Adaptation, roads and transport

The climate emergency isn’t going to be solved by a few dedicated champions. We all need to act, and fast. The 2020s must be the decade of climate action when we mainstream adaptation to climate risks, cutting emissions and carbon storage into everything we do (not just ‘green’ projects). However, some of us have a greater ability to shape Scotland’s future resilience than others.

They might not all be aware of it yet, but Scotland’s engineering community has a vital role to play as adaptation superheroes. Their expertise is essential to make sure that:

  • our infrastructure is designed, constructed, maintained and operated to best withstand the impacts of climate change
  • we create win-win solutions that also help to solve other issues facing our communities such as poverty, health and wellbeing and employment challenges.
  • holistic solutions are implemented proactively to ensure our places are ready to thrive in the future
  • risks and hazards are spotted early, and recovery is quick – with no groups left behind

Adaptation Scotland is committed to delivering training to empower those on the frontline of climate change whose skills are vital in helping us all to respond to the challenge. Given how complex infrastructure underpins modern life, first up we have recently worked with partners to produce two knowledge exchange events for those who design and look after our transport networks. Everyone in Scotland is reliant on the smooth functioning of transport networks as and when we need them, but transportation is increasingly vulnerable as temperature and rainfall patterns change, conditions become more stormy and less predictable, and sea levels rise.

Flood Risk Management Learning Hour – Identifying climate change vulnerable locations on the transport network (video recording & presentation slides)

Presentation by Drew Hill (Transport Scotland), David Faichney (Scottish Government) and Alistair Rennie (NatureScot). This CPD session looked at collaborative working on identifying vulnerable locations. There was specific focus on the work being undertaken by Transport Scotland looking at flood risks and geohazards on the transport network, and how this work relates to impact based forecasting, and moving from a reactive to proactive management.

Adaptation 101: adapting Scotland’s transport networks to manage climate change risks, SCOTS continuing professional development event for graduates and technicians (video recording & presentation slides).

Presentation by Eleanor Pratt and Catherine Payne (Adaptation Scotland / Sniffer). This CPD session, delivered in partnership with the Improvement Service and SCOTS (the Society of Chief Officers in Transportation in Scotland), provided an overview of the latest climate science and an in-depth look at what this might mean for Scotland’s transport networks. The session highlights the urgency for action and illustrated best practice methods for improving transport network resilience while also delivering a wide range of other local cobenefits.