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Improved road design standards for Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) countries, and in particular the pilot countries of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, is an urgent goal of a new United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) project being led by iRAP, supported by the Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport (EASST) and the International Road Federation (IRF).

It is estimated that road crashes cost CAREC’s 11 countries more than USD$30 billion per year, claiming thousands of lives and injuries annually.

Road design standards are at the heart of building and upgrading roads safely and ensuring the appropriate management of speeds.

The project, which is being funded by the United Nations Road Safety Fund (UNRSF), will take a collaborative approach, focusing on the three pilot countries that make use of the GOST-SNiP design standards, to ensure they are consistent with best practice standards used in other regions, and the provision of safe road corridors across borders.

iRAP Global Projects Director Mr Julio Urzua said, “Roads must be designed safe right from the start, taking into account the needs of all road users, particularly those most vulnerable.

“This project is vitally important in ensuring that significant investments being made in the region are safe. It will complement the safe delivery of infrastructure projects by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and European Investment Bank (EIB); all investing to support safer journeys in the region,” he said.

UNESCAP will be accountable for the 24-month project led by iRAP, with EASST playing a lead technical role and IRF playing a supporting technical and capacity building role, as Implementing Partners. It is anticipated that the countries’ Government ministries and development bank partners will actively participate in the Project Steering Committee and Working Groups.

Mr Urzua and iRAP Global Operations Manager Luke Rogers will be visiting Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in March for commencement meetings and capacity building.

Image credit: Falco on Pixabay

 

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The International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) is a Registered Charity with UN ECOSOC Consultative Status.
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