Weather and climate risks to road transport

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The weather can have a significant negative impact on the road network, which can often be running close to capacity in many parts of the UK. Meteorological hazards are frequently the cause of disruption and accidents, and this situation will be compounded by the effects of climate change. Indeed, the UK 2012 Climate Change Risk Assessment identified 33 threats and opportunities to road transport due to climate change. This paper reviews the key impacts of both weather and climate on the road network and discusses the need for increasing adaptation measures (including both engineering solutions and new smarter technologies) to keep the surface transport system running efficiently regardless of weather conditions. Complexities in making climate change risk assessments in the sector are also discussed, in particular, the consideration of socioeconomic drivers and an understanding of system interdependencies. However, it is the general paucity of data that is highlighted as the most limiting factor impacting our understanding of asset behaviour and needs to be overcome if confidence in the scientific studies is to be improved. Such studies will underpin much-needed guidelines in the prioritisation of adaptation measures and are therefore essential to achieve optimal climate resilience for the available funding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-68
Number of pages11
JournalInfrastructure Asset Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2015


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