25.06.2014. The Finnish Consulate was a host place for the final seminar of CBRTS-project, which has been organized in a format of experience exchange between two projects of cross-border cooperation contributing into objectives of ENPI Programme with know-how transfer to improve road traffic safety on roads crossing the EU/RF border.
Despite the common general objective, the tasks of the projects are specific, which caused with specifics of EU/RF border in the South-East Finland/Leningrad Region section and the most northern section Lapland/Murmansk Region (Kolarctic section).
It is known, that homogeneity of performances along international road routes is a necessary requirement to provide predictability and fluency of traffic, efficiency and safety (both transport and environmental) of transportation. Currently the accident risk on the Russian part of the trans-border roads is 7-10 times higher than on the Finnish part. The reason of such a difference is explained not only with different performances of roads and their equipping with safety furniture (signing, barriers, parking places, traffic islands, etc.). A difference of the behavior models identifies the Russian drivers as a risk factor on the Finnish roads. The accident statistics and enquiries of road users are the grounds to make the conclusion.
It means that eliminating the accident risk “border effect” demands for:
· system management solutions aimed to all the risk factors;
· shared responsibilities between the authorities - road owners, road contractors, road police, traffic safety NGOs and training institutions, responsible for training of drivers and road engineers.
Cross-border cooperation projects are inter-sectorial and inter-disciplinary professional sites, which allow uniting the most advances theory and practice, contributing into harmonization of principles, methods and technologies of accident risks management, and finally, into harmonization of road traffic performances to ensure safety and comfort for road users.
Partners of the project “Safer Roads for Users” had an opportunity to participate in process of analyzing results and lessons learnt of the CBRTS-project in order to use the experience of the Finnish and Russian colleagues when the northern project implementing (to be finalized at the end of 2014).
The SRFU project was represented in S-Petersburg by specialists of: the administrations - road owners (Arkhangelskavtodor, Murmanskavtodor, the City of Arkhangelsk); the contractors (design institutions “Sevdorproekt” and “Domer”); the Murmansk State Technical University; NGO “Green Wave”; the SRFU-project Lead Partner - ADC Ltd.
A Workshop within the project “Safer Roads for Users” took place in Arkhangelsk, April, 21-22 in the premises of “Arkhangelskavtodor”. The event assembled representatives of the territories of the Barents Region: Arkhangelsk and Murmansk Regions, republic of Karelia, Finnish Lapland and Northern Sweden. The participants of the workshop are specialists of the road organizations - clients, contractors on road design and maintenance, the Road Police.
The task of the meeting - to discuss and make decisions concerning:
- Engineering solutions, aimed to decreasing road traffic accident risks at concrete dangerous road sections, indicated with accident statistics of the Road Police on the roads of the Russian part of the Barents Region.
- Economic feasibility of the Road Fund resources, allocated to decreasing accident risks to road users.
- Selection of sections, which will serve as pilots with practical implementations during the construction season of 2014.
The specific of the project solutions, aimed to better safety of road users, is express with following:
- Introducing principles of road accident risk management, adapted to high level of motorization, which have been developed by the neighboring Nordic countries during decades;
- Design developing and following monitoring of the solutions’ effectiveness with efforts of the Russian designers, trained at the organizations of the Northern Finland in March of this year;
- Accenting the solutions at eliminating risks to the most vulnerable road users - pedestrians and bicyclists (when the road passing through the urban areas).
All the materials of the event are accessible in the sections “Results of the Project”.
A similar workshop will take place in Murmansk in May (19-20), with stress onto solutions proposed to eliminate road accident risks at certain dangerous road sections in the Murmansk Region.
A group of road designers from Murmansk, Arkhangelsk and Petrozavodsk has got a week training course at the Finnish organizations-partners within the project “Safer Roads for Users”. The topic of the course is - renewed principles of road design to warrant safety of road users when high levels of motorization. The main accent of the course - is improved safety of the most vulnerable users - pedestrians and bicyclists when public roads cross urban areas. The Finnish towns Rovaniemi, Kemijarvi and Salla presented good examples of practical solutions of the task. Therefore the Russian designers and their Finnish colleagues spend the most part of their training time at the road sections but not at training rooms. The Finnish experience to provide road traffic safety is one of the best in the world (which is proves with the accidents statistics) and the Finnish engineers are ready to share the experience with the Russian engineers to eliminate number of mortalities and casualties at the Russian roads.
The next step of the Project is application of the knowledge obtained to reduce road traffic risks for pedestrians and bicyclists in settlements of the Arkhangelsk and Murmansk regions. The dangerous sections are proposed by the Road Police of the regions, which are also the Project partners.
Discussions of design solutions to eliminate accident risks at concrete sections on the base of modern principles - is the topic of the next workshop of the international project, which takes place in Arkhangelsk (at the “Arkhangelskavtodor”), April, 20-21. The design solutions will be assessed from position of the Swedish experience. Sweden is traditionally competing with Finland at the field of road safety.
The expected final result of the Project activity is improved safety at several pilot sections in the Murmansk and Arkhangelsk regions. The sections will be demo-examples to disseminate the best world experience to make the Russian roads safer for their users.
The objective of the workshops was - to discuss results of the contractor’s work at the Project Phase II: the “Waterway” and “Road” transport modes of the Barents Region - analysis of problems and directions of the modes’ developing.
The Steering Group Meeting was conducted with chairmanship of the Russian side (Michael Martynov, the Agency on Transport of the Arkhangelsk Region) being dedicated to: items of coordination the Project with other parallel projects in the transport sector; intermediate results of the pilot studies; financial and reporting issues; matching dates of the next events of the Project. The participants were familiarized with specifics of the Kirkenes port, plans of its development and made visit to the territory of the port.
The next meetings of the Project were agreed as follows:
• Continuation of Phase II: Discussion of the results of the work on the “Air” and “Railway” modes of transport + the Steering Group Meeting: Sweden, Luleo, April, 8-9
• Phase III (Synthesis of the modes) - the draft of integrated transport strategy of the Barents Region + the Steering Group Meeting: Russia, Arkhangelsk, June, 10-13
• The Final seminar + the Steering Group Meeting: Finland, Rovaniemi, September 2014
The representative of the Republic of Karelia (the State Committee on Transport) has suggested one more Steering Group Meeting of the Project in Petrozavodsk in August, 2014. The decision concerning the additional meeting will be made in Luleo in April.
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