Transportation is critical for the provision of the goods and services necessary for economic and social growth. However, at the local level, many communities lack the infrastructure which makes delivery feasible. Rough or non-existent roads, battered equipment, little public transport, irregularity of services and high costs conspire to minimize adequate delivery of and access to basic goods and services, and thus to limit growth.
Inadequate road facilities for motorists impede the safe and efficient use of motorways. Road facilities including garages and service stations, and also accommodation for rest and meals at suitable intervals on the road network and particularly in less developed areas, are essential to the comfort and safety of motorists. Standardized first aid posts, properly staffed and equipped, as well as telephone booths for emergency phone calls, are often provided at too infrequent intervals along roadways, particularly in isolated areas.
[Developing countries] Land-locked countries Despite the important role played by the road haulage industry in the international transport between land-locked developing countries, its efficiency is impaired by a number of factors. Basic shortages exist in all-weather, through-road transport routes linking the main commercial centres in the land-locked countries with the seaports, and in the numbers of transport vehicles. The maintenance of the road network is generally poor, due to a shortage of the requisite technical skills, as well as to inadequate supplies of maintenance equipment, facilities and spare parts. The deterioration of the road situation is compounded by the fact that the technical specifications for existing roads are not properly observed because of poor enforcement and surveillance arrangements. In several cases, there are no road transit transport agreements between the land-locked countries and their transit neighbours. Where such agreements do exist, provisions concerning vehicle dimensions, axle loading specifications, the equitable sharing of inter-state traffic, road permits and visa procurement are often cumbersome and difficult to implement. There are frequently no through transport routes from the transit port to the final destination in land-locked countries, so cargo transfers have to be made.
Roads are the veins and arteries of development along which move the means of production, and in the opposite direction finished goods, as people begin to emerge above the subsistence level. They are, however, a controversial innovation because the full return on the original investment has to be awaited for several or many years.