Mobility, Transport & Infrastructure

It is clear that according to all reasonable estimates, the ability to provide available road infrastructure ­capacity for the mobility of people and the transport of goods in Europe will need to grow considerably by the year 20201. This growth in demand will further stretch the capabilities of road authorities and lead to ­increased costs for all parties. In maintaining an ­efficient service to road users, road authorities will search for strategies that can ensure reliable journeys in a cost-­effective manner. The search for such solutions will include knowledge transfer between different bodies, as well as substantial research and development to address the magnitude of the challenge.

It is recognised that fundamental shifts in the approach to road and traffic management may be required in the future in order to ensure Europe’s roads can stay open for business. Therefore, research must be driven by the need to satisfy the predicted levels of personal mobility and freight ­transport. It is clear that additional benefits would result from ­fundamental redistribution and reshaping of the growth in demand for road transport and transport in general, however, it would not be prudent to base a strategy on the ­assumption that such changes in transport patterns will, or can, occur. As a result, the approach of SERRP IV would tend towards the precautionary principle and ensure that the research is available to implement in the event of the worst-case scenario.

CEDR has placed a high priority on this issue with the aim to Develop new ideas for network-wide ­management and operations, with an emphasis on customers in the provision of services. Another of CEDR’s major ­priorities relates to the need to optimise the use of the capacity of the road network. According to ERTRAC, the relevant specific research targets are to:

  1. Improve mobility and satisfy the expected 32% ­increase in individual demand for travel by 20203.
  2. Support the fluid and efficient movement of an increasing quantity of goods within the overall freight transport system.
  3. Ensure that in order that quantifiable targets can be set in the future, a series of robust indicators, such as transport efficiency for passengers and freight, journey time reliability, user service levels and network efficiency, [are] developed.  
  4. Increase network efficiency through reductions in the impact of maintenance activities, prioritised road space and traffic management.
  • Franziska Schmidt (IFSTTAR)
  • Andreas Tapani (VTI)