Welcome to the 2013 autumn edition of the RSTA E-News, the only magazine dedicated to road
Over the past six months progress has been maintained on a number of fronts. Our CPD approved training courses and Specialist Up-Skilling Programmes for operatives continue to attract growing numbers of delegates keen to learn about the benefits and cost savings that a wide array of treatments now provide. In the spring we launched the RSTA Carbon Calculators coinciding with the appointment of our new Technical Services Manager, Jonathan Haycock, who will be providing free training to members on how to use the new suite of PRoTECT carbon calculators. These are now being written into HD37 part of the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges that covers a number of Surface Treatments. This will help the PRoTECT tools to become increasingly recognised as the industry standard approach for measuring the carbon footprint on maintenance schemes involving surface treatments. I am also very much aware that although we are providing training to hundreds of local authority highway staff each year there are many authorities who we rarely hear from so we will be making extra efforts over the next six months to make contact with all local authorities. I want to make sure everyone who needs to know is aware of the training now available and the suite of new Codes of Practice aimed at getting the job done right first time, and helping to stretch highway budgets and improve asset management.
As I mentioned, the Highways Agency are currently updating HD37 and the RSTA is heavily involved with this process. Likewise, we are also continuing to provide new technical content for the HMEP Guidance on Specifications for local road maintenance to ensure surface treatments are fully recognised. If you attended the RSTA annual Spring Conference at the Belfry back in April you will have seen the launch of the new RSTA video. This has been produced to explain to local authorities how the RSTA is working to improve standards within the sector to build client confidence in using surface treatments, to save cost and improve quality. Matthew Lugg immediate past President of ADEPT and Steve Kent ADEPT President were kind enough to feature in the video to talk directly to authorities sharing their views on how the RSTA is working with ADEPT to raise standards and lower costs. The video is available on the RSTA Youtube Channel which can be accessed via the RSTA website and if you haven’t spotted it the website has recently been redesigned to make navigation that much easier. It has grown significantly in content over the last four years and has become a useful business resource so it was important we made it easier to find information. Please take a moment to have a look at the new website, you might just find something helpful to your business.
One of my key objectives this year is to further develop our links with key industry stakeholder groups. So I have recently met with Jason Russell from Surrey CC who is heavily involved with HMEP work and also with the South East 7 Alliance. Challenged with making significant cost savings across the SE7 region it was recognised during our discussion that surface treatments have a more significant role to play in helping the SE7 to hit their cost reduction targets on their term maintenance contracts. This theme will be explored in more detail at an Autumn workshop involving members of SE7, RSTA, HTMA and other affected stakeholder groups. The important point is such cost saving initiatives need to be client led.
Finally the RSTA Autumn seminar for members is taking place on 20th November in the Technology Centre at the Science Park in Wolverhampton which will become the new location for the RSTA office when it is relocated to the West Midlands in December.
Dr Howard Robinson
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