City Research Online

Vehicles for rural transport services in sub-Saharan Africa

Dennis, R. & Pullen, K. R. (2017). Vehicles for rural transport services in sub-Saharan Africa. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Transport, 170(6), pp. 321-327. doi: 10.1680/jtran.15.00081


There is a critical lack of affordable transport services linking villages to markets, healthcare and other facilities in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa, which significantly restrains rural development. A key factor is the severe constraint on profitability of services due to the high operating costs of conventional vehicles operating at relatively low speeds on rural roads. This paper argues that there is a need to consider lower-speed alternatives based on motorcycles. It shows that motorcycle-based vehicles such as trailers and three-wheelers can carry loads up to 1 t on rural roads when geared down to an appropriate speed. The operating costs of these vehicles are shown to be around half those of conventional vehicles, greatly increasing the potential for setting up profitable transport services. Further development is needed to show that motorcycle-based vehicles can be used safely and profitably to help rural people improve their livelihoods and facilitate rural development.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright ICE Publishing
Publisher Keywords: Developing countries; Unpaved roads; Transport planning
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of TRAN-D-15-00081_R1.pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
Download (3MB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login