Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) are very effective in mitigating the negative effects of transport in Europe. To achieve a really good grip on the effects of ITS, it is necessary to put the European road user at the centre of the perspective.
The EU’s Transport White Paper, to which EasyWay is linked, sets targets for 2020 to make a positive impact on traffic flow, traffic safety and the environment. The EasyWay programme activities stretch over a seven-year period, from 2007 until 2013, but set the targets for 2020 similar to the White Paper. To promote future creativity, more ambitious targets are set for future years according to the experiences gained by the Swedish 'Vision Zero' and the Hessian 'Zero Congestion Vision' and will be transferred to a European scale.
EasyWay follows on from the Euro-Regional projects which ran under the 2001-2006 Multi-annual Indicative Programme (MIP) of DG-TREN ('TEMPO' sub-programme). These projects - ARTS, CENTRICO, CONNECT, CORVETTE, ITHACA, SERTI, STREETWISE and VIKING - are now regions within EasyWay.
From analysis of the current effects and estimates of the potential of ITS, the following main objectives of the EasyWay Programme have been established:
- Traffic safety improvement;
- Traffic flow/reduction of congestions;
- Better environment.
Key objectives of EasyWay are:
- an integrated approach to major road network (TERN - Trans-European Road Network) management;
- focus on the deployment of (common) seamless European services;
- a number of European Studies;
- enhance the evaluation of activities and exchange of best practices;
- optimal integration of new Member States and candidate countries;
- an integrated approach to TERN operation, fostering co-operation between infrastructure and the vehicle, with the involvement of the private sector;
- upgrade urban interfaces and support co-modality.
EasyWay is largely an ITS deployment programme on the TERN, and this part of the programme falls outside the research scope of the TRKC. However, EasyWay also includes a series of European Studies (ES) to support integrated road safety strategies, reduction of congestion and the improvement of environmental conditions, and these are relevant to the TRKC as they constitute research, syntheses of previous research, best practice, development of frameworks or guidelines, or measures to guide and support policy.
EasyWay has the following structure:
Activities. These are:
- A1: Traveller Information Services (TIS)
- A2: Traffic Management Services
- A3: Freight and Logistics Services
- A4: Connected ICT Infrastructure
- A5: European Studies (ES - see "projects covered" section)
- A6: Management (project management is on a rotational basis across the Euro-Regions)
Furthermore there is a series of Expert Groups (EG) whose role it is to guide the European Studies and monitor and disseminate best practice. Expert Groups 1 to 4 cover activities A1 to A4 above. In addition, a fifth Expert Group, EG5, covers Evaluation.
Finally, the Euro-Regions (essentially continuations of the Euro-Regional projects under the previous MIP programme) continue under EasyWay for the purposes of organising ITS deployment (hence this part of EasyWay is not transport research). They follow eight Euro-Regions, as follows:
- ARTS (Atlantic corridor including Western France, the Basque Country, Western and Southern Spain and Portugal)
- CENTRICO (Central region including Benelux, Northern France, Western Germany and South-East England)
- CONNECT (Eastern Austria, Eastern Germany, Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary, Slovenia, North-East Italy, with Poland as an observer)
- CORVETTE (Alpine Region including the German region of Bavaria, Austria, Switzerland and Northern Italy)
- ITHACA (Mediterranean/Balkan region including Southern Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Romania, with Bulgaria as an observer)
- SERTI (Southern Europe including Eastern Spain and Catalonia, Andorra, Southern and Eastern France, the German region of Baden Württemberg, Switzerland and North-West Italy)
- STREETWISE (Ireland and the UK, except for South-East England, which is part of CENTRICO)
- VIKING (Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Lithuania and Northern Germany).
EU funding via the TEN-T Executive Agency is 20% (amounting to € 99.97 million).
The remaining 80% comes from national sources of participating countries, regions and private operators, as follows:
- National budgets of participating Member States: € 273.26 million
- Regional budgets of participating Member States: € 49.79 million
- Other sources: € 76.82 million.
The above does not include cooperative participation by non-EU countries, which is on a self-funding basis.
The Easyway initiative contains six European Studies and eight Euro-Regional sub-projects for deployment (covering four major domains).
The six European Studies (ES) in Activity 5 are:
- ES1: Europe-wide Traveller Information Continuity and Co-modality
- ES2: Europe-wide Traffic and Network Management and Co-modality
- ES3: Freight and Logistics Services
- ES4: Mare Nostrum (VMS harmonisation)
- ES5: DATEX II (Data exchange)
- ES6: EasyWay Road Map
In addition, the eight Euro-Regions (ARTS, CENTRICO, CONNECT, CORVETTE, ITHACA, SERTI, STREETWISE and VIKING) constitute the Euro-Regional deployment projects within EasyWay, although these are implementation rather than research projects so are not within the scope of the Transport Research Knowledge Centre.