On Sunday we finally got to meet our delegates. After introductions and an overview of the week, the group were able to chat a bit more over dinner and prepare for a busy day on Monday.
Day 1 involved two meetings in London, so Monday morning saw us setting out bright and early to the Department for Transport. One key theme identified by attendees was the need for assessing and evaluating new technologies and innovations against a pre-established set of frameworks, in order to ensure suitability of systems adopted. Avoidance of “shiny new syndrome” on a more infrastructural level, perhaps? This session was an opportunity to learn about Future Mobility Zones and how these could be similar to the Smart Cities Mission in terms of the proposal process.
Afterwards participants enjoyed the great photo opportunities on the walk from DfT to Westminster tube station, and were particularly excited to see the Jubilee Line and compare it to older underground lines.
We then visited the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation. Stated highlights from these presentations included: the use of apprenticeships to fill gaps in skills-levels of new talent while training in new competencies for the ever-changing industry landscape; and the benefits of bringing together academia and practitioners to establish codes of practice informed by both sectors. One participant in particular felt that this could be emulated more, or more effectively, by organisations in her region.
Just wanted to say a huge thank you to Kevin from @LNER who gave our @UnderReform visitors lots of help getting our train from Kings Cross, helping with luggage and seats. Made the process a lot less stressful than it could have been. pic.twitter.com/jGFKBGaDwb
— Louise Reardon (@LouiseReardon1) September 16, 2019
Following our time at CIHT, we raced over to King’s Cross to catch our train up to Leeds. With the day’s meetings done we could enjoy the travel adventures (cosy taxi ride with twenty suitcases, anyone?), carry on the discussions and prepare for the next day’s talks.