Update on the RUC FORUM event

Arup hosted a very successful Road User Charging event held on 15 November 2016. A large delegation of Road User Charging (RUC) experts and interested parties from across the world gathered in Dublin. Staff from Highways England, TFL and the EU commission were present. The event was hosted in conjunction with ITS UK and ITS Ireland. It was split into three sessions.

1.    The Big Picture: Working Together in Europe;
2.    Mobility Across Boundaries – The Way Forward; and
3.    Achieving Compliance in Open Road Tolling.

It kicked off with a joint welcome note from ITS Ireland Board member, David O’Keeffe, and ITS UK RUC Coordinator, Keith Mortimer. The keynote address from former Head of Professional Services, ITS UK, Neal Skelton followed promptly.

The first session addressed interoperability across Europe. Cathal Masterson of TII and John MacCarthy of DTTAS provided key insights into tolling in Ireland. This session included a presentation by Jan Szulczyk of DG MOVE, where he looked at the European Commission’s reform and lessons learned of the implementation of the European Electronic Tolling Service (EETS) and the Eurovignette (HGV Charging) policies.

The second session featured a glimpse into the operations side of RUC, with international case study presentations from London, New Zealand and New York. The new ITS Ireland chairman, John Davis presented a paper on “The Convergence of Urban and Inter-urban Mobility”. Padraig Kenny of Arup also featured in a panel discussion focused on ‘Improving public-private cooperation for better mobility’.

The closing session examined the enforcement element of RUC in two contrasting scenarios. Efkon’s presentation explained the difficulty of enforcing an RUC operation in a country where the majority of heavy traffic is foreign registered. Kevin O’Sullivan of Arup presented on the situation of foreign enforcement on the M50 Toll in Ireland, which has a lower percentage of foreign traffic but experiences similar issues.

Keith Mortimer wrapped up a great day with some final words and invited the interest group and both ITS Ireland and ITS UK to organise similar events in the future in order to encourage cooperation.