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Climate change and road freight safety: impacts and opportunities

Jaroszweski, David John (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This thesis aims to apply recent conceptual frameworks for climate change impact assessment to the road freight sector of Great Britain in order to identify potential future safety issues. The freight sector is a key component of Great Britain’s economy, and one which is particularly vulnerable to the effects of adverse weather. An assessment of the current patterns in weather related freight accidents is produced, and existing studies on accident causation are elaborated upon to arrive at relationships between key meteorological parameters and freight accident rates. These relationships are extrapolated onto various climate scenarios under low, medium and high emissions for the 2020s, 2050s and 2080s using UKICP09 climate tools to arrive at projections of possible impacts at a regional scale. This thesis also addresses a key criticism of the previous climate change impact assessment literature; that studies usually neglect the consideration of what the network will look like in the future, how it will be used, and how this will impact upon its vulnerability to meteorology. The way in which the network is designed, the resilience of the vehicles that operate on it and the split of usage between the various modes will all affect the impacts that are likely to be seen, and are all determined by the broader socio-economic pathway of the country. Delphi techniques are used for short term forecasts of growth and to identify emerging issues with the industry. UKCIP data is used to extend these projections to 2050. By combining social and physical techniques, a more holistic picture of future impacts is found. Although the confluence of safer technology and a reduction of winter road icing and summer precipitation events could potentially lead to a safer operating environment, certain scenarios which promote high emissions, a larger freight fleet and low investment in infrastructure could cause problems, especially for winter precipitation events.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Petts, Judith and Chapman, Lee
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Keywords:climate change, climate change impact assessment, socio-economic scenarios, road freight, transport
Subjects:TE Highway engineering. Roads and pavements
TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1220
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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