Joint initiative promotes sustainable transport options to make roads safer in Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Active Travel and Healthy Streets, News, Uzbekistan

In 2019 1,915 people lost their lives, up from 1,401 in 2018, and 6,673 people were seriously injured, up from 5,130 in 2018, as a result of road traffic crashes in Uzbekistan. According to the 2018 WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety, the rate of road fatalities in the country is 15.1 per 100,000 population. This compares to 9.3/100,000 for Western Europe

The capital, Tashkent, is also grappling with soaring car ownership and increasing levels of traffic congestion and air pollution.

Encouraging people to shift to alternative, more sustainable, transport options such as walking, cycling, and using public transport will be essential if the city is to meet its targets of reducing emissions. Tashkent is already in the process of building more cycle lanes (with 600km planned to be completed by 2024) and increasing its fleet of electric buses.

This is an excellent step forward. However, there remain a number of barriers preventing people from leaving their cars behind and shifting to more sustainable modes of transport in the long term.

EASST, with the support of the Federation Internationale d’Automobile (FIA) Road Safety Grant Programme, is working with local partners the National Automobile Club of Uzbekistan (NACU) and Young Generation of the World (YGW) to better understand these barriers and work with local authorities and local communities to find solutions.

We already know that perceptions of a lack of road safety is one of the biggest of these barriers. So, as part of our work we will also be delivering a number of cycle safety sessions for young people and running a mass media campaign to raise awareness amongst both drivers and cyclists as to how they can better share the road.

In April, YGW entered into a ‘Cooperation Agreement’ with the Tashkent State Transport University, and will be working with them directly to improve road safety in the country through promoting and raising awareness of the Safe System Approach.

On 22nd June, YGW organised and facilitated a joint collaboration meeting at the University, which was attended by students and staff as well as representatives of the Ministry of Transport, Department of Traffic Control, Tashkent Trans Service, and various media outlets. The meeting marked the first time that these stakeholders had met in one place to discuss these common issues. It included an introduction to elements of the Safe System Approach and enabled participants to experiences in promoting walking and cycling as viable, alternative means of daily transport. The meeting led to a number of good connections being made, and highlighted a number of opportunities for future collaboration. All participants agreed that this was just the beginning of what hopes to be a fruitful cooperation to make streets safer and more sustainable in Tashkent.