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Sustainable roads for a sustainable future ERF - IRF BPC releases key Discussion Paper


10 Nov 2009


Sustainable Dev.

The European Union Road Federation (ERF), the Brussels Programme Centre of the International Road Federation (IRF), is pleased to announce the release of a Discussion Paper entitled “Sustainable Roads and Optimal Mobility”, which invites policymakers to acknowledge that carefully planned, built and operated road infrastructure - as well as good maintenance of the existing one - have tangible positive effects for the environment, the society and the economy.

In the context of the 21st century, when there is a growing need for people and goods to be mobile, cost-effective, reliable and affordable transport is a key component of sustainable mobility. As a consequence, new and existing infrastructure must comply with high-quality technical standards, meet strict environmental and health standards and anticipate future demographic developments.

Sustainable roads are already a reality. In the recent years, the road transport sector has prepared itself and adapted efficiently to the fast-growing changes. The ERF – IRF BPC Paper highlights some best practices such as, the optimisation of route planning through environmental impact analyses, the use of recycled environment-friendly construction material, mitigating habitat fragmentation, avoiding water pollution, special consideration for areas with high environmental value and building quieter roads.

Overall, the study concludes that better roads offer a positive contribution to a sustainable environment and that innovative ways of financing upgraded roads cost-efficiently can contribute to economic development, without harming the environment.

The ERF – IRF BPC feels it is now time to abandon the belief that an increase in the number of roads and their capacity will naturally lead to an increase in pollution in favour of a new balanced approach that takes into account the latest findings and the enormous progress which the sector has seen with regards to its sustainability.

For the full ERF – IRF BPC Discussion Paper on Sustainable Roads please visit .

European Union Road Federation (ERF)
International Road Federation (IRF) - Brussels Programme Centre
Place Stephanie, 6/B, B-1050 Brussels (Belgium)
Tel: + 32 2 644 58 77 Fax: + 32 2 647 59 34 – E-mail: