Integrating transport management systems

Basic Information




Thematic areas


This measure aimed at improving the flow of traffic within the city of Rotterdam and on the city’s ring road.

Implementing sustainable mobility

Prior to the TELLUS project, road users leaving the city had little information to help them decide whether to take the ring road towards the left or the right. Five variable message signs (VMS) were installed at locations with high levels of goods traffic in order to provide drivers with information about congestion on the ring road. By making this information available to all road users, drivers were enabled to make more appropriate route choices, helping to reduce levels of congestion.

The ultimate goal of the measure was to achieve a better flow of traffic leaving the city and entering the ring road by reducing the number of vehicles looking for alternative routes through the city to avoid congestion.


The five variable message signs were installed and put into operation in June 2003 and a website was created to explain their benefits.

The measure created a unique situation in which information was constantly exchanged between two road authorities. Information gathered by the national highway authority about the Rotterdam ring road was sent to the municipality of Rotterdam, which displayed the information on the VMSs. Prior to the TELLUS project there had been no cooperation regarding real-time traffic management between these two authorities.


Road users were very positive about VMS introduction: almost 95 percent of interviewees understood the information being displayed. The evaluation indicated that the VMSs have an impact on route choice among road users, although no specific effects on traffic could be established. However, surveys showed that 45 percent of drivers who were able to choose between routes were willing to change their itinerary; 65 percent would only change their route if there were 4 km more congestion than usual, or in particular situations; while 25 percent did not trust the information displayed on the VMSs due to bad experiences.

The measure suggested the value of continuing the installation of VMSs, based on the realisation of their advantages in the event of accidents or road works on the ring road.

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