Travel is an inevitable part of our daily lives, and transport systems are critical to the functioning and economic well-being of the country

As the number and frequency of heavy rainfall events increase, extensive flooding incidents are expected to become an almost annual occurrence by the 2080s. Increased bridge scour, landslides, and the deformation of road surfaces and rail lines due to high temperatures will increase network disruption. However, there will be fewer interruptions to services caused by snow and ice in the winter months.

Passenger comfort and the appropriate storage of goods during transit will be an issue, with the future rise in temperatures likely to lead to overheating and heat stress.

The future resilience of transport systems is closely connected with other infrastructure networks – failure in one sector can quickly cascade to others, highlighting how vital it is to understand the risks and interdependencies.

EPSRC research projects

Several EPSRC projects are tackling aspects of adaptation across the transport sector:

  • ARCADIA – considering how the built environment and infrastructure, including transport systems, can be adapted to make cities more resilient. Focussed on London.
  • CREW – understanding the impacts of extreme weather events on community resilience and planning for the future.
  • FUTURENET – assessing the future resilience of the UK transport system including climate impacts on both the physical network and patterns of transport demand. Focused on the London to Glasgow corridor.
  • iBUILD – approaches to delivering of local infrastructure, including transport systems, into the future to support economic growth. Consideration of infrastructure interdependencies.
  • iSMART – improving the understanding of infrastructure slope behaviour under a range of environmental scenarios to create a more effective and sustainable transport system.
  • ITRC – considering the transport sector as one component of the national system of infrastructure, and assessing interdependencies and risks across the components.
  • STEP-Change – understanding changes in people’s transport behaviour and how best to promote sustainable travel. Focusing on Leeds and Manchester.

Outputs in action