Seminar for the Management and Development of North European roads

The Highland Council is hosting an important International conference today (Friday 9 November) bringing together 117 delegates from Finland, Greenland, Norway, Sweden, Canada and Scotland to highlight new ways for managing low traffic volume roads across the northern periphery of Europe.

During the seminar delegates will be presented with the results of five new research projects carried out and introduced to an innovative e-learning package on low volume road design.

Roadex, a roads technical collaboration across the Northern Periphery of Europe, started in 1998 as a three year pilot project between the road districts of Finnish Lapland Troms Count of Norway, the Northern Region of Sweden and The Highland Council.  Its goal was to encourage co-operation and research into the common problems effecting countries in he Northern Periphery of the world, such as sparse populations, difficult terrain, long winter seasons, low traffic volume, remote settlements and long journey times.

In 2002 membership was expanded to include new partners and Roadex II started to specifically concentrate on the development of models, assessment methods and tools to improve road conditions management of low volume rural roads.  Eight comprehensive reports have been produced covering topics such as drainage issues, roads constructed over peat and environmental guidelines.

In January 2006 Roadex III, the Implementation project, started with new partners joining from Iceland and Sweden.  The priority of this project was to take the collected knowledge out into the partner areas and deliver it first hand to engineers and technicians. 

The conference, held at The Highland Council Offices on Glenurquhart Road, is the final seminar of the ROADEX III project and will promote to delegates the new knowledge that has been gathered by research over the last couple of years which can now be used in the planning, management and maintenance of road networks across northern Europe.

The Highland Council has from the start been actively involved with Roadex and hosted the first UK seminar earlier this year in Inverness on 12 February.

While welcoming delegates, Chairman of TEC Services and Vice Chair of Hitrans (The Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership), Councillor John Laing said:  “The Council has been involved in ROADEX for over 9 years and the project is held in high regard as a top class example of trans-national co-operation.  All members share the common goal of delivering excellent stewardship of the road network in their countries.  It is through sharing resources, research, best practice and experiences with each other that we can take new knowledge and use it to make improvements to our road networks which are a vital lifeline to our communities.”

“This conference is an important networking opportunity and I look forward to hearing about some of the new developments.  The mass of knowledge we now have thanks to ROADEX will provide us with the tools to make the most of what we have and help to sustainate our need for further investment of our network of rural roads.”

For further information on ROADEX visit www.roadex.org
 
-ENDS-

9 Nov 2007
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