Need for Research
Transport 21 is the capital investment framework through which the transport system in Ireland will be developed over the period 2006 to 2015. This framework addresses the major issues of past investment backlogs and continuing growth in transport demand. The projects and programmes that make up Transport 21 aim to tackle the following five challenges:
- Increase accessibility;
- Ensure sustainability;
- Expand capacity;
- Increase use; and
- Enhance quality.
To face and overcome these challenges, the NRA has adopted the following strategic objectives:
- Continue to develop the network of national roads
- Improve the general public’s quality of life
- Contribute to sustainable development
- Be an efficient, flexible and quality-driven organisation committed to achieving excellence in our work.
To ensure the success of the NRA in carrying out these objectives, it is vital that a research strategy is put in place so that state-of-the-art materials, techniques and procedures are used and implemented to create a modern, efficient infrastructure. The world is constantly changing: not only are developments in science and technology occurring very rapidly, the demands placed on the road infrastructure are continuously being modified in response to the changing needs and preferences of the travelling public and business. As a major client, the Authority must be able to plan and procure road development projects in a way that encourages innovation. It must be able to engage designers and contractors, and assess and challenge engineering solutions from a knowledgeable standpoint, understanding both the technical detail and the economic, environmental and social implications. There is therefore a real need to invest in research and development so that the infrastructure is able to meet current and future requirements to the satisfaction of all stakeholders.