A major highways research initiative, which has previously involved 33 local authorities and helped deliver millions in savings, is relaunching after a 14-month break.
The Future Highways Research Club (FHRC) was founded on the principles of ‘participatory action-based research’, where councils test-run ideas for service improvements. It is free to members and funded through research outputs.
Formed by Proving Services – established by practitioners from Cranfield University School of Management – the club is hosted at Cranfield University.
In a statement, the FHRC said: ‘To remain entirely independent, the research club will only consider membership applications from local authorities.
‘We have a number of new members, including representatives from Scotland. We also have a new prospectus and many new challenges and opportunities to consider; not least the emergent Electric Vehicle Economy.’
A relaunch event is being held on 5 October 2017 at Cranfield University Conference Centre, where the full membership will meet to discuss the proposed research programme for 2017/18.
Members will also be issued with the following toolkits and updated factor sets, which are free for them to use within their organisations:
• Value for Money Analyser™ (v10)*
o Including the 2017 VfM Factor Set and all of the previous and most recent benchmark scores.
• Options Analyser™ (v10)*
o Used for assessing future highways strategies and business change Options.
• Highways Commissioning Framework
o Designed to enable VfM-driven services commissioning.
*Requires Microsoft Excel 2010, 2013 or 2016 (desktop edition).
FHRC writes exclusively in Highways magazine every month, providing insights and analysis from its research programme.