2011: A WATERSHED YEAR
Welcome to the Winter edition of the RSTA E-news, I am sure you will find the articles contained within it informative and topical and provide you with new understanding of road surface treatments and the valuable work of the Association.
2011 has been a very busy year for the RSTA and our colleagues across the industry. It may be that we look back on 2011 and see it as a watershed with regard to how our industry builds on efficiency initiatives and interacts more closely with the whole-life management of the UK’s most valuable asset,
the transport infrastructure.
Throughout 2011 we have worked very closely with colleagues from ADEPT, looking very carefully at how we can develop all aspects of the surface treatments industry and the RSTA to take a very proactive part in the Highway Maintenance Efficiency Programme (HMEP).
ADEPT members are driving many of the initiatives in the HMEP and these are and will remain the cornerstones to improvements in highway maintenance delivering real and sustainable value for money for the road network over future years.
Through working on elements of the HMEP programme it is clear that there is work to be done in many areas, and these are well suited to the activities carried out by RSTA members.
The understanding of whole-life value and lifecycle engineering of surface treatments is key to ensuring they can be evaluated consistently when looking at medium and long-term asset management plans.
Work has been carried out to provide lifecycle guidance to engineers and asset planners and this allows the programming of preventative maintenance techniques and the accurate prediction of the condition indices they will then deliver.
Similarly, the work carried out so far has already highlighted a need for greater awareness within all organisations as to the properties, specifications and codes of practice that pertain to Surface Treatments. There is concern that there is a gap in the skills base across the industry
when it comes to designing and developing maintenance programmes, using the fullest possible range of options. In discussion with ADEPT colleagues the RSTA is further broadening the range of training and awareness courses that can be delivered to bridge this gap –
this is seen as critical to making sure that in the future, long-term maintenance decisions are made in the short-term.
While the RSTA welcomes the recent announcements of additional funding for large network-critical infrastructure projects across the UK, it remains clear that the backbone of most local authority’s network resilience for the coming years will be underpinned by good value for money
road maintenance. The ebb and flow of surface treatment usage must be replaced by a consistent approach based on the work delivered so far on efficiencies and value-for-money. This in turn will bring greater resilience to our UK infrastructure, protecting the assets that we have and
freeing up funds to once again return the road stock to maintainable standards.
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