The two-day ERF Seminar held in Warsaw on 25 and 26 October 2011, constituted a landmark event for the road sector in Poland.

The seminar, entitled Engineering and Financing Safe and Sustainable Roads and organised in cooperation with the Polish General Directorate for National Roads and Highways (GDDKiA), saw the participation of around 60 stakeholders from all over Europe, mainly from Poland.

A representative of the City of Warsaw welcomed the attendants and thanked the ERF and GDDKiA for organising this event. Christophe Nicodème, ERF Director General, who opened and moderated the Seminar, briefly presented the ERF and its main activities.

The four dedicated sessions addressing road safety, Intelligent Transport Systems, sustainability and road financing & preservation, were animated by well experienced panellists coming from different countries and road sectors. The interesting presentations stimulated broad debates around mainly the following general topic:

  • the importance of regular road maintenance was highlighted more than once during the event. Regularly and well-maintained roads are fundamental not only for safety purposes but also as a way of reducing the cost of operation. The same concept applies to the selection of materials: it is evident that poor quality materials cost less but due to their short life cycle, require more frequent replacement with a consequential overall cost increase.
  • the urgent need to adopt an holistic approach when planning a road by taking into consideration all the actors and factors involved and in particular to regularly assess the environmental impact. In this respect the Polish S 3 motorway was presented as a best practice for being environmentally friendly and respectful of fauna and flora. On the other hand, the climate change effect on road infrastructure was also mentioned as an element to be considered.
  • the future of road financing will mainly depend on the pay per use principle. New tolls will be necessary in the future to finance road maintenance and operation (the money coming from the fuel tax will gradually decrease with the spread and increase of electric cars) but the revenues have necessarily to go back to road and not to the general budget.
  • as a cross-cutting element Intelligent Transport Systems (including EGNOS and Galileo), which combines ICT with innovative transportation engineering and traffic management solutions, have a positive influence in all the road related topics addressed and they are already improving the efficiency, safety & security and sustainability of road transport. This aspect will be pushed forward thanks to the transposition of the European ITS Directive in the national laws.

The successful event was closed by Mr Maciejewski, deputy director of GDDKiA, and was followed by a technical visit to the polish motorway S8 Marki – Modlinska under construction. It is a major road in Poland which, when completed, will run along the route Wroc?aw - ?ód? –Warsaw - Bia?ystok.

  • Presentations (select the day)

Day 1 - Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Day 2 - Wednesday 26 October 2011