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Introduction

The production of this Code has brought to light the need for further applied research to assist with the process of planning, designing and implementing transport schemes. Monitoring forms an essential part of this with feedback used to assess the effectiveness of measures. In addition monitoring is valuable to evaluate new and improved techniques particularly relating to mitigation measures.

Technical manuals and exchange of experience

A relatively recent development in highway planning is the inclusion of landscape and wildlife issues within the assessment, in particular, for strategic routes. A number of states have published technical manuals (Box 6.1), but to be of wider value greater dissemination and exchange is required between practitioners and countries. The COST 341 programme could be one such outlet.

 

Such dissemination should consider the accessibility of information with respect to language, with a focus relating to broad landscape and habitat types. With significant differences in landscape ecology across Europe the application of a landscape character approach to transport planning is useful. For example, the Norwegian technical manual considers roads around lakes, across agricultural land, etc (Norwegian Public Rods Administration).

 

Manuals focus mostly on the planning and design stages of major roads with few considering minor roads, or the practicalities of construction and maintenance, and this needs to be addressed. Method statements as to how to undertake construction work are a recent development of procurement/contractual arrangements and part of environmental management. There would be benefits if these were co-ordinated and appraised i.e. what techniques are effective and why.

 

Monitoring and feedback

 

Monitoring is a legal requirement in relatively few states e.g. Rosette 1998, SETRA 1993, but is essential if mistakes are to be corrected and lessons learnt. Success stories may make good headlines but investigation of failures and the application of lessons learnt, can lead to future success stories. Such monitoring is essential to check the function of a scheme, for example the integrity of protective fencing, or the appropriateness of special crossings for fauna.

 

Also, monitoring is required to assess the technical value and appropriateness of innovative techniques, for example translocated areas, or measures to reduce severance of low flying bat.

 

There is a relatively large body of scientific research which has examined the effects of highways on particular species. Much of this needs to be put in a user-friendly format to assist practitioners, i.e. to consider the significance of the findings and their wider practical application.

 

Research

 

Relatively few publications relate to the effects of railways. This may be a consequence of the historical development of the network and the administrative structure. COST 341 should provide further research relating to aspects of fragmentation.

 

While much road-related research may be applicable to railways, significant structural and user differences merit more specific work. In view of the proposals to upgrade and/or extend the network for high-speed trains and freight, such research is required urgently.

 

Over the last 20 years or so, concern about the degrading landscape of river valleys and associated wetlands from drainage and related engineering works has lead to a number of publications e.g. Ward et al (1994), and initiatives involved with the restoration of rivers. Such work is applicable to navigable waterways and there would be benefits in a greater exchange of this information.

 

Technical guidance for capital and maintenance works along waterways need to encompass other uses in addition to those of transport, as well as rehabilitating of abandoned waterways. Evidence to date suggests there are few monitoring studies which have examined the significance of the barrier effects of canals on the movement of animals and needs to be examined further.


 

 

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