The implementation of climate change adaptation policies to increase the resilience of road transport sector

  • Amir Eghbalighazijahani

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


In spite of growing interest in response to climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emission in transport sector, scientists and politicians have not paid enough attention to climate change adaptation in transport sector in recent decades. On the other hand, in the context of climate change adaptation, most studies are concerned about climate change impacts and the assessment of those impacts. Previous studies show that in spite of the importance of road transport sector on UK economy, this sector was not successful enough in delivering the national climate change adaptation policies on the ground. This study investigates the effectiveness of transport governance arrangements in the implementation and delivery of climate change adaptation policies. This research employs a mixed method approach using a multiple case study design. Considering different factors affecting the effectiveness of policy implementation in transport sector, two case study areas i.e. Belfast and Cambridge were judged to be the most useful. The qualitative part of the research uses case study and semistructured interviews. Then, using the findings from the interviews, the Q methodology is used to quantitatively analyse and compare attitudes of different stakeholders regarding the barriers against the implementation of climate change adaptation policies in road transport sector. Findings show that Belfast and Cambridge are facing different barriers against the implementation of climate change adaptation policies in road transport sector. Participants in Belfast raised their concerns mostly about the lack of political will and support, lack of joined up thinking and inappropriate financial mechanism. On the other hand, participants in Cambridge emphasised on the lack of financial resources, guidelines and standards at the national level. However, the results analysis suggests that almost all participants have used the same platforms to raise their concerns about those barriers i.e. uncertainty about climate change impacts, ix the long-term nature of climate change, differing party-political interests and the lack of public awareness on climate change. It can be concluded that when a top-down model is used for the implementation of climate change adaptation policies, it is crucial to establish an independent organisation to advice different stakeholders on the integration of climate change adaptation policies in relation with transport policies in order to minimise the impacts of uncertainties and the lack of political support. However, when a bottom-up model is used, the national government needs to support local level stakeholders with detailed guidelines and long-term sustainable transport plans which take into account financial constraints at the local level.
Date of AwardAug 2016
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJP Hine (Supervisor), Lesley Hemphill (Supervisor) & Lisa Davison (Supervisor)


  • Climate change
  • Adaptation
  • Transport
  • Q methodology

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