08 Mar 2021

The European Union finally decided to act on the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) legislation and drive forward the development of this important thread of the transport sector. This shows that the work done by CIE’s Expert Group on Connected Cycling and ITS (CCITS) is in line with EU priorities. The CCITS Expert Group is developing an ITS strategy for cycling, focused on multimodality, smart bike and rider, interactions with vehicles and the environment, data management and intelligence. The development of this smart cycling strategy will constitute the basis of the discussions between CIE and Experts of the Group with EU policy makers and other stakeholders.

The European Commission recently worked on the assessment of the ITS Directive that is currently in place. The evaluation concluded that the objective of the Directive to accelerate and coordinate the deployment and use of ITS applied to road transport and its interfaces with other transport modes was only partially achieved. Three key problem drivers have been identified within the current system:

  • A lack of interoperability and continuity of applications, systems and services.
  • A lack of concertation and effective cooperation among stakeholders.
  • Unresolved issues related to the availability and sharing of data supporting ITS services.

By recognizing a clear need for further action on these issues, the Commission opened a consultation to hear the public's and stakeholders' opinions on the possible measures and potential impacts of revising the ITS Directive. 

The first phase of the consultation concerning general feedback of the EU roadmap took place in November 2020, while the second phase is taking place in January/February, detailing aspects such as specific measures, impacts and priority areas that the revision of the ITS Directive is going to cover. After this second phase of the consultation, the dialogue between the Commission and the stakeholders will go on, involving DG MOVE and the key players from the public and the private sector.

CIE and CCITS Expert Group strongly support the need for a revision of the ITS Directive, highlighting three aspects:

  • The current over-emphasis on motorized travel and the need to boost ITS in active mobility and cycling.
  • A request for a better focus on urban ITS strategies, with a strong support for cities and regions.
  • A European comprehensive approach on ITS, bringing together the different modes of transport in an efficient multimodal system.

The key aspect is that the solutions for a better deployment of ITS need to reflect the role of connected cycling, which at the moment is restricted to a few leading countries. The EU should strengthen the support for cycling ITS in order to achieve greater consistency and a wider rollout. For example, developing datasets and standards for routing, travel planning and travel choices, including active transport in MaaS initiatives, creating a better multi-modal approach to urban transport, and providing funding and investments opportunities.

A EU comprehensive urban strategy is needed to be able to bring active mobility into every forum: cycling should not be missed out on future implementations!

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