As 2013 draws to a close we can look back on another year of progress for RSTA on many fronts.
Nine companies joined The RSTA this year boosting membership numbers to a record level of 83. There may have been more but two applicants were unable to comply with our new criteria for membership as we look to continuously raise industry standards. Delegate numbers on our range of CPD training courses remained high during the year emphasising the value many councils place on training and re-building some of the technical competencies eroded over recent years. The RSTA has had an unparalleled year regarding our involvement with drafting updates to industry design guidance and specifications. Six meetings held with the Highways Agency pavements team over a three month summer/autumn period emphasises how much RSTA expertise is now fully recognised by the major highway authorities. We have also been working closely with HMEP in submitting new guidance for inclusion in the updated document for Standard Specifications for Local Highway Maintenance Contracts.
Highways Magazine published a number of informative articles during the year, submitted by The RSTA, on Surface Dressing, High Friction Surfacing and Slurry Surfacings, in particular highlighting the new Codes of Practice. During the summer period the BBC website and a number of local BBC radio stations interviewed the RSTA for its views on issues relating to potholes and melting roads. Stakeholder engagement has also prospered during the year with constructive dialogue held with a number of organisations including; Highways Agency, ADEPT, Direct Road Services Northern Ireland, IHE, PACTS, CBI and the British Horse Society who also have issues with slippery road surfaces!
Finally 2013 will also be noted as the year when The RSTA relocated its main administration office to Wolverhampton following a ten year spell in Colchester. The new location will be more accessible for staff and members and will create a new RSTA hub for holding committee meetings and training courses. The new office will become fully operational during December. So it just remains for me to wish you all a restful Christmas period and a prosperous New Year!
Dr Howard Robinson
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