ChinaRAP leads road safety assessment programmes across Cambodia and Pakistan

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ChinaRAP has been working in Pakistan and Cambodia to expand road safety assessment and capacity building, following the roll out of road safety assessment and improvement programmes within China.

The ChinaRAP programme is a collaboration between the FIA Foundation’s long term partner, International Road Assessment Programme (IRAP), with the Chinese Government’s Research Institute of Highway (RIOH) and Ministry of Transport (MoT). The programme leverages funding, forges partnerships and builds capacity of countries for assessing and improving road networks.

The ChinaRAP team are supporting a three-phase project in Pakistan with the National Highway Authority, running until 2019 which is funded by the Asian Development Bank. The project will train a core group of Authority staff ranging from technical officers to senior transport leadership. Phase one of the project will assess the critical M5 motorway that runs from the north to the south of the country, a major component of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The results of the assessment are expected March 2018, and a further 10,000km of road will be assessed in the following two phases.

Building in-country capacity that can be sustained beyond individual projects is an integral part of the initiative, and the final phase will be led by the Authority itself, mentored by the ChinaRAP team. Investment in safer road infrastructure is currently a priority in Pakistan; development of the Government’s road safety strategy is expected to include a national policy on star ratings for roads, thanks to ChinaRAP’s work.

In Cambodia, ChinaRAP has provided training and assessed 800km of highways as part of the Chinese Ministry of Transport’s Cambodian-China Friendship Project. Training for the project used Irap’s tools such as ViDA and star rating of road networks, developed with the Foundation’s support.

Commenting on ChinaRAP’s work on capacity building iRAP CEO, Rob McInerney, said, “The ChinaRAP team at the Ministry of Transport have been world leaders in using Star Ratings and Safer Road Investment Plans to save lives across China as part of the Government’s Highways Safety to Cherish Life Programme. Sharing their knowledge and success with countries like Cambodia and Pakistan is a great outcome for all countries. This willingness to help each other is central to the success of the iRAP programme and our goal to maximise travel on 3-star or better roads worldwide.”

Since its establishment in 2008, ChinaRAP has worked to improve dangerous existing roads and promote the design and construction of safe new roads for all users. ChinaRAP has reviewed and star rated 150,000km of existing roads, overseen the upgrading of 60,000km of high-risk roads and, since 2012 alone, its projects have had a combined value of more than US$2.5 billion. It has worked closely with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank as well as the Chinese Government which has been building its road safety focus. China’s 5-year road safety plan, adopted in 2017, calls for the national implementation of road safety assessments, to identify and rapidly address high-risk road sections, while the ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative which prioritises transport infrastructure, are both likely to use the pivotal work of ChinaRAP.