What do road users want?

A street is more than just a continuous stream of vehicles. It is an environment where different modes of transport, users and businesses interact. The EU-funded MORE project asked the question: “What are users doing on the streets in urban environments at what time?”

Several project partners aimed at answering this question through a quantitative survey of user groups and a qualitative assessment of expert opinions. Networks of cities, as well as stakeholder groups for road transport, pedestrians, cyclists and others were interviewed. The assessment of the users’ needs will be the basis of recommendations concerning soft solutions to be introduced in order to improve traffic flow in busy streets. The urban areas, which are assessed by MORE, range from a multi-million inhabitant metropolis like London to smaller cities such as Malmö and Constanta.

Two issues of concern were identified: safety and the lack of real-time traffic information. Information sharing of traffic flows would support a smoother entering of commercial vehicles into cities. Commercial drivers need to be aware of all type of restrictions, such as, restricted areas, temporary and permanent traffic bans, entry fees or low emission zones. Better data exchange would decrease congestion, since traffic flows could be redirected or passenger transport to be prioritised during rush hours.

The general issue of safety was the second takeaway of the consultation of stakeholders and individuals. At first glance, the matter of safety is mostly associated with pedestrians. Nevertheless, the study highlighted that cyclists and professional drivers of busses, coaches and taxis also have needs for technical support with safety. Solutions, such as blind spot detectors or “Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems” (C-ITS) were mentioned, allowing the exchange of information between road users and the infrastructure as well as increase safety of all road users. One example of C-ITS technologies for passenger cars is the exchange of information about traffic lights when approaching cross-roads.

Thanks to the joint efforts of the consortium members, MORE received a feedback of various road user regarding their needs, which will be taken as a base for the development of four web or computer-based tools to assist in reallocating road space in urban areas in Budapest, Constanta, London, Lisbon and Malmö on different Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T) Corridors.

To access the full report “Incorporating user needs in the design of major urban TEN feeder route corridors”, click here.