Roads reimagined with people and planet in mind

By Derval Cummins, Director-Transportation, Aecom & Martin Boran, Associate Director-Highways-Ireland, Aecom

The Irish government is investing €1.8 billion in cleaner, greener transport in 2022, part of its drive to halve transport carbon emissions by 2030. But so far, the debate on resource allocation and planning has pitted investment in public transport against investment in roads, which is unhelpful. Optimising roads so that they support a greener transport system is not only a viable alternative but also a golden opportunity to secure a brighter future for a valuable resource.

The recent transport debate – cast as roads versus public transport – needs a clearer perspective if we want to create a sustainable and efficient travel system which improves quality of life as the population grows and behaviours shift.

To reach the Irish government’s goal of halving transport carbon emissions by 2030 we need to make the most of the roads we have, organising space on them differently. After all, they have been constructed at significant environmental and economic cost. Renewed investment gives us the opportunity to maximise their value to society by repurposing them for a new, more sustainable, era.

The process of greening Irish transport is already underway. National Transport Authority (NTA) and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII)-led initiatives include €360 million annual investment in safe walking, cycling and affordable active travel programmes as set out in the government’s upcoming Sustainable Mobility Policy. They also include multi-billion schemes like BusConnects across cities which, with new infrastructure, design and vehicles, underpin a clean network.

To read on, go to: Roads reimagined with people and planet in mind (aecom.com)

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