09 November 2009

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Summary

The ERF - IRF BPC releases key discussion paper.

Details

The European Union Road Federation (ERF), the Brussels Programme Centre of the International Road Federation (IRF), is pleased to announce the release of a Discussion Paper titled “Sustainable Roads and Optimal Mobility”, advocating for policymakers to acknowledge the fact that carefully planned, built and operated road infrastructure - as well as good maintenance of the one already existing - leads to tangible positive effects for the environment, the society and the economy.

In the context of the 21st century, when there is a growing need for people and goods to be mobile, cost-effective, reliable and affordable transport is a key component of sustainable mobility. As a consequence, new and existing infrastructure must comply with high-quality technical standards, meet strict environmental and health standards and anticipate future demographic developments.


Sustainable roads are already a reality. In the recent years the road transport sector prepared itself and adapted efficiently to the fast-growing changes. The ERF – IRF BPC Paper highlights some best practices such as, the optimisation of route planning through environmental impact analyses, the use of recycled environment-friendly construction material, mitigating habitat fragmentation, avoiding water pollution, special consideration for areas with high environmental value and building quieter roads.


Overall the study concludes that better roads offer a positive contribution to a sustainable environment and that innovative ways of financing upgraded roads, cost-efficiently lead to the objective of sustainable development while contributing to the economic recovery.


The ERF – IRF BPC feels it is now time to abandon the belief that an increase in the number of roads and in their capacity will naturally lead to an increase in pollution in favour of a new balanced approach taking into account the latest findings and the enormous progress which the sector has seen with regards to its sustainability.