Polis Newsletter
March 2019

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Dear colleagues,

With unprecedented numbers of people walking, cycling and using electric scooters, the demand for a safer urban environment is ever increasing. The review of the General Safety Regulation is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring safer and cleaner vehicles into the public space. For local and regional authorities, two innovations can deliver significant benefits for the urban environment: Intelligent Speed Assistance and an improved standard for trucks and vans cab design. Read our full statement here.

I am glad to announce that the call for exhibitors and sponsors at the 2019 Polis Conference is open. Do not miss this opportunity to increase your profile and visibility among European cities and regions and other transport experts from across Europe! Watch out for the call for speakers as well, which will be launched at the end of this month.

I wish you a nice read!
Karen Vancluysen
Secretary General


Remarkable Women in Transport

TUMI's new publication on women working in transport features Polis Secretary General Karen Vancluysen. Download the report.

Polis Network News

Call open for exhibitors and sponsors at 2019 Polis Conference

This is an excellent opportunity to increase your profile and visibility among European cities and regions and other transport experts from across Europe. The 2019 Polis Conference takes place on 27 and 28 November at The Egg in Brussels.

The annual Polis Conference provides a unique opportunity for your organisation to connect with up to 550 committed transport innovation professionals who work in local and regional governments and related public and private sector organisations.

  • Become a sponsor or conference partner and gain maximum exposure at a premier conference targeting key stakeholders involved in smart, innovative and sustainable transport solutions in cities and regions.
  • Become a targeted sponsor and link your profile to specific conference parts or products.
  • Book an exhibition stand for your company or your project. Benefit from the coffee and lunch breaks in the exhibition area and host an info session to present your innovative ideas to planners and practitioners from cities.

Download the sponsorship package for a detailed overview of all the available options.

Do not hesitate to contact us to accommodate individual needs and specific interests and develop a tailored sponsorship package that perfectly meets your expectations!

Milan launches Area B, Italy’s largest Low-Emission Zone

In a bid to tackle air pollution and congestion, Milan has restricted access to the city for gasoline and diesel vehicles, thus introducing the largest low emission zone in Italy.

The “Area B”, as it was named by the city, covers about 72% of the entire municipal territory.

The municipality said that the introduction of “Area B” is part of a “definite, progressive and gradual set of rules to reduce particulate matter and improve urban quality in Milan”.

Gasoline-powered vehicles Euro 0 and diesel-powered Euro 0, 1, 2 and 3 will be denied access to Area B from Monday to Friday from 7:30 to 19:30, excluding holidays.

On 1 October 2019, Euro 4 diesel vehicles – which have been banned from the more central “Area C” since 2017 – will be banned in the Area B. Progressive bans will follow for other classes of passenger and freight vehicles until 2030, when all diesel vehicles will be banned in Milan.

Area B covers an area of almost 1.4 million inhabitants, or 97.6% of the city’s resident population. It affects all those who enter the city every day in a motor vehicle, gradually and progressively banning the most polluting ones to improve the Air quality in the city.

The Municipality expects air pollution to decrease sharply in the next few years. By 2026, atmospheric traffic emissions will reduce altogether by approximately 25 tonnes of PM10 and between 900 and 1,500 tonnes of NOx.

Register now! Urban Nodes Forum, 3-4 April 2019, Budapest

The first URBAN NODES FORUM in Budapest (3-4 April) focuses on the central role of Urban Nodes in the TEN-T networks and is organised as part of the VITALNODES project, in which Polis is involved.

The first URBAN NODES FORUM in Budapest focuses on the central role of urban nodes in the TEN-T networks, as important hubs that facilitate the flow of people and goods. We will exchange on solutions that improve the interface of long-distance freight and passenger transport, and the last-mile movements.

We now have a draft agenda and a location: Novotel Centrum, Rákóczi út 43-45, Budapest.

The URBAN NODES FORUM aims to develop project ideas in your own environment, to receive qualified feedback and to provide the European Commission with feedback of the ground. We develop recommendations for the coming funding period of structural funds (2021-2027); so your project ideas might be realised soon!

Are you an urban nodes representative, planner, infrastructure coordinator or logistics operator and you have an initiative to present on one of the 9 topics defined in the agenda? Contact us (Giacomo Lozzi, glozzi@polisnetwork.eu), we might be able to reimburse your travel costs.

The first URBAN NODES FORUM in hashtag#Budapest (3-4 April) focuses on the central role of hashtag#UrbanNodes in the hashtag#TEN-T networks, as important hubs that facilitate the flow of hashtag#freight and hashtag#passengers. Learn more and register here: https://lnkd.in/gf3BFKZ

Registrations open for the 2019 SUMP Conference in Groningen

Registrations are now open for the 6th Conference on Sustainable Mobility Plans, which Polis is co-organising through its involvement in Eltis. The event will take place in Groningen, the Netherlands, on 17-18 June and will focus on providing support to sustainable and active cities within the SUMP context

Conference programme

A draft conference programme is available here. The updated SUMP guidelines will be presented for review by the SUMP community. At various sessions with different formats, participants are encouraged to provide their comments and feedback on the draft updated guidelines and give their views on long-term planning for sustainable urban mobility.


Registrations are now open. Register here by 20 May 2019. Attendance is free of charge.


Applications are open for projects that wish to have a stand in the exhibition area. To participate in the on-site exhibition, register your stand via the request form by 30 April 2019. All selected applicants will be notified in May 2019.

For more information, please visit the conference page.

CEDR Conference discusses Modal Choice in a Multimodal Transport System

On 9 May 2019 in Brussels, a European conference will wrap up CEDR’s Research Programme on “User Needs in a multimodal context”, in which Polis is involved as partner. The event will discuss new tools to understand the impact of new technologies, walking and cycling measures, on modal choice and on road safety.

The event will take place on May 9 in Brussels, with a pre-conference evening event on May 8. Registrations are open

This CEDR programme has funded two research projects aiming to advance national road authorities’ understanding of transport users’ motives and needs for choosing different transport modes as well as of the impacts of appropriate incentives for a modal shift.

The conference provides training of the new tools developed by the two projects. The STTRIDE tools help to understand the impact of new technologies, while the ISAAC tools focus on measures supporting walking and cycling and their impact on modal choice and on road safety.

The draft agenda is available here.

Polis is a consortium partner of the ISAAC project.


...stands for Smarter Travel Technology Review for Investment Decisions: STTRIDE has reviewed travellers’ needs, assessed the role of emerging technology in meeting those needs and developed recommendations for NRASs to make the best possible use of technological advances to deliver positive modal shift.


...stands for: Stimulating safe walking and cycling within a multimodal transport environment: ISAAC has developed evidence-based recommendations to achieve modal shift in favour of walking and cycling – without compromising road safety, social security and comfort. The project outputs include an interactive checklist and guidelines for local and regional policy makers. Access them here: www.pedbikeplanner.eu


Registration to the Conference is free of charge but prior registration is required before 26 April: https://www.polisnetwork.eu/isaac

More information:

For more information, please contact Dagmar Köhler, dkoehler@polisnetwork.eu

Practitioners welcome at European Road Safety Summer School

Polis proudly supports the 2019 European Road Safety Summer School from 26-30 August 2019 in Mechelen, Belgium. We invite cities, regions and other professionals interested in road safety to register for the 5 day course.

The Summer School is an initiative of the VSV (Flemish Foundation for Traffic Knowledge), the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), the Transportation Research Institute of Hasselt University, Polis and Road Safety Great Britain.

Themes and topics include:

  • road safety strategies, e.g. the Safe System approach
  • strategies in education and awareness raising
  • infrastructure, technologies and enforcement
  • excursions to Mechelen, Hasselt and Brussels, e.g. visit to the European Parliament

Registration is possible via www.roadsafetysummerschool.be


Polis, Dagmar Köhler, dkoehler@polisnetwork.eu and 
the Flemish Foundation for Traffic Knowledge via summerschool@vsv.be

General Safety Regulation: Final Negotiations are Underway

Under the 3rd Mobility Package active safety measures such as Intelligent Speed Assitance, Automatic Emergcy Breaking as well as Event Data Records and safer design of vehicles have been proposed by the European Commission and have receved broad support from the European Parliament and Council.The final trilogue discussion between the European institutions is planned for the end of this month. This is a unique opportunity to bring safer vehicles on city roads and protect vulnerable road users.

With unprecedented numbers of people walking, cycling and using e-scooters, the demand for a safer urban environment is ever increasing. The vehicles that cities will allow on their roads will have to be cleaner and much safer than today. The review of the General Safety Regulation is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring such vehicles into the urban and public space.

For local and regional authorities, two innovations in particular can deliver benefits for the urban environment: Intelligent Speed Assistance and an improved standard for trucks and vans cab design.

Local and regional authorities must invest in the maintenance of infrastructure – be it digital or physical - and speed enforcement. Intelligent Speed Assistance needs to be more than a simple informative system, in order to maximise the return on investments. It should actively help the driver respect the speed limit and can potentially pave the way for integrated C-ITS as well as connected, cooperative and autonomous vehicles. Sixteen organisations collaborating in the ISA Working Group of the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities are asking for a swift rollout of the technology in this manifesto.

Heavy goods vehicles are disproportionately responsible for deaths of pedestrians and cyclists in cities, often because of poor cabin visibility. Urbanisation is leading to an increased demand for goods, services and construction works, bringing heavier vehicles on city streets. The European institutions can now make these vehicles fit for purpose in urban areas. A quick introduction of a direct vision, differentiated standard for all trucks and vans allowing the driver to see clearly through the side and front windscreen, can drastically reduce the risk for cyclists and pedestrians.

Brussels regulates free-floating mobility services

Over the past few months, an increasing amount of new e-scooter sharing schemes and free-floating sharing bicycles have rolled out on the streets of Brussels. But what is the impact of these new mobility services on the city?

Several companies are offering these services via a mobile app and the approach is straightforward: you download the app, you locate a scooter or bike and you start riding.

There are now thousands of free-floating e-scooters and bicycles in Brussels, operated by some 50 private service providers. This rapid proliferation of shared mobility services has also had some negative impacts, particularly on public space as the schemes are dockless and have no dedicated parking facilities.  Brussels welcomes these new mobility services but in order to ensure that they can benefit all and meet policy goals, the Brussels Parliament has unanimously adopted a new regulation for operators that want to launch shared dockless fleets of bikes, scooters or other new light vehicles such as delivery tricycles, mopeds, motorcycles with two parallel front wheels or hoverboards.

Floris Tack, head of social policy and legal affairs at the mobility and public works cabinet of Brussels Minister for Mobility Pascal Smet, explained the new regulation that entered into force on 1 February 2019 during the Polis Governance & Integration Working Group meeting held in Brussels on 25-26 February. The purpose is to create a level playing field for all companies that want to start a new shared mobility service in the city and to prevent any a posteriori penalty. Investments in micromobility are always welcome in Brussels, but providers must obtain a licence to operate.

Already active operators can obtain a licence until 1 September 2019. New operators will have to submit a request for licence, which will be processed within 6 weeks. Licences are valid for three years and any type of combustion-engine mobility service is prohibited. Companies must meet a number of conditions and technical requirements. They also have to share data and a minimum number of available vehicles is required.

Providers should also make sure that their users follow the road code and vehicles cannot park unconditionally anywhere in the city. Furthermore, to avoid too high concentrations of shared vehicles at certain locations, their numbers are limited around the city’s most popular places. Licences are open to any company that wishes to launch its services in Brussels and there is no limit on the number of permits that can be requested. The Brussels approach opts for a balanced framework, that empowers innovation coming from the rapidly changing mobility market while at the same time meeting the public interest and aligning with local mobility policy goals.

The text of the regulation is available here (in Dutch and French).


New freight action plan for London

Trucks and light commercial vehicles account for around one third of road traffic in central London during the morning peak.

The Mayor of London and Transport for London (TfL) issued a new Freight and Servicing Action plan that stipulates how the number of freight vehicles can be reduced by 10% by 2026 during the morning peak - while still meeting the freight and servicing needs of London’s growing population and economy.

The plan includes cooperation with boroughs, businesses and the freight and servicing industry as a key factor and envisages more click and collect points at Underground stations.

Read more.


Click here to view a list of all recent events.

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