The Association’s Annual General Meeting and luncheon will be held at the Brooklands Museum at Weybridge on Thursday 17 November. Members will be joined for lunch by Richard Hayes (Chief Executive of the Institute of Highway Engineers), Wayne Duerden, Sally Gibbons and John Bennett (Department for Transport), Jon Gibson (Brintex), Rebecca Hatch (INDO Lighting), Alec Peachey (editor of Highways Magazine), Liz Newell-Hart (chair of of BSI traffic signs committee) and Andy Pledge (Secretary of the Retroreflective Equipment Manufacturers Association).
The Department for Transport has indicated that the three-month European notification period has now ended, and it expects to lay the new Regulations before Parliament during March 2016, with a coming-into-force date sometime in April.
The new TSRGD will revoke the long-standing requirement for equipment used to bring traffic signs into or out of use to be of a type approved by the Secretary of State. Such products will then be able to be lawfully placed on the market without Type Approval. However, as members are aware, a new group, TOPAS, has been formed to provide a voluntary registration system to replace Type Approval and maintain technical specifications. TOPAS comprises representatives from the Association, the local government organisation the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport, the governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the Department for Transport.
TOPAS (Traffic Open Products and Specifications) has been transferring existing Type Approvals to the new register for some months now, and will go live when the 2016 TSRGD come into force. It is hoped that all specifiers will in future require traffic control equipment which would formerly have been type approved to be registered with TOPAS. This is intended to provide assurance that equipment will operate as claimed by the manufacturer, and to ensure inter-operability with existing equipment.
Two new members have joined the Executive Committee for 2016. Graham Muspratt of Clearview Traffic Group was elected in October, to serve from the end of the AGM in November. Tom Barnes subsequently resigned as a result of a change of responsibilities. At the new committee’s first meeting on 25 February, it was agreed to co-opt Katherina Lewis (3M) to serve until the next AGM.
The full committee therefore comprises:
Lindsay Forster (Standard Signs) (chair)
Karen Richardson (Pudsey Diamond)
Keith Manston (Siemens)
Dan Robinson (TMP)
Graham Muspratt (Clearview)
Will Baron (Keysoft) (Co-opted)
Roger Stainforth (VMS) (Co-opted)
Mark Pleydell (Radix Traffic) (Co-opted)
Katherina Lewis (3M) (Co-opted)
The Guidance Note on CE marking, published by the Association earlier this year, has now been revised with the help of a specialist in the Construction Product Regulation, and updated to give more detailed advice on the requirements of CE marking, which became compulsory on 1 July this year. The new version was launched at the IHE Signs Conference on 18 September. It can be obtained from the Downloads section of the website, and should be used in place of the older version.
Articles by the General Secretary on the mysteries of CE marking have appeared in Local Government Executive and Highways Magazine. The LGE article also picked up on the Government’s recent initiative on sign clutter, to point out the need for a systematic and rational approach if maximum benefits were to be achieved.