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JAG(UK) – Looking Forward

JAG(UK) is an organisation that represents the best interests of highways and road authorities in the United Kingdom.

We were formed to provide relevant advice and support to the government, passing on our expertise via the Highway Authorities and Utilities Committee, HAUC(UK), and also through direct contact with various government departments.

Dave Capon, CEO. JAG(UK)

Dave Capon, CEO. JAG(UK)

JAG(UK) has eight primary objectives. It delivers against these through a rolling three-year business plan, detailed in agreed action plans that are reported annually.

We have eight key objectives

Over the last three years, JAG(UK) has been pivotal in helping communities to work through the challenges of Brexit and Covid – helping to ensure the nation stayed as mobile as possible. It’s been a good time to reflect on our strengths, and to consolidate our strategy.

  1. Safeguarding the quality and effectiveness of streets and roads as the major transport network
  2. Monitoring current street and road works legislation to ensure its effectiveness and to make recommendations for change where necessary
  3. Developing a consistent and appropriate implementation of regulations, balancing the legitimate needs of network users and works promoters
  4. Identifying and promoting good practice in all aspects of traffic and works coordination
  5. Liaising with the Regional JAG and joint Regional HAUC/RAUC (Roads Authorities and Utilities Committee) representatives groups and all other bodies who have an interest in street and road works
  6. Supporting practitioners within member organisations in their personal professional development through communication and the provision of guidance and advice
  7. Representing the interests and expert contributions of the membership in the wider public arena, including government, HAUC(UK), RAUC, the National Traffic Managers Forum and other related bodies
  8. Liaising with the Department for Transport (DfT), devolved Governments and members of HAUC(UK) working groups ensuring that a common policy and strategy related to the HAUC(UK) business plan is established and communicated.

We’re finding better ways to engage with authorities now, and to make contact with industry in a more consistent and transparent way. Reducing travel, increasing efficiency and connectivity, we now have regular meetings and make sure information to the community is well communicated.

Action on climate change

Climate change is still high on the agenda, as is the need to move the industry from a linear economy to a circular one. The UK is structurally addicted to growth and the reality is that, as an island nation, our demand for resources is contributing to acidification of the oceans. We’re not alone in causing damage to the earth's atmosphere, but the world operates a linear economy that is exhausting our planet.

The Covid crisis has highlighted how quickly habits can change, however, and we must take advantage of the opportunities presented to us. JAG(UK) is working closely with industry to ensure alignment between all the agencies involved. We need to make changes, now.

Electrical vehicle charging needs are changing

Electrical vehicle charging needs are changing

Lowering emission levels and reducing congestion will be key to achieving our climate goals. Permit schemes will also be an important tool in managing the UK’s highway network more effectively – maximising capacity through better-focused works’ planning and execution. As vehicle choices change, so too will the needs for electrical vehicle charging. The increase in demand for district heating schemes will also be a major part of JAG(UK)’s focus over the coming months and years. These are key Government initiatives that are likely to be complex and may be disruptive, but they are both essential in terms of achieving national and international climate change objectives.

Improving connectivity

Without access to robust internet, the UK economy would grind to a halt. The fibre strategy for 2025 is ambitious, and the pandemic highlighted the vital nature of good communications. JAG(UK) has been working with DCMS to support the rollout and delivery of a far more capable fibre network: we’ve been helping to produce two sets of fibre-delivery guidance notes and supporting many authorities as they work on a smooth delivery.

By the end of 2023, the volume of global internet traffic is expected to be 95 times that of 2005. In the UK, fixed internet traffic is set to double every two years, while mobile data traffic increases at a rate of up to 242% per year. The UK’s digital infrastructure must support the expected increase in traffic, and have enough capacity to ensure data flows at the volume, speed and reliability desired. With that in mind, we’ve also been supporting a team of consultants working with the Greater Manchester Combined Authorities, market providers and the DCMS Barrier Busting Task force – minimising obstacles to investment and reducing roll out costs. The strategy being developed in Greater Manchester is a model that could be developed elsewhere in the whole of the UK.

Workers lay a new Internet fiber optic cable

Workers lay a new Internet fiber optic cable

JAG(UK) has also been supporting the development of ‘Street Manager’. In time, this app will give us all a single view of the street and a single view of what’s happening on that street: it’s connected to the National Underground Asset Register (NUAR) project, and has great relevance for HAUC(UK)’s HAUC App – a progressive app that emphasises the Safety Code of Practice and the Specification of Reinstatement of the Highway(SROH) (SROR in Scotland). The HAUC app provides instant alerts, information and best practice tips for anyone working within the sector.

Industry-wide benefits

As part of HAUC(UK), JAG(UK) is also improving transparency and consistency by reviewing various codes of practice, promoting innovation and bringing the industry together with a yearly convention that showcases the work being done to meet new challenges and the delivery needs of the nation.

Innovation is key, with many exciting new materials and working methods that will make a real difference. Volumetric asphalts, flowable mastics and narrow trenching are removing our reliance on traditional methods and materials.

Long-term value

As the organisation responsible for the roads and streets of the United Kingdom, JAG(UK) offers support to a breadth and depth of related expertise – sectors, industries, and businesses that depend on UK-wide mobility. It also provides the key link to government, and its members are primarily local authorities and similar bodies whose principal activities are governed by highways, street, road and traffic management legislation.

Together, responsibilities incorporate the regulation of streets and roads with a view to maintaining public safety, asset integrity and the movement of people and goods.

JAG(UK)’s strategy has never been more relevant to the productivity and profitability of a nation, and never been more important than now.

 

Channel website: https://www.geoplace.co.uk

Original article link: https://www.geoplace.co.uk/blog/2023/jaguk-looking-forward

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