As industries around the world look to how expos and conferences may begin to return in the coming months, albeit with social distancing in place, ITS (UK) has formalised its support for the ITS World Congress coming to Britain in 2024, in its new manifesto.
But this is only the first point in a wide-ranging document. The 10-point manifesto – the organisation’s first – sets out how the UK’s Intelligent Transport Society, ITS (UK), will deliver its commitment to being the central knowledge hub and promotional platform for the entire transport technology industry, right across the UK, in order to deliver value for its members and the travelling public as a whole.
“What the manifesto really tries to do is to promote our vision that transport technology should be the first option for people to consider when improving to transport infrastructure,” said ITS chair Ryan Hood, of TRL, at a press conference to launch the manifesto. “So, it sets out a 10 point framework, which we will use to prioritize and focus the resources of ITS UK primarily over the next two to five years.”
Within that timescale the UK hopes to bring the ITS World Congress 2024 to the nation’s second largest city, Birmingham, in the West Midlands, to its NEC (National Exhibition Centre).
Speaking more specifically about the bid, and the challenges of Covid-19, ITS (UK) secretary general Jennie Martin said, “We are all aware that an international gathering like this of ITS professionals, in 2024, may work a variety of different ways. It could be exactly as it has been in the past. It could be something totally different, but the timescale means that we can work at whatever we need to for 2024, with ERTICO, if we’re successful in the bid. And we have the flexibility within all interested parties, between us and particularly with the expertise of the NEC staff themselves, so we know that we can make it work. Whatever a first class ITS World Congress will look like in 2024, we will be able to deliver it.”
This wider manifesto is a live document designed to be an ongoing project over the next four years. It will be regularly reviewed and progress will be identified and reported every six months.
The 10 points in full are:
- Deliver support to the World Congress bid if successful
- Deliver the ITS (UK) skills plan
- Be a knowledge sharing hub for innovation and best practice
- Advocate ITS across the transport industry and beyond
- Promote the UK’s transport and technology expertise UK abroad
- Support ITS for all members of society by ensuring we promote technology for inclusive mobility
- Assist members, especially SMEs with procurement and finding funding
- Grow membership, targeting providers of new technology and solutions
- Transition to the new world of transport
- Champion the role transport technology can play in improving the environment
“This Manifesto clearly sets out the value ITS (UK) will deliver for its members and the travelling public,” said Hood. “These are the priorities the members themselves have detailed, and that means we know that the society is doing what people need and want it to do.”
“The manifesto also sets out the framework for us in the secretariat to work closely with members on achieving these aims,” added Martin. “ITS (UK) isn’t just the secretariat, so I think that’s really important. We have a strong history of our members being very active and working with us, and the manifesto is a platform for formalizing that work and giving us some stronger direction to the future.”