How urban access regulations can resolve mobility challenges

Urban Vehicle Access Regulations (UVARs) have created some uncertainties in the past. However, well-implemented examples have shown that they can actually help cities reduce congestion and pollution efficiently when communicated properly.

Successful examples

To fight pollution and congestion, the introduction of congestion charges whereby motorists pay to drive in some areas of the city can be considered a solution for cities. Leading by example, in Milan, congestion charges in Area C helped to reduce 38,5% of traffic between 2011 and 2021, thus decreasing pollution and increasing general traffic flow.

Moreover, many cities across Europe have resorted to low and zero-emission zones (LEZ and ZEZ) to limit the impact of road transport on urban air pollution and to improve local air quality. Over the past three years, the number of LEZ and ZEZ in Europe rose by 40%.

The EU supports UVAR deployment with data and information exchange

EU-funded initiatives such as UVARbox and UVARexchange already provide standardised data about implementations and help to improve local authorities access to information. The objective is to facilitate seamless travel and enforcement of UVARs by local authorities.

Careful planning and citizen engagement are key to successful UVAR implementation

The ReVeAL project offers a database of recommendations and best practices related to UVARs. It identifies several cross-cutting aspects that need to be carefully considered for all types of UVARs, including governance, financing, public acceptance, compliance, and complementary measures.

Technologies are available to facilitate and optimise UVAR enforcement

Companies such as Abertis Mobility Services develop innovative and digital smart enforcement solutions with technologies like optical character recognition (OCR) and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) to reduce unnecessary efforts and costs while maintaining or even improving compliance.

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