In developing the Forever Open Road programme, it became apparent that other transport modes face many of the same issues as the road industry, and that the research programme developed for the Forever Open Road is broadly applicable to other sectors. Additionally, FEHRL recognise that despite the dominance of the highway sector in terms of network size and usage, it remains just one element of the transport infrastructure.
On the contractor and entrepreneurial side, the ECTP (the European Construction Technology Platform) reFINE initiative advocates the need for developing High-Level Service Infrastructures (HLSI) as the core elements of a future fully functional and EU-wide multimodal integrated transport network by 2030.
Inspired by the objectives of FORx4, FEHRL was awarded two Horizon 2020 CSA projects, USE-iT (Users, Safety and security and Energy in Transport infrastructure) and FOX (Forever Open ross (X) modal infrastructure). The USE-iT project focusses on the operation of transport infrastructure across modes and cross modal transfer, whilst FOX focusses on the life cycle of the physical transport infrastructure covering all modes. Both projects were inspired by and will feed back into the FORx4 programme.
At the same time and also with FEHRL involvement, the reFINE initiative was awarded a complementary CSA (REFINET), which had the overarching aim of creating a sustainable network that integrates relevant stakeholder’s representatives of all transport modes and infrastructure sectors in order to nurture a unique and shared European vision of how should be specified, designed, built or renovated, and maintained the multimodal European transport infrastructure network of the future.
FOX and USE-iT worked effectively as one project with joint project meetings, workshops and dissemination events. REFINET also worked closely with USE-iT and FOX, stakeholder information and having a number of joint events. A key objective of all three projects was to develop and engage a wide range of stakeholders and to keep a network of multi-modal partners who can help shape the development of the future transport network.
The USE-iT and FOX projects developed between them an integrated roadmap also comprising the final results of REFINET. The roadmap details research requirements across a range of transport drivers and so it is imperative that this and the network of stakeholders be maintained and remain active beyond the lifetime of the projects.
This will be achieved through the FORx4 (Forever Open Road, Rail, River and Runaway) programme which offers an established brand for the follow-up of the three CSAs. It encompasses the 4 transport modes as well as the Multi-modal transport aspects and all infrastructure-related challenges.
The FORx4 roadmap and strategy document detailing future plans for the initiative are available to download from the links below:
FORx4 strategy document
FORx4 (Forever Open Road, Rail, River and Runway) Programme - AUGUST 2019