ADEPT's new president re-imagines the road

Dominic Browne

New ADEPT president Nigel Riglar has revealed to Highways magazine his presidential theme and priorities for his time in the top chair.

The director of environment and community services at South Gloucestershire Council has chosen 'keep our places extraordinary' as the motto for his stint at the top of the council directors' body.

The phrase covers a range of priorities designed to benefit quality of life, environment, health and resilience but it is the fundamental relationship we have with the network that intrigues him most.

'The issue that is closest to my heart is the interaction between people and place. Really rethinking the relationship between people and place to build consent for new ways of using the highways network,' he told Highways.

A new understanding 

'Together with that reallocation of road space we are seeing recently, we need to build an understanding within our communities to accept a different use of highway estate. In the short-term this is in response to COVID-19 and social distancing needs, but in the longer-term the need is for us to respond to a climate emergency.'

He argued that the lockdown had made people rethink the use of their local place and whether it does what they need it to, enabling a stronger debate around the nature and use of local places.

'I think the challenge is how we start to rethink the quantum of road space and how we share it and access what we need in different ways. Some of it is having a debate about what we need the highways network to do and I think COVID-19 is an interesting lens to look at that through.'

Discussing the COVID-19 response, Mr Riglar said in support of the wider effort 'we as highways authorities have to build the argument and consent for reallocating road space'.

'We have to reallocate away from the car and towards public transport users and cyclists. That is going to be a real challenge this year.'

Immediate and long term

As he laid out his key focus for his year in office, Mr Riglar said an immediate priority was securing funding certainty.

Last week, Highways revealed the concerns within ADEPT around the approaching financial cliff edge for next year, as councils have not been told what cash settlement to expect.

Mr Riglar said councils were in a 'quandary' and colleagues were right to raise concerns.

When asked when the deadline would be for funding notification before damage to asset management plans might be done, he suggested 'in a manner of speaking it is already too late', as without medium to long-term funding councils lose the benefits of best practice asset management.

He added that ADEPT would also keep up the fight against competitive bidding processes.

'Virtually all local highways authorities have very strong asset management processes and if you give us the money we can get on with it but we constantly finding ourselves bidding.'

With a background in environmental science, Mr Riglar is acutely aware of the issues around the climate change agenda.

As part of this, he said he was keen to reduce emissions on the network, help support decarbonisation both within local services themselves and with the way the network is used, and build resilience in the network.

His other key focus is to push the outcomes of ADEPT's Live Labs project - a government funded programme of innovation field testing.

'The Live Labs are exploring and stretching the boundaries of what the local highway network can enable in terms of economic, and community growth and I will be making sure we are getting strong learning coming out from that across the sector.'

Highways jobs

Senior Planning and Highways Lawyer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£45,834 - £48,819
Are you a Senior Planning & Highways Lawyer with local government experience who is looking for variety and challenge Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Technical Lead Officer – Transport Planning and Policy

Somerset County Council
£34,728 to £38,890 per annum
We have a fantastic opportunity in Somerset within our Transport Commissioning team. Taunton, Somerset
Recruiter: Somerset County Council

Outreach and Engagement Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£26,592 - £28,672
You will have a good understanding and some experience in waste management practices. Camden, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Camden London Borough Council

Cyfarwyddwr Corfforaethol - Economi a’r Amgylchedd / Corporate Director Economy & Environment

Caerphilly County Borough Council
£117,115 - £130,128 p/a
Tîm Caerffili-YN WELL GYDA’N GILYDD Team Caerphilly- BETTER TOGETHER Caerphilly (Caerffili)
Recruiter: Caerphilly County Borough Council

Operations Manager (Traffic & Compliance)

We’re looking for the right person for this role, so we don’t mind where you’re located, as long as... London (Greater)
Recruiter: Capita

Operations Manager (Traffic & Travel)

You’ll be responsible for developing strategies and delivering projects and programmes as part of the service senior management team - including... London (Greater)
Recruiter: Capita

Operations Manager (Development Control)

You’ll be responsible for the overall delivery of all highways and development control management in this varied role. London (Greater)
Recruiter: Capita

Operations Manager (Assets)

It’s an exciting role where we’ll look to you to ensure highways projects are delivered against continuous improvement and... London (Greater)
Recruiter: Capita

Asset Manager

You’ll be part of a friendly team and work closely with the operations managers and senior team to... London (Greater)
Recruiter: Capita

Technical Supervisor

You’ll make an impact in a friendly team who are responsible for... London (Greater)
Recruiter: Capita

Traffic & Travel Manager

As part of a friendly team, you’ll support the operations manager of traffic and travel in the overall delivery of... London (Greater)
Recruiter: Capita

Environmental Surveyor

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£34,900 - £47,300 per annum
You will have practical experience of grounds and repair works to common parts of housing estates and... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recruiter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Traffic Engineer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£25.137 - £34.209
We are looking to appoint a Traffic Engineer to work within the Traffic Group (Traffic Team) to
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Senior Travel Plan Officer

Somerset County Council
£25,991 to £29,577 per annum
Fantastic opportunity in Somerset to work in our Travel Plan Team within the Highways Development Management service as a... Somerset
Recruiter: Somerset County Council

Outdoor Learning Assistant

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£11,036 per annum
You will contribute to the outdoor learning programme for a wide range of participants visiting our Centres. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Director of Operations

St. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council
£92,968 - £98,282
This role is an opportunity for talented, corporate thinking and grounded leaders to grow personally and professionally in... St Helens, Merseyside
Recruiter: St. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council

Refuse Driver (LGV Chargehand Driver)

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£22995 - £24258 per annum + plus contractual overtime and allowances
It is an exciting time in Waste and Street Services at the Royal Borough of Greenwich. This is a opportunity to be part of a busy, successful team mak England, London, Greenwich
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Principal Traffic Signal and ITS Engineer

Warwickshire County Council
£40,876.00 - £42,821.00 plus annual standby allowance of £2,562.84
You will be responsible for the day-to-day operation and maintenance of our Urban Traffic Management and Control System. Warwickshire
Recruiter: Warwickshire County Council

Refuse Driver

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£22.995 - £24.258
The successful candidates will work anywhere within the Borough of Greenwich, work outside in all weathers, and be able to use... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Public Protection Group Leader

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£43,857 - £45,859
You will develop a strategic approach to deliver a service which promotes jobs and businesses, protects the safety of... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue
  • Highways Awards shortlist revealed
  • Jim O’Sullivan interview
  • Legalising e-scooters: risks and rewards
View the latest issue

Latest Video