European stakeholders recognise the need for a strategic approach to road maintenance

On 27 January 2015, around 60 interested stakeholders from all over Europe gathered in the European Parliament in Brussels to take part to the ERF Information session on Road Asset Management (RAM).

The successful event, hosted by Gesine Meissner, Member of the European Parliament and Member of Committee on Transport and Tourism, was a unique opportunity for EU and National policy makers, industry representatives and Road Authorities, to share their knowledge and their experience on the management of one of the most important European assets.

Christophe Nicodème, ERF Director General, opened the event thanking MEP Meissner for hosting this event. He underlined the importance of the transport sector in Europe and described ERF activities within the road financing programme and gave an overview on what Road Asset Management (RAM) is. Subsequently, MEP Meissner welcomed all the participants and elaborated on the importance of Europe’s road network roads by highlighting its essential role as a link between all transport modes.

The floor was then passed to Jean-François Corté, Secretary General of PIARC, who highlighted the worrying trends concerning road maintenance, stressing that declining investment in road maintenance is leading to the a serious degradation of the condition of the road transport system. Mr. Corté underlined the need for a multi-annual vision and approach to road asset management, stressing that this can lead both to savings at authority level and provide incentives for contractors.

Having set the general framework, the event continued with the presentation of good practices in selected European countries. More specifically,   Yann Lefeuvre (Highways Term Maintenance Association), Stefan Gerwens (Director of Pro Mobilitaet), Roos Meilink from Interprovinciaal Overleg and Bjarne Bylov Jensen (Sales and Marketing Manager of Grontmij) respectively presented some experiences on RAM in the UK, Germany, Netherlands and Denmark.

A roundtable debate followed that touched upon a number of items, amongst others, ways of promoting the concept of RAM at authority level as well the need for a greater acceptance of the RAM principles amongst policymakers.   In addition, participants debated the potential benefit that the establishment of an EU Road Agency could bring as a means of achieving a better and more strategic approach for road maintenance. All participants agreed on the need for a paradigm shift in how roads are funded and preserved and stressed the need for further actions to improve the current funding shortage.

The event was closed by MEP Meissner who thanked the ERF for putting this important item on the ‘political agenda’ and stressed her continuous support for safe and secure EU road network.

 

Proceedings of the event

Agenda

Mr Nicodème (ERF) presentation

Mr Corté (PIARC) presentation

Mr Gerwens (Pro-Mobilität) presentation

Mr Lefeuvre (Highways Term Maintenance Association) presentation

Ms Meilink (Interprovinciaal Overleg) presentation

Mr Jensen (Grontmij) presentation

Photos