, for calculating the embodied carbon in the production and laying of asphalt. That work is currently being extended to the maintenance phase of the asphalt life cycle and it is hoped that the RSTA calculator can be integrated with that work.

The first meeting of the RSTA Steering Group took place during November and a progress report will be given at the RSTA Annual Conference on the 15th April 2010 by Dr Tony Parry, who is supervising the work at Nottingham. When the calculator is launched, it will be free to use by RSTA members to calculate the carbon footprints of their products and to identify the carbon ‘hot spots’, where the major impact on reducing carbon emissions could be made. “Carbon calculators are only as good as the quality of data put into them and companies who are serious about reducing their carbon footprints should be collecting that data now,” warned Dr Parry. “The carbon calculator will comply with the PAS 2050 specification for calculating carbon footprints. It is free to download from the BSI website and includes advice on data quality”. It’s time for RSTA members to act, so that they can be the first to benefit from use of the new tool.

RSTA Diary

Slurry-Micro Surfacing Training Course for Technicians and Managers
Wiltshire County Council
23rd March 2010

Highway Maintenance Techniques Seminar
25th March 2010

Surface Dressing Technicians and Managers Training Course
30th – 31st March 2010

Highway Maintenance Techniques Seminar
8th April 2010

RSTA Annual Dinner and Conference
The Belfry
15th April 2010

Construction Skills Training Awareness Seminar
29th April 2010

Construction Skills Training Awareness Seminar
Tayside Contracts
11th May 2010

High Friction Surfacing Seminar
12th May 2010

Surface Dressing Pre-season induction training
Dorset Works
13th May 2010

For further information and registration visit: www.rsta-uk.org.

RSTA Conference: the climate of economic change

The Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA) is to hold its Annual Conference and Dinner on 15th April 2010 at The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield. The theme of the conference is: The Climate of Economic Change. Key presentations will be given by Ms Donna James of the Highways Agency, Mr Dougie Millar from Transport Scotland, Mr Andrew Warrington of the County Surveyors Society and Professor Tony Parry from the University of Nottingham. The conference will be followed by a golf tournament plus country pursuit activities and a Black Tie Dinner.

For further details and booking, visit: www.rsta-uk.org.

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