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TRL helps European road operators address climate change

Jan 16, 2017

With climate change generating increasing challenges for road operators, the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), has begun a unique €450,000 research project to help European road operators better address the impacts of climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

TRL is leading a consortium of six partners to deliver the two-year DeTECToR (Decision-support Tools for Embedding Climate Change Thinking on Roads) project. DeTECToR will produce practical tools and guidance documents, enabling road operators to better integrate climate change considerations in decision making and procurement.

According to a recent report from the European Commission on the impact of climate change on transport, weather stresses currently represent 30-50% of road maintenance costs in Europe – between €8 and €13 billion every year.

DeTECToR will also produce a self-assessment tool to help embed climate change mitigation and adaptation into procurement. With most transport operators contracting out their maintenance, integrating consideration of carbon reduction and climate change adaptation into procurement process is a vital part of addressing climate change. The DeTECToR tool will help operators to assess their processes and identify areas for action.

Dr Sarah Reeves, the TRL co-ordinator of the project, said, “DeTECToR represents a major step-change in embedding climate change adaptation in the decision making of road operators. It will provide the road industry with advanced tools and guidance based on the very latest research to help them improve the resilience of their networks. This is an exciting new project for TRL and will enable us to build on our national climate change adaptation work in both the road and rail sector.”

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