How can the UK road system be adapted to the impacts posed by climate change? By creating a climate adaptation framework

This paper aims to analyse the impacts of climate change to the current and predicted future situations of road transportation in the UK and evaluate the corresponding adaptation plans to cope with them. A conceptual framework of long-term adaptation planning for climate change in road systems is proposed to ensure the resilience and sustainability of road transport systems under various climate risks such as flooding and increased temperature. To do so, an advanced Fuzzy Bayesian Reasoning (FBR) model is first employed to evaluate the climate risks in the UK road transport networks. This modelling approach can tackle the high uncertainty in risk data and thus facilitate the development of the climate adaptation framework and its application in the UK road sector. To examine the feasibility of this model, a nationwide survey is conducted among the stakeholders to analyse the climate risks, in terms of the timeframe of climate threats, the likelihood of occurrence, the severity of consequences, and infrastructure resilience. From the modelling perspective, this work brings novelty by expanding the risk attribute “the severity of consequence” into three sub-attributes including economic loss, damage to the environment, and injuries and/or loss of life. It advances the-state-of-the-art technique in the current relevant literature from a single to multiple tier climate risk modelling structure. Secondly, an Evidential Reasoning (ER) approach is used to prioritise the best adaptation measure(s) by considering both the risk analysis results from the FBR and the implementation costs simultaneously. The main new contributions of this part lie in the rich raw data collected from the real world to provide useful practical insights for achieving road resilience when facing increasing climate risk challenges. During this process, a qualitative analysis of several national reports regarding the impacts posed by climate change, risk assessment and adaptation measures in the UK road sector is conducted for the relevant decision data (i.e. risk and cost). It is also supplemented by an in-depth interview with a senior planner from Highways England. The findings provide road planners and decision makers with useful insights on identification and prioritisation of climate threats as well as selection of cost-effective climate adaptation measures to rationalise adaptation planning.


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  • Accession Number: 01724811
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 10 2019 5:12PM