Representatives of Nankhoo Consulting Engineers jetted off to Sydney, Australia for the International Road Federation (IRF) – Roads Australia (RA) Regional Conference for Asia and Australasia, which concluded in Sydney on 5th May 2015. The key focus area was advancement of major initiatives and thought leadership within the national and international road sector.

The conference, which has been the largest of its type to be held in the Asia-Pacific region, had welcomed 90+speakers and 300+delegates and dignitaries from more than a dozen countries including China; France; Greece; India; the Netherlands; New Zealand; South Africa; USA; and United Kingdom to mention a few.

Nankhoo Representatives with dignitaries at the ceremony.

“There is a significant opportunity for industry and governments to come together to share international experiences and demonstrate a strong commitment to the goals of the Decade Of Action for Road Safety, by designing and building our roads of the future.”

Kiran Kapila - Chairman, International Road Federation, Geneva Programme Centre

Prassie Nankhoo, managing director of Nankhoo Consulting Engineers noted that the conference served as a springboard for greater regional and international co-operation to advance the worldwide cause of better, safer roads, and undertake to support and strengthen ties across industry and governments worldwide to realise this goal.

What was learnt?

The IRF conference further focused on the key areas of Road safety, environmental management, road layouts and systems, and road financing. Road safety was the foremost concern which was due to the conference occurring during the United Nations global road safety week. It was explained that safer roads are cheaper roads as a large sum of money is allocated every year to victims of road accidents. This is especially so for low and middle income countries like South Africa. It was explained that a combination of using research, new technology, road inspections, altered road designs and the use of rating systems have been shown to alleviate this problem to a large degree.

All in all the conference provided valuable insight as it illustrated how proper planning of road layouts, implementing new technology in construction, and providing methods to obtain feedback from existing roads goes a long way towards making roads cheaper, safer, and more environmentally friendly.