Lunch with Leon episode 22 - James Haluch

Nov 30, 2020, 08:55 AM

Stripping off on the roads? The Naked Highway. If you’ve not come across the expression, then the Naked Highway is not what you might think...
Chatting over lunch with Leon Daniels OBE is James Haluch Managing Director – Highways and Waste Collections, at Amey and they get to grips with what our roads should look like in the future – and the Naked Highway is part of this.
They start by talking about what the Highways Sector Council, launched in 2019, is currently doing. 
Together, they unpick some of the big issues that are being tackled and how working with the government meant that the highways sector was able to take rapid advantage of COVID-19 to do works that otherwise weren’t possible in normal times.
James and Leon chat with a passion about changing safety culture; when you know you’ve ‘cracked it’ (with anecdotes) and how good safety saves money.
This neatly takes the conversation around to one of the biggest issues of recent times – the closure of London’s Hammersmith Flyover due to structural defects – and how it enabled “progress to be made in very unusual ways” for the careers and knowledge of young engineers.
James chats about some of the pioneering work he’s involved in to encourage young people into engineering and how a scheme projected to ‘graduate’ 15,000 people ended up with 125,000 awards issued.
Swapping more anecdotes, they talk about dining in Belmarsh Prison and why the CEO of Thames Water was woken by a phone call at 0600 on a Sunday.