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  Handing on
our Heritage

Principles for Road Planning from Norwegian Public Roads Administration (1996)

 “The principles applied in road planning aim to conserve the biodiversity and natural and cultural environments, the scenery and opportunities for outdoor recreation when road building affects the countryside.

Seven principles for environmental-friendly road planning

1. The developer has the principal responsibility for taking environmental concerns into account. Concern for natural assets must be evaluated on an equal footing with technical and financial aspects.

2. Planning should be based on a good knowledge of nature and the environment. Mapping protected areas and protected objects is not sufficient.  Experts should evaluate the scientific consequences of the various alternatives. Co-operation with specialist authorities early in the process is a prerequisite for a good environmental result.

3. Analyse and evaluate the entire area affected by the road. Road works affect the natural and cultural environments, the scenery and outdoor recreation over larger areas than the road itself covers. Evaluate the consequences for longer stretches and larger areas than the actual road works will directly involve.

4. Avoid disturbing or cutting through valuable areas of countryside.

Division and fragmentation can lead to loss of assets for the natural and cultural environments, the landscape and outdoor pursuits. The remaining areas must have a form and size which make them functional for the natural environment.

5.Protect animal migration routes, opportunities for fish to swim freely and links between areas of open countryside. Ecological interplay which has evolved over a long period and which is perfectly adapted to the location and the surroundings can never be fully restored.

6.Accommodate the road to the natural and cultural environments, the scenery and opportunities for outdoor recreation. Choose alignment, standard, materials and details which safeguard the assets of the countryside.

7. Use alleviatory measures if undesirable encroachment is unavoidable.

Revise plans which do not take the environmental viewpoint into account.”

CONCLUSIONS 

Landscape and biological diversity is one of Europe’s greatest assets. However the extent and the value of this asset has been significantly diminished by the activities of man. To maintain the asset for the future generations a reverse in the decline must take place. Responsibility for the reversal includes those involved with linear transport.

At a strategic level across Europe a framework is in place to incorporate environmental considerations into transport infrastructure so to influence the processes which affect landscape and biological diversity. However, there is a gulf between Declarations, legislation and subsequent implementation.

Effective use of environmental assessment and other procedures need to permeate all levels of decision-making in the process of planning, designing, constructing and managing transport infrastructure. This will assist with anticipating problems and opportunities, and design solutions. Attention to detail is important.

This Code of Practice has highlighted and presented examples of best practice in taking forward linear transport infrastructure within the context of landscape and biological diversity. It should assist the conservation and enhancement of the diversity of landscape and biological features and  contribute towards more sustainable transportation systems.

This Code of Practice is recommended to all those individuals in linear transport systems within the pan-European Region.

 

 

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