Roads remain dominant but are neglected in stimulus packages

Even with massive incentives and policies in favour of public transport and rail, road transport will remain predominant for the movements of goods and people.”

Read moreand download the full report on www.erf.be

This is one conclusion of a benchmark study entitled “Mobility and Recovery in Europe: Impacts of the Covid-19 crisis”, a follow-up to a major study that we covered in the Interview in Bitumen Matters 1/2021. Produced jointly by among others the European Union Road Federation (ERF) and the Confederation of International Contractors’ Associations (CICA), the study provides insight into the pandemic’s impact on the mobility and transport sectors in 11 European countries.

It also offers an analysis of national recovery plans, identifying trends towards the use of electricity in all stimulus packages. Other trends include an emphasis on public transport, development of cycling infrastructure, a strong focus on railways, especially for freight transport, and initiatives to reduce private car use, mainly through car-free zones in city centres.

Despite its dominant role, the road network is found to be the most neglected infrastructure in the national recovery strategies, with almost no investment mentioned either for the construction of new roads or maintenance. One of the study’s main recommendations calls for a realisation that the maintenance and adaption of road infrastructures are prerequisites for the ecological, digital and energy transition, which will drive economic recovery.

Projects

Gothenburg, Sweden

The Älvsborg Bridge spans the estuary of the Göta Älv river at the entrance to Gothenburg and the biggest port in Scandinavia. The bridge, officially opened in 1966, has a total length of 930 m and a suspended span of 418 m. To guarantee the bridge's functionality and extend its useful life, extensive maintenance work has been under way since 2019, the third and final stage being completed this summer.

Talking point

Road infrastructure in North-Western Europe

Even though many successful road projects have been completed in Western Europe in recent years, the durability and availability of the road infrastructure needs to be improved.

Interview

Paving the way for asphalt 4.0

Digitalisation is making inroads in the asphalt industry. The latest Eurasphalt & Eurobitume (E&E) Congress was held virtually in June. It was a success, but the next E&E event will allow industry stakeholders to meet face-to-face.

6
Sustainable Development

The way forward for Wales

Over ten years in the making, the Welsh Government’s new surface course specification centres around stone mastic asphalt (SMA) and hopes to significantly increase the service life of the road surface materials.

Noted

All the key players are working together to achieve the best possible result.

Katri Eskola, Specialist Road Maintenance Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency

Talking point: The COVID-19 pandemic


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