October 11, 2016
Emission link with road condition
European research shows that smoother roads can reduce CO2 emissions from vehicles by around five per cent, highlighting the need for road maintenance to be part of any strategy to reduce road emissions.
The research was carried out by members of FEHRL (Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories). It adds weight to the call from FEHRL – along with EAPA (European Asphalt Pavement Association) and EUPAVE (European Concrete Paving Association) – for increased investment in roads and greater alignment of policies on CO2 with those for upgrading and maintenance of roads.
The findings show that the condition of the road surface directly influences vehicle fuel consumption: if the surface is in poor repair, fuel energy will be wasted. ‘Rolling losses’ include energy used in overcoming the effects of unevenness, joints and rutting through suspension systems and from high rolling resistance at the tyre/road interface. In addition, a road network which is allowed to deteriorate will also lead to higher road maintenance or reconstruction costs over the long term – contributing to further CO2 emissions.