Liyanage, Champika, Dias, Nuwan, Amaratunga, Dilanthi and Haigh, Richard (2017) Current Context of Transport Sector in South Asia:Recommendations Towards a Sustainable Transportation System. Built Environment Project and Asset Management. ISSN 2044-124X

Given the current focus on sustainable development, there is a need to identify the current status of the transport sector in developing countries and the obstacles to the development of a sustainable transport system. Thus, this paper aims to provide a critical review on what needs to be done in such countries towards a sustainable transportation system. The focus of the paper will be on the South Asian context. In order to achieve the aim, the paper examines the current issues, the policy context and the key actions required in the countries selected in South Asia (i.e. Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives and Nepal).

The main method used for the project was a combination of semi-structured interviews and focus groups. In addition, a policy analysis was also carried out with a use of secondary data. Altogether 348 interviews and 16 focus groups (with 157 participants) were carried out in the selected 06 countries. Although the purpose of the research methods was to carry out a situational analysis of each country mentioned above on seven societal challenges identified under the EU’s Horizon 2020 research programme, this paper only focuses on presenting the findings relating to sustainable transport.

Findings reveal that South Asian countries need to improve different aspects of their transportation sector, starting from national level transportation policies. Sustainable transportation is not merely about mobility but also about creating safer, convenient and environmentally friendly transportation systems. Some key actions needed for these include introducing driver and passenger safety regulations, establishing vehicle emissions test centres to reduce CO2 emissions, and introducing public-private partnerships where useful.

This study provides a robust policy direction towards the introduction/improvement of a sustainable transportation system in South Asian countries.

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