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Central government organisation

The development of ITS raises numerous questions pertaining to the different government bodies required to collaborate on certain subjects.

The challenges States habitually face in terms of transport are usually grouped by mode of transport:  Security, competition and cooperation between stakeholders, funding and nuisances differ in terms of technical elements and social aspects for road, rail, waterways and maritime transport. The first intelligent transport systems (ITS) were also developed on a modal basis, in order to facilitate exchanges between departments within companies, then between companies and their clients, suppliers and relevant regulatory authorities.

Currently the processes of decentralisation, European integration, taking into account of global problems such as congestion, energy consumption and climate protection, mean that more holistic approaches are required. Central government services must cooperate more fully with each other and with local authorities to move projects forward:

  • in the field of road safety, coordination has from the outset been recognised as an essential component, long before anybody began to speak about intelligent transport, with the creation of an inter-ministerial committee in 1972 (in which ministers meet periodically to define policy) and an inter ministerial delegation (a permanent team responsible for preparing decisions and monitoring their application). With regard to information systems, there should be permanent exchanges between representatives of infrastructure managers (national networks operated under management contracts and non-contracted networks, départements, cities) responsible for operating the road systems and ITS installations, the police authorities responsible for establishing the traffic rules which can be adapted to circumstances and those intended to apply the Highway Code, as well as the authorities responsible for vehicle approval and inspections.  Some subjects may also involve the emergency services, roadside assistance providers, vehicle manufacturers and telecommunications firms etc.
  • passenger information on the multimodal public transport offer, concerns local authorities at various levels (region, département, conurbation or urban communities and authorities grouped under transport organising authorities) and the decisions taken at national level should take into account how problems manifest themselves at this level.  A  specific body with a national remit is currently being set up under the DGITM (the Directorate-General of Infrastructure, Transport and the Sea): the French Agency for Multimodal Information and Smart Ticketing. Representatives of all the stakeholders involved will sit on its steering committee, including those from the DGCIS (Directorate-General of Industry and Services Competitiveness), a directorate of the Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industry, notably responsible for the digital economy.
  • with regards to traffic management and road information, the DGITM and the Assemblée des Départements de France (Assembly of Departments of France) have set up a “Committee of Road Contracting Authorities" including the group responsible for ITS, lead by the SETRA.
  • for freight and logistics, the research programme focused on standardisation - NORMAFRET - created by the DGITM brings together professionals, the DGCIS and the Customs Directorate-General .  

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