DARe and CIHT Partner on New Project

A car makes its way along a flooded road, with a road warning sign reading 'Flood' in the foreground

DARe and the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) are working together on a new collaborative highways project that will explore how the highways sector can improve the UK road network in terms of resilience and adaptability to extreme weathers.

The project will be supported by an advisory group that will bring in expertise and experience from the DARe team and across the highways sector, alongside representatives from the CIHT Partnerships Network, the CIHT Technical Champions, and the UK Roads Leadership Group (UKRLG). The project will also call upon specialist expertise through various targeted engagement activities.

The group will be guided by Professor Phil Blythe CBE, Director of the DARe Hub, and Neil Johnstone, immediate CIHT Past President and member of CIHT Learned Society and Technical Strategy Board.

The joint-project will produce a report on the UK road infrastructure’s resilience and adaptation to extreme weather events, focusing particularly on the challenges posed by ageing structures, wear and tear, and the increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events.

“I’m delighted for the DARe Hub to be partnering with CIHT on this important topic. This collaborative project will be strengthened and enhanced by the breadth of stakeholders and expertise DARe and CIHT can both bring to the table. Resilience has not been as high on the political agenda as it now needs to be, and we hope that the project outcomes will provide impactful guidance around the practicalities of road building and maintenance, for both industry and government.”

Professor Phil Blythe CBE, DARe Hub Director

Overall, the project will:

  • Assess costs and impacts to industry and communities of failures to maintain, renew, and adapt our roads to extreme weather;
  • explore successful and sustainable examples of the implementation of new materials, processes, and practices that allow the highway to respond to emergency, stabilise and recover assets condition and reduce future risks associated with extreme weather events;
  • identify best practice asset management and maintenance to ensure network resilience to extreme weather.

DARe and CIHT launched the project earlier this month with the first in a series of planned workshops. Attended by CIHT members and diverse highways representatives, the first event allowed the project team to gather direct input to better shape the project according to the needs of the highways sector.

The main takeaway from this first event was a clear need for cross-organisational knowledge sharing to overcome the practice of silos working that has long characterised the transport sector. The DARe Hub brings together a diverse team of Project Partners who cover all aspects of transport, which will strengthen this project.

Planned next steps in the project will see a series of events and activities take place focused on gathering experience and knowledge from highways experts and practitioners, including a webinar, a call for case studies, and interviews.

In partnership with

CIHT logo

“CIHT is pleased to be able to bring together a great group of experts to tap into their knowledge and address key issues of the moment… there is definitely already some good practice and experiences out there and we hope to bring it all together and share it among the sector.”

Neil Johnstone, immediate CIHT Past President