42nd Annual ASECAP Study and Information Days Athens, 26-28 May 2014
Ensuring sustainability in times of dwindling traffic: the role of tolling
During the 2014 ASECAP Days the major transport stakeholders had the opportunity to meet in order to examine all the technology developments and to reflect upon the current socio-economic situation. It was the occasion for high-level panellists representing toll road infrastructure operators, EU decision-makers and ministers to discuss the role of the tolled roads in ensuring sustainability in times of dwindling traffic. They all commonly share the key political view on the "way-forward" for the sustainable development of the tolled road sector, based on a realistic vision towards efficient, safe and intelligent road mobility.
Personalities of the European Commission and the European Investment Bank, together with representatives of the ASECAP National Members concluded that economic growth is linked to the development of the transport sector, its proper infrastructure and focused on the concession model therein. The conference reflected the interconnection, under the umbrella of sustainability, between questions regarding tolling and concessions, road safety and security and Intelligent Transport Systems, and exploited the added value of combining the unmatched technical expertise and field experience of ASECAP Members with top-notch political considerations.
The first day of discussions (Tuesday 27 May) was therefore marked by subsequent plenary sessions with a full day of expert presentations, with time for Q&As about subjects falling under the responsibility of ASECAP’s different Permanent Committees (COPERs) affecting smart mobility, more specifically:
- COPER I: tolling and concessions
- COPER II: road safety, security and sustainability
- COPER III: Intelligent Transport Systems
- Marketing panel
On the second day (Wednesday 28 May), the various developments in the EU road transport sector were examined from a truly political angle. High-level EU decision-makers and ASECAP personalities first discussed about the current economic situation in the EU and the role of concessions as a lasting key factor for growth.
The discussion was followed by a serious technocratic analysis on where we are in the present tolling technologies. Selected representatives of REETS consortium - the key pan-European project on regional tolling interoperability funded by E. Commission - draw the relevant conclusions and developped the ensuing key messages, thus laying the basis for continued action in support of Europe’s toll road infrastructure operators, their customers and the well-being of society as a whole.
On the occasion of the event, Øyvind Halleraker has been elected as the new President of ASECAP for the year to come. Already a Member of the Norwegian Parliament, Mr. Halleraker has been a key and longstanding personality representing Norvegfinans within ASECAP. In his first speech as ASECAP President, Øyvind Halleraker thanked all the ASECAP personalities, particularly the previous president Jean Mesqui and underlined his commitment to strengthen further the role of ASECAP as a key player in Europe. He explained that his key priority for the future is to closely cooperate with all the European institutions and Organizations and ensure the continuous development of the road infrastructure industry, promoting tolling as the key instrument of efficient and sustainable mobility across Europe.
The one-and-a-half day conference programme, speeches and technical presentations are available in detail in the website www.asecapdays.com
ASECAP is the European Association of Operators of Tolled Road Infrastructures. It gathers 21 national members representing 187 companies whose network spans over 48 000 km of motorways, bridges and tunnels across Europe. ASECAP’s mission is to promote tolling and the direct user-payer principle as the most efficient tool to finance the construction, safe operation and effective maintenance of motorways and other major road infrastructures.