Project Details

Title: Promotion of Open Specifications and Standards in Europe
Priority: 2: Environment and risk prevention
Theme: Energy and sustainable transport

Type of intervention

Type of intervention: 1: Regional Initiative Project
Mini-programme: No
Duration: 1st Jan 2012 - 31st Dec 2014
Website: http://www.posse-openits.eu/


Total budget: €1,840,281.57
ERDF contribution: €1,238,589.03

Lead partner

Reading Borough Council
Civic Centre
RG1 7AE, Reading

  • Click for contact details
    • Contact Person: Ruth Leuillette
      Phone: 044 (0)118 937 2069
      Fax: 044 (0)118 937 2633

Project summary

Across Europe national, regional and local authorities are tasked with encouraging more sustainable patterns of travel to meet the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions targets in addition to addressing more local issues such as Air Quality Management Areas. At the same time public sector budgets are being cut due to the tight economic conditions whilst public authorities are required to deliver more for less. It is imperative that cost effective solutions must be found in these challenging times.


Urban Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) are a key element in the delivery of sustainable transport policies at the local level and are therefore important for developing EU promoted Urban Mobility Plans and the wide range of related measures to address congestion, safety and accessibility. ITS systems can be used to encourage and maintain more sustainable patterns of travel and reduce environmental impacts through prioritising the highway for public transport, walking and cycling, better

management of the networks to reduce congestion, and through providing multimodal travel information to enable travellers to make informed choices.


ITS is an area of rapid development with many systems and services being offered to local authorities. However, issues which constrain the effectiveness of their application to develop sustainable transport policies relate to a lack of open specifications and standards. This makes it difficult for less experienced authorities to introduce coherent and cost effective ITS systems, leads to supplier dependency, and stifles the scale of the market for innovation.


POSSE (Promotion of Open Specifications and Standards in Europe) aims to encourage the use of ITS for sustainable urban policies through the transfer of good practice from UK and German experience to follower cities elsewhere in Europe and to support the development of appropriate Europe-wide open specifications and standards.

The UK’s Urban Traffic Management and Control (UTMC) specifications based on open international standards were demonstrated in 2000 in four towns including Reading. Ongoing development overseen by the UTMC Development Group (UDG) of public and private stakeholders has led to over 100 implementations in the UK. OCA is an association of 28 German, 5 Swiss and 3 Austrian towns who are working on the promotion of open standards. Open standard discussions will involve the development of ownership and build on existing EC initiatives such as the FRAME ITS architecture.


The project will be led by Reading with the support of UDG and OCA as knowledge sharing partners. The follower cities/regions will benefit from knowledge transfer and promote POSSE at a regional and national level in their countries. The project will deliver implementation plans which set out how open systems and specifications will be implemented and assist the follower cities delivering their environment policy objectives.

Project achievements

The objective of POSSE is the promotion of Open Specifications & Standards in Europe, in the area of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). The operational objective of POSSE is for each of the transfer sites to develop an ITS implementation plan that sets out how to deliver efficient & cost effective tools & approaches for the management of urban transport networks to meet local, national & EU transport

policy objectives. Knowledge exchange has been focused through a series of ongoing technical workshops, site visits & more specific meetings between the knowledge exchange partners & the transfer sites, usually linked to the transfer sites national dissemination events. The transfer sites implementation plans have been scoped out & discussed in the 4th technical workshop in Trondheim (NO) & these set out the activities required to deliver the Implementation Plans over the final year of the project. The implementation plans will set out how to use the good practices to deliver




efficient & cost effective tools & approaches to the management of urban transport networks to meet local, national & EU policy objectives. The transfer sites have undertaken their national workshops aimed at promoting open specifications & standards in their own regions & countries & these have been successful both in terms of getting national interest & also in starting the debate with the technology suppliers market which is crucial to implementing POSSE. Due to the success of these a number are now undertaking a second workshop. The process of how to address this engagement is a key focus of the implementation plans. Another key output from POSSE is the Good Practice Guide which is aimed at providing others, outside of POSSE, with guidance on how to implement open specifications & standards. This draws on the experience of UTMC in the UK & the OCA in Germany & the original intention was to publish this in/around the middle of the project however it became clear through the

first two technical workshops that more was needed to explain how to transfer the good practices. An initial approach of developing scenarios was found not to provide enough detail to really illustrate how to transfer UTMC & OCA approaches & hence the good practice guide will draw on the real experiences of the transfer sites in trying to develop their implementation plans with UTMC / OCA support. UTMC & OCA have both undertaken existing user studies which have been published showing different examples of how the open specifications & standards can be implemented in different contexts & to meet differing policy objectives. This is particularly true of UTMC which covers a wide range of different technologies used in traffic management. POSSE has delivered a website www/posseopenits.eu which is generating around 110 unique visitors per month, the CZ version of the project website is generating around 7 unique visitors per month, supporting leaflets/press releases & newsletters

have also been published. Two POSSE forums, which are aimed at disseminating the POSSE lessons to a wider number of authorities have taken place with the first being run around the Dublin European ITS congress & the second being run just before the POLIS conference in Brussels in Dec 2013. An emerging outcome of POSSE, both through the discussions in the outreach & through the transfer sites is the role of Open ITS in the delivery of Open Data as a key policy objective at national & European level.


Institution, Town Country Region Contact details
Reading Borough Council, Reading UNITED KINGDOM Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire 044 (0)118 937 2069
Klaipeda City Municipality Adminitration, Klaipeda LITHUANIA Lietuva 37046396110
Strategic Plan City of Burgos, Burgos SPAIN Castilla y León +34 947 28 88 67
Municipality of La Spezia, La Spezia ITALY Liguria +39 0187 727 234
Pisamo Spa, Pisa ITALY Toscana +39 050 502742
Transport Research Centre (CDV), Brno CZECH REPUBLIC Jihovychod +420 548 423 711
POLIS -Promotion of Operational Links with Integrated Services, Brussels BELGIUM Région de Bruxelles-Capitale / Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest +32 (0)2 500 56 77
UTMC Ltd, Guildford UNITED KINGDOM Surrey, East and West Sussex +44 (0)1483 688272
OCA e.V., Frankfurt GERMANY Darmstadt +49 241 500 717
Norwegian Public Roads Administration, Trondheim NORWAY +47 739 546 53


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