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  • Writer's pictureRina Singh

Resilient Transport Conference Round Up | RESILIENCE POD

Updated: May 9, 2019

This intimate sector specific resilience event was the first I have been to that provided an opportunity to discuss assumptions , challenges and realities facing the transport sector with road and rail professionals. I have to say, a lot of assumptions were made on many things in the rail sector without perhaps knowing all the facts and taking the time to understand. We all have our versions of the 'truth'. It's not perfect but there is progress and this session most certainly enhanced that.

At the end of the day, it all came down to understanding your organisation and knowing where to prioritise. That, my friends is the obvious take away in all aspects of resilience. You can do it all, but just not all at once!

Essentially, all talks had one thing in common....

TRUST = Resilience = safer + better = cheaper. Ultimately putting OUR passengers first.

The conference began by planning for a more resilient transport network. We got to hear from Jonah Edgerly, Senior Safety and Resilience Engineer and Dr Peter Geake,Technical Director -Asset and Risk Management at Jacbos who told us that a single measurement of resilience is not practical but more an activity to be monitored over time.

Resilience =safer + better = cheaper. These activities need to be monitored over time looking at a resilience analysis (prevention response and recovery capabilities)

Duncan Cross, Director at Arup reminded us to ALWAYS remember the customer in planing.

Often resilience is built into new system and design . Review is essential but do not forget to

ask how practical the plan is. e.g. will it get lost in translation? have assumptions been tested? this is difficult in the transport sector. What about Predictions? In a digital world we have more tools. Do we trust them? eg. weather forecast. if there is snow planned, do we do nothing in case it doesn't happen? Many a companies have been caught out.

We moved onto the next talk and in hindsight as the obvious takeaway,

Sort out the problem but look after your people. There is a tendency to focus on mending the hole not the chaos the hole causes. Welfare and duty of care is essential. - Guy Dangerfield - Head of Strategy . Transport Focus


its about communication

Build trust 'normal not formal' as quoted by the CEO of highways England.

Talks went onto discuss a lot of Weather and Climate change factors where i was cheering for my colleague Lisa Constable of Network Rail.

As we move to the digital age (we are actually already in it) we have to utilise the tools we have for better resilience. What about our Digital Railways. There are problems and we need to build resilience through layered approach, think of DR sites , dedicated teams and build in virtual reality capabilities to name a few mentioned by Tim Witcher of WSP.

Transportation resilience is all about taking a risk based approach. We are in a dynamic and challenging environment. Many outputs like Cyber are regulation focused. This is where Greg Pope demystified cyber resilience. It's not complicated. We need to look at it from a risk based view.

Dr Edwin Barker , Technical Director of AECOM talked us through the Rail Future Challenges and what impacts future travel e.g. The Socioeconomic changes such as growth in age groups, changing economy and job losses for lower skilled jobs as automation increases.

A rise in flexible workforce, disposable income not being as high as it once was and of course our digital life styles. - Online shopping.

This nicely went onto Technological changes. e.g. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Apps such as Uber, tap and go, City Mapper etc. The competition is in the auto industry too. One day we will just lease cars when we please. Let's also not forget drones and drone taxi's. But , that is another issue .

Obviously with the increased disruptions in rail due to unplanned , cancelled or significantly late failures and weather issues , people are also less willing to travel because of digital world. It's easier to flexi work, and we crave the work life balance.

Essentially, all talks had one thing in common. Trust !

The challenges are the same in many organisations with a few specifics

TRUST = Resilience = safer + better = cheaper. Ultimately putting OUR passengers first.

As a bonus i got to meet some awesome people and have some interesting conversations.

until next time..

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