Speaker: John Spencer

John Spencer, Road Safety and Sustainability Team Leader, Northamptonshire County Council

Presentation: The benefits and challenges of outsourcing road safety services

John Spencer is the team leader of road safety and sustainable travel services delivered by KierWSP, the joint venture delivering transport and highways to Northamptonshire County Council.  The full integration of the highways and transport service, together with the transfer of staff to this private sector provider, took place two years ago.  John and his multi-disciplinary team were part of this transfer process from Northamptonshire County Council from where he had managed their Casualty Reduction Partnership since 2006.

John served for 30 years as a police officer with Northamptonshire Police, mainly within the realms of road policing, before joining Northamptonshire County Council in 2006.  He was instrumental in establishing the Forensic Collision Investigation Unit, Road Death Investigation Policy and Family Liaison Service for bereaved families.

In addition to his road policing commitments John was appointed as lead officer to manage the police collaboration element within the Casualty Reduction Partnership with Northamptonshire County Council when it was established in 1999.  The Partnership made outstanding progress in reducing road casualties in the county and, in 2006, was awarded government Beacon Status for road safety excellence.

John’s motivation for reducing road casualties stems from having to deal with, and investigate, countless collisions involving death and serious injury during his police career.

Northamptonshire County Council is in the process of outsourcing all services and will move away from direct delivery to a ‘Next Generation Model’ where a core council of around 150 staff will commission private sector expertise to provide services.

This represents the biggest transformation of services in Northamptonshire since the creation of this council 125 years ago.

Northamptonshire Highways was established in 2012 at the beginning of the outsourcing programme and all the key functions of transport and highways, including road safety, were brought together in a joint venture involving Kier Group and WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff.

John’s presentation will provide a road map of how the integration took place, the benefits and challenges for road safety delivery and the impact on his team moving from public sector to a private sector provider.