Due to road works the Municipality of Utrecht and the national highways authority expected a lot of disruption, traffic delays and a decrease in the accessibility of Utrecht. Private businesses also acknowledged this situation and saw the necessity to act. To limit the negative impacts on the traffic flows, a unique public/private cooperation was set up with the Municipality of Utrecht, the National highways authority (Rijkswaterstaat), the Utrecht Regional Authority (BRU), the Province of Utrecht, the Mid Netherlands Chamber of Commerce and VNO-NCW Utrecht (employers’ organisations). This cooperation was organised as a foundation called 'Stichting Utrecht Bereikbaar' (Foundation Utrecht Accessible). This cooperation extends into the following areas: information and dialogue in the fields of planning of public building activities and dynamic traffic management and also making arrangements in the field of city goods distribution, construction logistics and communication.
The specific objectives of the measure ‘Hinder planning and Communication’ were to make citizens and road users aware of the road works and the expected disruption to the traffic in and around Utrecht in order to: achieve a situation in which citizens and road users are satisfied with the information about the road works and delays in and around Utrecht and reduce the amount of cars on the roads during peak hours.
Stichting Utrecht Bereikbaar implemented different measures to influence mobility, which included: the Utrecht Bereikbaar Pass (UTR measure #4.1), rewarding travellers for avoiding rush hour (UTR #4.3), and communications. These three measures form a bundle within CIVITAS MIMOSA. All have the objective to limit the negative impacts on traffic flows during the major road works in and around Utrecht, reduce the traffic disruption and therefore improve air quality.
In the R&D phase of this measure, a pilot project on communication regarding disruption by two large road construction projects was carried out. Based on these experiences, different levels and types of traffic disruption have been defined and a coherent communication approach for each level/type formulated. This resulted in a ‘Manual for Communication on Road Works and Events’: a practical tool that can be used to enable putting communication into a project and implementing it.