I would like to clarify a point of confusion that arose following my 'No' response to the question posed on the Debate page (NCE 15 February).
The question put to me was 'Can we trust manufacturers' research?' In this context I would stand by my response and reiterate my concerns that manufacturers' own research may be questionable if a realistic and robust testing methodology has not been established from the outset. In responding to the published question 'Can we trust the research sponsored by special interest groups?' then I would support Les Richardson's comments and answer 'Yes' - provided that the research was carried out by an independent specialist organisation or centre of excellence, such as my own.
Jeremy Pinington (M), department head (pavements), TRL Limited email@example.com