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President update: 15th September

15 September 2020

The rising number of coronavirus cases and the R number increasing to between 1 and 1.2 are obviously concerning, particularly in the northern areas of England and the Midlands and have prompted the Government to introduce the new ‘rule of six’ guidance. The Prime Minister’s introduction of Covid Marshalls took many of us by surprise with more details due out this week. One of the most pressing issues for us of course, is how they will be funded.

So far, the return to school has posed few problems for school transport. I think it’s fair to say we were all holding our breath, but early indications suggest that the systems we have put in place are working well. However, we are aware of emerging issues and are asking the Government to support the financial viability of coach operators who have not received the same levels of support as bus operators. We are also asking for clarification on funding for tree pruning and the management of trees which pose a hazard to double decker buses. 

Last week we published the ADEPT E-scooters policy position, setting out how we think e-scooters can be taken forward safely and contribute to the net zero target, particularly in first mile / last mile of regular journeys. We will be asking members participating in e-scooter rental trials to feedback through the Transport & Connectivity Board and support members to weave e-scootering into active travel, climate emergency action plans, and local cycling and walking improvement plans. We are also asking government to support this work with prompt action and to review finding for all active travel modes and include e-scootering.

We are currently drafting our Comprehensive Spending Review submission, setting out our key asks across BEIS, Defra, DfT and MHCLG. We are continuing to work on submissions for the Planning for the Future consultation, the revised Waste Management Plan for EnglandReview of the Highway Code, and Pavement Parking. Finally, we highlighted the ash dieback issue in our response to the consultation on the draft England Tree Strategy, and the huge financial implications for highways and place. 

The Live Labs programme is continuing at pace, with project teams now firmly in the trials stage. Please keep an eye on the Live Labs blog and follow @ADEPTLiveLabs for news on the work coming out of each project. The first Live Labs White Paper - Mobilising an Innovation Programme is due for publication soon and the team is putting together a comms workshop for early next month. 

Version 4 of the Covid-19 HSC Safe Operating procedures for highways maintenance guidance has been published and is available on the ADEPT website here

Looking ahead, we have been working hard on the ADEPT conference (November 5th - 6th). More detailed government guidance on conference management in light of Covid-19 is expected before 1st October, but as it stands, this year it will be a hybrid event, meaning people can attend in person or participate virtually. The speakers and workshops will all be live-streamed in high-definition, with delegates taking part in question & answer sessions through Sli.do. Find out more about the conference programme and sign up here

On the same page you can also find out more about this year’s National Traffic Managers’ Virtual Conference on 7th October, which is a completely online event. ADEPT is a partner of this year’s LGC Climate Change 2020 Conference at the end of this week (17th - 18th September). Again, this one is a virtual event, and you can find out more here. Finally, Radioactive Waste Management Ltd (RWM), are hosting a webinar - Supporting low carbon futures through major infrastructure development - for ADEPT members 3 - 4:30 on 29th September. To sign up or find out more, please email [email protected].

As always, keep watching our COVID-19 updates page for the latest ADEPT news.