Current highways and their maintenance are designed based on historic climate. However, as the climate changes, they could be subjected to very different climatic conditions over their design life. The cost of not adapting could be vast in terms of disruption to traffic, public safety and infrastructure repairs. Climate change is already beginning to have an influence on UK highways – for example, drier summers causing more incidences of subsidence in South East England and wetter winters creating greater frequency of flooding. This kind of weather event will become more frequent in the future.
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