Weather resilience & climate change adaptation

Severe weather causes damage to transport infrastructure and disruption to travel, even in some cases threaten the safety of transport users. Climate change is projected to increase the frequency and severity of weather events, providing increasing challenges for the transport industry. Rises in average temperatures and changes in seasonal cycles can also increase deterioration rates increasing maintenance costs.

TRL is experienced at helping infrastructure owners, governments and industry understand the impact of weather on transport infrastructure and travel, and what actions can be taken to improve the resilience of transport networks. 

Assessing risk

We can help organisations understand the damage and disruption different types of weather conditions can bring, and how this might change in the future due to climate change. By combining climate projections, asset data and engineering knowledge we can evaluate risk at an asset or network level enabling better prioritisation of resources. We have developed methodologies for assessing the risk from different hazards including coastal flooding, pluvial flooding, landslides and drought tailoring the methodologies to reflect different levels of data availability and customer priorities. GIS can be used to map risk at a network level, helping customers to make informed decisions with regard to asset management and future planning.

Improving resilience

We can advise on actions to improve network resilience; from hard engineering measures to modifying organisational procedures. Through the use of cost-benefit analysis and multi-criteria analysis we can compare different approaches to help our customers select the most appropriate response. In some cases proactive action can save significant costs in the long-term, in other situations monitoring may be the best option.  An evidence based approach helps customers find the most cost-effective solutions.

Providing tools and guidance

We have developed tools, methodologies and guidance to help organisations respond to weather hazards and the uncertainty that climate change brings. These include software, GIS platforms, risk assessment methodologies, guidance documents and action plans.

Helping to embed resilience

We provide technical support and training to help embed climate resilience in organisations and include it in transport policy, operational procedures, standards and specifications, asset management and disaster management planning. Through stakeholder engagement and dissemination activities we help to raise awareness of the impacts of climate change and the need for more resilient transport systems.    

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