Road Network Operations
& Intelligent Transport Systems
A guide for practitioners!

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Inter-Agency Working

The road authorities and other stakeholders involved in ITS services need to interface with stakeholders across the value chain. The success of the ITS service value chain hinges on successful cooperation between the different stakeholders and their functions in the chain. This is not restricted to public sector agencies only, but will also include private stakeholders. Today, it is also part of the role of Network Operators to enable and facilitate value-added service development.

Institutional Challenges

The ITS Framework Plan and any ITS Architecture - are high-level reference documents which set the context for deployment. As ITS projects develop and services come on stream it is necessary to be claer about legal and institutional issues, operational requirements and other stakeholder issues. For example, where the roles of different actors in the information supply chain is unclear - they need to be defined.

The timing of a project will often be dictated by budgetary considerations, even for high-priority projects with large benefits. Sometimes projects will be delayed due to a shortage of personnel with the necessary skills. Political factors will also impact on the timetabling - and can include the public visibility of the project and the potential impact of the investment on users.

Public objection or misunderstanding can lead to ITS projects being abandoned. For example, road pricing or congestion charging has, until recently, run into difficulties in securing public acceptance for various political reasons. The early introduction of road pricing in Hong Kong in the 1980s raised public suspicion about the use of AVI for “big brother surveillance.” This can have an impact on the implementation timetable - it may, for instance, be advisable to give priority to those investments which will deliver the highest benefits at the lowest risks or those investments which will deliver benefits to a greater number of stakeholders.

It is a real challenge to acheive an appropriate level of co-ordination and to create synergy benefits between the different stakeholders without bureaucratic costs. Administrative procedures can be a real obstacle - for example, different administrative procedures in adjacent administrative areas may need to be harmonised. New safety arrangements, operational procedures or detailed local operating agreements may also need to be developed and implemented  to deal effectively with new measures - such as the installation and maintenance of roadside detection equipment. This can also take valuable time

ITS operational requirements are frequently geared to an operations or control centre at the hub of the ITS service, for example:

  • Advanced Traffic Management Systems (ATMS): regional and local traffic management centres
  • Advanced Traveller Information Systems (ATIS): multi-modal traveller information centres
  • Advanced Public Transport Systems (APTS): public transport management centres

For many specific ITS projects, there will be a lead agency - which will be the organisation most closely associated with promoting the proposed ITS investment or the delivery of the new ITS service. New business units will oftent need to be created to cut across the traditional lines of responsibility between agencies - this is because ITS technology both requires and offers, new and greater opportunities for integrated deployment and interagency working.

For data exchange there is a need to create supply chain contracts, codes of practice - and to respond to other requirements. The availability of public data and distribution channels needs to be regulated in a legal framework - which should define objectives and public and private sector responsibilities. Data publishing, and distribution policy and practice will also need to be resolved (free at point of use, added value services; intermodal/ inter-agency exchange). There may be other legal issues to be addressed as well - such as data confidentiality.

Reference sources

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