Adaptable  Automated  Resilient  
   Milestones  Strategy  
Key messages
Sister programmes
Aligned programmes


An affordable road for a society that cannot afford the closure of roads: In these times of austerity, many authorities across Europe are facing ever tougher challenges to cope with the need to accommodate increased traffic growth, minimise congestion, maintain services in the face of increasing climate change effects, as well as deliver on environmental and societal objectives. This is the time when innovation for road infrastructure is an absolute imperative, to reduce costs without compromising on quality.

Fifth generation road: a new generation of performance: Perhaps 20,000 years ago, the first generation of road was the track. Some 2,000 years ago, the first stone paved road overcame the problem of impenetrable muddy troughs that occurred in the rain. Some 200 years ago, the smooth tarmac road dramatically improved passenger comfort and reduced damage to vehicles. The fourth generation, 70 years ago, saw the advent of motorways providing seamless travel between commercial and population centres.

Forever Open Road will be the fifth generation of road. Like each of the previous generations, it uses the latest knowledge to provide more reliable, safer and more affordable transport.

The 21st century road: the standard of service required for modern society: Our digital society depends on roads and demands higher standards from them. Citizens require ever greater mobility at the right quality and price. Industry needs a dependable service from a system that is fully integrated with other modes. At the same time, road authorities want to look to the advantages that new technologies and systems can offer to provide more affordable, durable and efficient roads. In this respect, the Forever Open Road will be right for this millennium.

Forever Open Road is conceived in line with the ambitions set out by the National Road Administrations and the EU to enable their road operations to provide the world’s highest levels of reliability, availability, maintainability, safety, security, health and liveability at the lowest cost. This is to be achieved in the recognition that the effective utilisation of the available road network should increase by at least 50% to accommodate the expected growth in traffic between 2010 and 2050, whilst decongesting our roads and reducing fatalities and severe injuries towards zero in the long term. Road operations should also comply with the policies set on noise, air quality and natural habitat, and seek decarbonisation by aiding the energy-efficiency of the freight and passenger transport process, as well as reducing its net energy consumption during operation, construction and maintenance. This vision is translated into ambitious guiding objectives concerning Decarbonisation, Reliability, Safety, Liveability and Cost.

The table below shows the objectives that will be set for the next generation of roads to meet, once the Forever Open Road concept is fully implemented on the European road network. The indicators and their guiding objectives represent a considerable improvement in the road operations services to the user of the road network.

Societal Challenge
Guiding Objective
Energy-efficiency of passenger and freight transport (pkm/kWh resp. tkm/kWh)
Energy consumed by road operations
Net zero
Energy enclosed in materials
Failure frequency and duration
Time lost to maintenance, repair, reconstruction, and incidents
Safety & Security
Fatalities and severe injuries
Cargo lost to theft and damage
Air quality, Noise, Natural Habitat
Policy compliance
Total Cost of Ownership
-30% *
*= vs. 2010 best practices baseline

The Forever Open Road will encourage international engagement and collaboration, and stimulate research across the member states bringing cost savings and benefits for all. It will also bring together public and private sector organisations with expertise in road design, travel behaviour, road safety, intelligent transport systems, vehicle manufacture, environmental impact and product manufacturing.



more events


RSS more news