Speaking at the at the World Road Association's AGM Lila said she felt proud and excited to be leading the committee, and emphasised its valuable role in bringing lessons learned from across the World Road Association back to the UK.
“We know that the UK is very well respected within the WRA,” she said. “I want to build on that and engage in knowledge exchange around the world to move the road sector forward.” She added: “Sharing good practice is what I am passionate about.”
Lila is director of transport asset management at consultant Atkins and is currently working with Highways England.
She brings more than 20 years experience in the sector and has worked on a number of strategic national reviews of highways maintenance that influence policy. She was instrumental in developing the ‘Well-managed Highway Infrastructure’ Code of Practice, published in 2016.
Immediate priorities for Lila in her new role include preparing for the WRA UK Congress, which takes place in Cardiff in November and will focus on the topic of low carbon transport.
She will also work with the UK’s first delegate to the WRA Graham Pendlebury to ensure the UK is well represented at next year’s WRA World Congress in Abu Dhabi.
Lila also praised the work of former committee chair Andrew Boyle, who she said has done a great job over the last four years and will be a tough act to follow. “He leaves the UK committee in a really strong position to build on,” she said.
Reflecting on his time as chair, Andrew – an independent consultant since leaving the Highways Agency where he was a divisional director – said: “The UK is still highly respected internationally and has been very active in contributing to the WRA’s work. I think I’ve helped to engender that.”
One of the key achievements of the committee under Andrew’s leadership was overcoming funding difficulties experienced following the Highways Agency’s change of status to Highways England.
The Agency previously contributed half of the UK committee’s funding, but after becoming a Government owned company it was decided that financially supporting the WRA was not part of its duties. Andrew led successful negotiations to have the Department for Transport take on the responsibility, a process that took close to a year.
♦ High Speed 2’s new chairman has been named as Crossrail chair Sir Terry Morgan following his appointment to the position by the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.
Sir Terry will take over from current HS2 Chairman Sir David Higgins on 1 August, who has served two terms as chairman since joining the high speed rail project in 2014.
Sir Terry will also continue to work at Crossrail where he has been chair since 2009.