The EBRD is investing in highway upgrades making roads safer.
Over the past 12 years the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has invested more than €500 million in the rehabilitation of the M06 highway between Kiev and the western city of Chop, which lies on Ukraine’s border with Slovakia and Hungary.
Upgrading to European standards
In Ukraine, upgrading the road network to European standards is a priority. The M06 highway not only serves the Ukrainian people, but also forms part of the pan-European transport corridors 3 and 5, as well as the national Europe-Asia corridor. It provides a west-east transport link giving access from Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia to the European Union. Upgrading the highway will have an impact on international trade and on economic growth in both the country and the region.
In addition, the Bank has contributed to strengthening the highway’s safety. Poor road safety has a social impact: for example, exposing “vulnerable road users”, such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, to higher risks. It is therefore an important issue to tackle in the context of the road sector.
Increasing road safety
For this reason, the EBRD has been working with its client, Ukravtodor, the Ukrainian road agency, to undertake a road safety audit of the Kiev-Chop M06 highway, and to give a presentation on the findings to the company’s senior management. This project, which was funded by the EBRD’s Shareholder Special Fund (SSF), stressed the need to reduce road speeds close to local villages, set up additional signage and improve lighting.
Technical cooperation funds from the SSF are also being used to finance a campaign called “Safe villages”, which aims to raise awareness about road safety among people living in villages near the Kiev-Chop highway. In particular, school children are learning more about road safety issues in leaflets, through Q&A sessions with police officers, by taking part in a “safe walk” home with their teachers and learning to wear visible and reflective gear to stay safe.
Thanks to these initiatives, Ukrainian roads will be safer and Ukrainian citizens will be more aware of dangers on the road.