Conference Programme 2024

Thursday 18 April 2024


Met Office Civil Contingencies and the Road and Transport Sector

09:00 - 09:25
  • An overview of the Met Office’s involvement in the road and transport sector, including the National Severe Weather Warning Service (NSWWS).
  • An outline of the Scottish Flood Forecasting Service – a flood warning partnership between the Met Office and SEPA.
  • A short case study on Storm Babet and general review of winter 2023/2024.
  • How climate change may impact the future road and transport sector.

PIARC: The 2024-27 Winter Technical Committee Plan

09:30 - 09:50
  • What is PIARC?
  • PIARC Workflow Update.

Don't Make a Drama Out of a Crisis

09:55 - 10:15
  • How we work alongside SG/Ministers/Police to get our message across during major events and severe weather.
  • How the political and media landscape has changed and the most effective methods of communication.
  • Main learnings from recent events such as COP 26, CWC and Operation Unicorn.
  • What does climate change mean for communications?
  • Q&A opportunity with Stein Connelly before he deservedly walks off into the sunset of retirement.

How Climate Assessments have Helped Practitioners Apply the NWSRG Guidance (Section 12) in Relation to Weather Forecasting

10:20 - 10:40
  • Providing a data-led climatological, topographical and meteorological review of a treated network.
  • Deciding which approach (single domain, multi domain or route based) is the most suitable for a practitioner’s network.
  • Drawing on a number of case studies, each with a slightly different client objective.

Storm Challenges and Impact

10:40 - 11:00
  • A presentation focusing on scour management, including assessments, management strategy, programmes of works, and inspections.
  • Exploring the impacts and repairs of scour-induced problems on bridges Aray, Tummel and Braan in the North-West Unit of the Scottish trunk road network.

Exhibition & Networking

11:00 - 11:30

Introducing the PREDICTOR Surface Water Flood Forecasting Tool

11:30 - 11:50
  • Motivation behind the development of the PREDICTOR tool.
  • High-level summary of the technical basis of the tool.
  • Application of the tool to forecasting impacts on the trunk road network.
  • Review of the tool’s performance in the pilot phase during recent flood events.
  • Next steps towards adopting the tool operationally.

How Real-Time Data Solves Real Problems

11:55 - 12:15
  • How our relationship started with Transport Scotland through implementing their Gritter Tracker.
  • Having found success in the public eye, Transport Scotland looked inward with the new Mercury Dashboard, which went live last summer.
  • Introducing a third dimension for the winter season.
  • What’s next? Digital twins, weather, winter optimisation.

Road Closures and the Haulage Sector

12:15 - 12:35
  • How do we hear of road closures?
  • The cost attached to diversions.
  • Where do we go when the roads are closed?
  • Partnering to do better.

Winter Service on Scotland’s Trunk Roads: Our Journey towards Net Zero

12:40 - 13:00
  • Network Management Contract: contractual requirements for Winter Service 
  • Evolution towards a more sustainable winter service, including trials with de-icing salt applications.


13:00 - 14:00

Easy Insights: Unlocking Winter Road Maintenance in Challenging Areas

14:00 - 14:20
  • Challenges in monitoring winter road conditions across diverse locations.
  • IoT technology's role in collecting data from previously hard-to-measure areas.
  • Enhanced affordability and accuracy in obtaining road weather data with IoT.
  • Integration of data into a modern, hybrid road weather network.
  • Achieving quicker and more effective measures for ensuring safer roads through technology.

Case Study: Smart Surface Temperature Sensing for Winter Road Maintenance

14:25 - 14:45
  • CENSIS has developed an Internet of Things (IoT) enabled monitoring system for roads, pavements and car parks.
  • Find out more about the initial challenge along with the main features of the system.
  • Hear about the local authorities already using the technology to deploy ‘smart gritting’ programmes.
  • Discover the technology blueprints helping Scotland’s local authorities realise the potential of IoT for the delivery of public services.

Exhibition & Networking

15:30 - 16:00