Roads are the main focus of the April issue of New Civil Engineer, with features on new roads, road upgrades and how the move to electric vehicles brings new opportunities, as well as challenges.
In her comment piece, NCE editor Claire Smith kicks off with asking how the public view of roads will change when the ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars and vans comes into force in 2030.
Will roads still be viewed as the enemy if many of the vehicles using them are quieter and non-polluting at source? And does that change the business case for public transport systems and undermine the drive to get people out of their cars?
New infrastructure for electric vehicles
The move to electric vehicles means that we need a new kind of infrastructure too – a new network of charging points to cope deal with “range anxiety” and create facilities for those who don’t have access to a driveway for charging. NCE’s Innovative Thinking feature on developments in this sector looks at the opportunities this creates to add other facilities to these charging points, with smart technology and the Internet of Things.
But whatever power is used to drive vehicles in the future, a resilient road network is still needed to drive on or for delivery vehicles to bring transport goods as the power of internet shopping grows.
How do you move a road?
The Future of Roads overview looks at the challenges ahead in maintaining existing road networks through areas where climate change is increasing slope stability issues. Relocating roads is a costly task and one that has to be a last resort, but the feature looks at exactly how this is being done on the A83 at Rest and Be Thankful in Scotland and the A59 at Kex Gill in North Yorkshire.
If traffic volumes are unlikely to decrease, then improvements to pinch points are going to be a continuing focus and the April issue has two articles looking at one that is underway on the M6 in Cheshire and a new funding model that is being used to deliver another on the Heads of the Valleys road in Wales.
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