World Economic Forum Road quality index

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bothar
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World Economic Forum Road quality index

Post by bothar »

I came across the World Economic Forum Road quality index. The map below shows the European values on a choropleth map. It may not be entirely scientific as it is based on what people think rather than some measure of travel speed or congestion. In the period from 2006 to 2019 the UK went down a bit and Ireland went up (appropriately for Ireland as many road projects were completed after 2006). On the ma Czechia seems low and Portugal higher than I would expect. Portugal has invested a lot in main motorways, but I wonder if all local roads are really of a high standard.
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Re: World Economic Forum Road quality index

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Just asking business leaders what they think is something of a flawed measure - they should use actual metrics such as combination of accident and congestion rates, as well as the design standards and length of the trunk network based over million vehicle km driven and population - that sort of thing.
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Re: World Economic Forum Road quality index

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c2R wrote: Mon Dec 27, 2021 08:04 Just asking business leaders what they think is something of a flawed measure - they should use actual metrics such as combination of accident and congestion rates, as well as the design standards and length of the trunk network based over million vehicle km driven and population - that sort of thing.
This, and also they should probably divide it up by kind of road, since it's entirely possible for local roads to be very good and trunk roads poor or vice versa. Also, what counts as "very good" for one group of users may cause it to be "very poor" for another, because different groups have widely varying requirements.

I don't know how realistic it would be to assess, but I'd be interested in a quality index that really concentrates on the roads themselves, and not on how people want to, do or are expected to behave on them. So ignoring things like congestion (whose main cause is too many users, rather than anything wrong with the road per se) or most aspects of safety (which has a lot more to do with how people drive than with the road per se), but including things like:
- surface quality
- reliability of macro-directional signage (are relevant destinations (a) signed at all and (b) signed reliably so you can follow them all the way)
- reliability of micro-directional signage (do you get enough notice of which lane you should be in)
- seasonal maintenance (cutting back vegetation, dealing with fallen leaves, snow ploughing)
- roadworks: how many per unit distance, how often per unit time, how well signed, and how many obstructions are caused by factors other than road maintenance or improvement (i.e. utilities, building projects alongside the road).
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Re: World Economic Forum Road quality index

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c2R wrote: Mon Dec 27, 2021 08:04 Just asking business leaders what they think is something of a flawed measure - they should use actual metrics such as combination of accident and congestion rates, as well as the design standards and length of the trunk network based over million vehicle km driven and population - that sort of thing.
There is a similar type of problem when ranking universities. One way is the number of papers produced by the academic staff (or better still, then number of times that their papers are cited). The other way is to poll the students about the quality of lectures, contact time etc. Just depends on whether you are a young person looking to take up a university place or whether you are an industrialist who want to contract a research project out to a university.
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Re: World Economic Forum Road quality index

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The problem with university rankings based on the opinions of students is that the students rarely have much experience of other universities.
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Re: World Economic Forum Road quality index

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Big L wrote: Wed Dec 29, 2021 08:16 The problem with university rankings based on the opinions of students is that the students rarely have much experience of other universities.
Indeed - and there's a tendancy to go by hearsay, so Oxbridge is always brilliant, and the ex-Polys are always rubbish.

It's the equivalent of everyone thinking where they live is rubbish, and places they go on holiday (where they only see the best parts, and never find out about the downsides) are brilliant.
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Re: World Economic Forum Road quality index

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bothar wrote: Sun Dec 26, 2021 21:16 On the ma Czechia seems low and Portugal higher than I would expect. Portugal has invested a lot in main motorways, but I wonder if all local roads are really of a high standard.
I would likewise call into question the classification of Italy’s roads at 4,4 roughly on a par with Norway. In my experience, Norway’s rural routes are considerably better up to code for the 21st century than those in Italy. Put it like this, I’ve never feared for my life over the quality of a Norwegian road.
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Re: World Economic Forum Road quality index

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Osthagen wrote: Wed Dec 29, 2021 10:51
bothar wrote: Sun Dec 26, 2021 21:16 On the ma Czechia seems low and Portugal higher than I would expect. Portugal has invested a lot in main motorways, but I wonder if all local roads are really of a high standard.
I would likewise call into question the classification of Italy’s roads at 4,4 roughly on a par with Norway. In my experience, Norway’s rural routes are considerably better up to code for the 21st century than those in Italy. Put it like this, I’ve never feared for my life over the quality of a Norwegian road.
Norway is sparsely populated and probably has some gravel roads, but it has enough funds to keep things in shape and some remarkable road projects. Italy would have substantial regional variation in roads, in the North they are mainly respectable, further south standards may be more uneven, like the surface.
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Re: World Economic Forum Road quality index

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bothar wrote: Wed Dec 29, 2021 18:01
Osthagen wrote: Wed Dec 29, 2021 10:51
bothar wrote: Sun Dec 26, 2021 21:16 On the ma Czechia seems low and Portugal higher than I would expect. Portugal has invested a lot in main motorways, but I wonder if all local roads are really of a high standard.
I would likewise call into question the classification of Italy’s roads at 4,4 roughly on a par with Norway. In my experience, Norway’s rural routes are considerably better up to code for the 21st century than those in Italy. Put it like this, I’ve never feared for my life over the quality of a Norwegian road.
Norway is sparsely populated and probably has some gravel roads, but it has enough funds to keep things in shape and some remarkable road projects. Italy would have substantial regional variation in roads, in the North they are mainly respectable, further south standards may be more uneven, like the surface.
Italy also has the comprehensive autostrada network which is generally (T&Cs apply) of a high quality, something, that if this comes from business figures is important and Norway lacks.
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Re: World Economic Forum Road quality index

Post by WHBM »

I see the UK and Turkey are both the same.

The last time I saw the figures, fatality rates per million miles travelled in Turkey were no less than 27 TIMES the rate in the UK. The UK figures were, as normal, one of the best for a mainstream country worldwide. Turkey was considered to be at third world levels, and the worst in the table (which was pretty much the same countries as in the sample here).
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Re: World Economic Forum Road quality index

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Osthagen wrote: Wed Dec 29, 2021 10:51
bothar wrote: Sun Dec 26, 2021 21:16 On the ma Czechia seems low and Portugal higher than I would expect. Portugal has invested a lot in main motorways, but I wonder if all local roads are really of a high standard.
I would likewise call into question the classification of Italy’s roads at 4,4 roughly on a par with Norway. In my experience, Norway’s rural routes are considerably better up to code for the 21st century than those in Italy. Put it like this, I’ve never feared for my life over the quality of a Norwegian road.
Possibly not fearing for your life has something to do with the mentality of the drivers rather than the quality of the roads.
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Re: World Economic Forum Road quality index

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bothar wrote: Wed Dec 29, 2021 18:01
Osthagen wrote: Wed Dec 29, 2021 10:51
bothar wrote: Sun Dec 26, 2021 21:16 On the ma Czechia seems low and Portugal higher than I would expect. Portugal has invested a lot in main motorways, but I wonder if all local roads are really of a high standard.
I would likewise call into question the classification of Italy’s roads at 4,4 roughly on a par with Norway. In my experience, Norway’s rural routes are considerably better up to code for the 21st century than those in Italy. Put it like this, I’ve never feared for my life over the quality of a Norwegian road.
Norway is sparsely populated and probably has some gravel roads, but it has enough funds to keep things in shape and some remarkable road projects. Italy would have substantial regional variation in roads, in the North they are mainly respectable, further south standards may be more uneven, like the surface.
If you've ever been an appreciable distance outside Oslo, you will know that Norwegian roads are slow, because of the landscape, because the traffic density doesn't warrant major upgrades as bothar said, and because Scandinavian rural speed limits are slow by the standards of the rest of Europe. Given who published the index, I suspect that economic considerations weigh uppermost, as time is money.

On gravel roads - this is something where we need to know what kind of roads they're looking at. Sweden has thousands of km of gravel roads, and in some places like Dalsland it's hard to get anywhere without using them, but long distance routes are universally fully surfaced. Norway will be similar, possibly with fewer semi-major gravel roads, since gravel roads don't really work on significant gradients, and Norway is a heck of a lot hillier than Sweden.
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Re: World Economic Forum Road quality index

Post by WHBM »

It's a point about gravel roads being not suitable for mountains, especially in wet climates, but for me the greatest outlier is Finland. I've never encountered a road there not fully surfaced, their winter maintenance is marvellous, and absence of potholes and winter damage most noteworthy - particularly when crossing to/from Russia. Never a holdup anywhere.

This expanded cloverleaf : https://www.google.com/maps/place/Tampe ... 23.7609535 is in a rural city, Tampere, the population of Plymouth. It's like something you might find in Texas.

Regarding Italy, I've been there a few times, driven (rentals) in both north and south, and heard all the stories about madness. It honestly was not true, I found them as straightforward as other European countries. Fine as a pedestrian too. Never any concern I recall.
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Re: World Economic Forum Road quality index

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bothar wrote: Sun Dec 26, 2021 21:16 I came across the World Economic Forum Road quality index. The map below shows the European values on a choropleth map. It may not be entirely scientific as it is based on what people think rather than some measure of travel speed or congestion. In the period from 2006 to 2019 the UK went down a bit and Ireland went up (appropriately for Ireland as many road projects were completed after 2006). On the ma Czechia seems low and Portugal higher than I would expect. Portugal has invested a lot in main motorways, but I wonder if all local roads are really of a high standard.
I would not take this sort of rankings too seriously. Of course, there is no smoke without fire, but these are more entertainment than hard facts.

The method to compare barely comparable things by taking a number of statistical indicators, weighing them by subjective drivers and delivering one single figure as a result, is usually an oversimplification. The calculation method is usually very sensitive to small changes in the weight factors. That is why many similar reports provide with the input data as an Excel sheet to allow the readers to make their own analysis.
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Re: World Economic Forum Road quality index

Post by bothar »

I hope that the World Economic Forum makes a better effort at analysing the economy than it does on the road quality index!
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Re: World Economic Forum Road quality index

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UAE What I found interesting is that when you compare road safety statistics you get some very different results

No 8 in there Road Quality Index is the UAE at 6.0 , the UK is 4.90
https://www.theglobaleconomy.com/rankin ... s_quality/

When it comes to Road Safety the story is very different

Deaths per 100,000 motor vehicles per annum
UAE 62.7
UK 5.7

Total Deaths per annum
UAE pop 9.89 million - 1,678
UK pop 67.22 million - 2,026

A closer look at the site gave the answer as to why this is.
Definition: The Road quality indicator is one of the components of the Global Competitiveness Index published annually by the World Economic Forum (WEF). It represents an assessment of the quality of roads in a given country based on data from the WEF Executive Opinion Survey, a long-running and extensive survey tapping the opinions of over 14,000 business leaders in 144 countries. The road quality indicator score is based on only one question. The respondents are asked to rate the roads in their country of operation on a scale from 1 (underdeveloped) to 7 (extensive and efficient by international standards). The individual responses are aggregated to produce a country score.
So this is a purely subjective rating abd one wonders on what basis someone who had never left the UAE could come up with such a number. In the case of the UAE I first went there on business in 1985 and there is no doubt that since then there has been enormous economic growth so underpinned by infrastructure development so I can understand their pride in the new roads.

We in the UK tend to be grumblers :)
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Re: World Economic Forum Road quality index

Post by jackal »

For larger European countries (10 million+) there is a moderate positive correlation coefficient (0.53) for the WEF index and per capita four-way full freeflow interchanges:

WEF index - Copy.JPG

Though the number of interchanges is just one measure this suggests that the WEF index is tracking infrastructure to at least some extent.

I haven't tested for smaller countries but expect it would be too noisy as they have few qualifying interchanges.
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Re: World Economic Forum Road quality index

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KeithW wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 09:44 UAE What I found interesting is that when you compare road safety statistics you get some very different results

No 8 in there Road Quality Index is the UAE at 6.0 , the UK is 4.90
https://www.theglobaleconomy.com/rankin ... s_quality/

When it comes to Road Safety the story is very different

Deaths per 100,000 motor vehicles per annum
UAE 62.7
UK 5.7

Total Deaths per annum
UAE pop 9.89 million - 1,678
UK pop 67.22 million - 2,026

A closer look at the site gave the answer as to why this is.
Definition: The Road quality indicator is one of the components of the Global Competitiveness Index published annually by the World Economic Forum (WEF). It represents an assessment of the quality of roads in a given country based on data from the WEF Executive Opinion Survey, a long-running and extensive survey tapping the opinions of over 14,000 business leaders in 144 countries. The road quality indicator score is based on only one question. The respondents are asked to rate the roads in their country of operation on a scale from 1 (underdeveloped) to 7 (extensive and efficient by international standards). The individual responses are aggregated to produce a country score.
So this is a purely subjective rating abd one wonders on what basis someone who had never left the UAE could come up with such a number. In the case of the UAE I first went there on business in 1985 and there is no doubt that since then there has been enormous economic growth so underpinned by infrastructure development so I can understand their pride in the new roads.

We in the UK tend to be grumblers :)
Arabic/muslim nations tend to have poor road safety outcomes, regardless of the quality of the infrastructure. Driver training and road traffic law enforcement (with police corruption as a side issue) is clearly a factor in this, but a large factor both on the driver and pedestrian side can be summed up by the word "insh'allah", or "it is god's will", with its twin brother "mash'allah", or "god has willed it", which one sometimes sees on the rear screens of muslim-owned taxis even here in GB. Basically, this means that devout muslims put their fate into the hands of god, determining that he will decide whether they live or die at any given instance, and that they have no agency in the matter. So there is a lack of care taken when crossing the road, traffic lights get ignored, vehicles get driven at insane speeds and so on, and if the end result is tragic, then "insh'allah", it is god's will. And the beards in charge of the local mosques will shake their heads sadly but agree with this. The concept of helping god to help you isn't really a thing; god is great (allahu akbar) and you must submit to his will. Even if that means you die. This attitude doesn't just apply to road safety btw, but its consequences can be seen quite starkly there.
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Re: World Economic Forum Road quality index

Post by KeithW »

Chris Bertram wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 22:39
Arabic/muslim nations tend to have poor road safety outcomes, regardless of the quality of the infrastructure. Driver training and road traffic law enforcement (with police corruption as a side issue) is clearly a factor in this, but a large factor both on the driver and pedestrian side can be summed up by the word "insh'allah", or "it is god's will", with its twin brother "mash'allah", or "god has willed it", which one sometimes sees on the rear screens of muslim-owned taxis even here in GB. Basically, this means that devout muslims put their fate into the hands of god, determining that he will decide whether they live or die at any given instance, and that they have no agency in the matter. So there is a lack of care taken when crossing the road, traffic lights get ignored, vehicles get driven at insane speeds and so on, and if the end result is tragic, then "insh'allah", it is god's will. And the beards in charge of the local mosques will shake their heads sadly but agree with this. The concept of helping god to help you isn't really a thing; god is great (allahu akbar) and you must submit to his will. Even if that means you die. This attitude doesn't just apply to road safety btw, but its consequences can be seen quite starkly there.
I can definitely confirm this. About 20 years ago I flew into Bahrain and got into taxi to take mee to my hotel. I was very impressed by the roads but decidedly alarmed by the driving. After dutifully obeying two red lights the driver simply blew through the third without even slowing. At my exclamation of alarm he said to me and I quote.

"Third red in a row does not count and nothing was coming insh'allah".

The other thing learned was to avoid the roads on a weekend. The Saudi's drive across the causeway, get drunk out of their skulls and then drive back.

The company I worked for had rule that shall not be broken. If you were involved in an accident they put you on a the next flight to Europe or America. The local courts would find you guilty even if you were t boned by a local running a red light.
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