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PIARC (World Road Association), founded in 1909 and comprising 125 member governments from all over the world, is the global forum for exchange of knowledge and experience on roads, road transport policies and practices. With consultative status to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, the Association is contributing to a stable and sustainable global development of the road and transport sector.

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COVID-19: Survey of Impacts and Responses from the Global Roads and Transport Sector - Briefing Note

In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic took hold across the world, creating massive impacts and challenges for multiple sectors, including roads and transport. PIARC took action rapidly, forming a COVID-19 Response Team and initiating a programme of knowledge-sharing webinars. 

The Response Team also launched a global questionnaire survey. The intention was to assess how road and transport agencies, operators and other organizations were coping with COVID-19 pandemic and to identify responses and best practices implemented among different countries across the world. The survey invited experts and practitioners to share their experiences on the impact of COVID-19. The goal was to collect as data on such issues as Employees’ and Users’ Health and Safety, Maintaining Activity and Business Continuity, Impacts on Transportation of Passengers, and other relevant topics. To encourage a broader participation PIARC did not solicit officially approved policy, but rather sought individual opinions.

The survey was conducted between August 17th to September 28th 2020. Some 225 replies were collected in 3 different languages. The survey allowed the Response Team to acquire:

  • Experiences related to specific measures implemented within several countries in the world;
  • Insights on the main issues from the pandemic in its initial phases;
  • The perspectives of the PIARC community and viewpoints from other countries, not necessarily members of PIARC;
  • The outlook coming from LMICs and their perspective in relationship to other countries on the pandemic.

This briefing note presents the main key findings of this survey.

The creation of this briefing note represents another major milestone in PIARC’s response to COVID-19, after the publication of the Technical Report “COVID-19: INITIAL IMPACTS AND RESPONSES TO THE PANDEMIC FROM ROAD AND TRANSPORT AGENCIES” (available here).

It needs to be stressed that data analysed in this survey are based on the period between August 17th and September 28th 2020. It is well possible that many countries have experienced changes in responses since the survey was conducted as it is well known that many countries have experienced increases in infections and renewed lockdowns and restrictions since late 2020. The data analysis was never performed with the intention to find definitive responses that could be universally valid for all countries. For this reason, this briefing note does not show considerations or findings at individual country level.

Information sheet

  • Date: 2021
  • Author(s): PIARC COVID Response Team / Equipe de réponse COVID de PIARC / Equipo de respuesta COVID de PIARC
  • Domain(s): Economic Studies / Project Management / Road Network Operations / Freight Transport
  • Type: Briefing Note
  • PIARC Ref.: 2021BN01EN
  • ISBN: 978-2-84060-647-5
  • Number of pages: 50