Access Control - An interactive ITS Handbook for Planning Large


Access Control - An interactive ITS Handbook for Planning Large
Access Control (Demand Management)
Relevance for Large Scale Events
Integration potential
Best Cases and Examples
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The aim of this strategy is to modify in some way the demand for mobility on the transport network.
Normally, it focuses on influencing (and especially reducing) the amount of traffic on a specific part of the
road network, particularly during critical periods (e.g. times of peak traffic or when pollution levels are
The strategy may have different objectives, but in general its purpose is to:
reduce congestion
protect the environment (e.g. by reducing the level of air pollution)
improve safety (e.g. by reducing the amount or of traffic and therefore the risk to pedestrians);
to reduce traffic nuisance (especially in areas used predominantly by pedestrians).
The use of ITS tools to support the management of such a strategy has considerable advantages. Compared
with a manually operated system, e.g. with printed vignettes for authorised vehicles, it reduces the
personnel required and also speeds up the process of checking vehicles and/or requesting payment.
A number of ITS tools can be used to support demand management strategies. The main ones are
described below in the section ‘Technologies’. It is also possible to influence demand through the use of
information systems. These can be designed for example to influence the choice of route, mode of travel or
time of trips. The use of information services is dealt with in the ‘Traveller Information Services’ section)
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How the tool works, basic information about the tool’s functions
The aim of access control is to limit access by road traffic to specific areas. It is normally use for parts of a
city centre, but the strategy can also be applied to areas surrounding sports or cultural venues and
activated for the duration of a large scale event).
The strategy can involve the total exclusion of vehicles from an area, but more usually it is selective. In
other words. access is permitted for a certain number of authorised users, while other vehicles are banned.
The advantage of a telematics solution rather than a printed ticket or "vignette" displayed on the
windscreen is that recognition is automatic, so vehicles do not need to stop or checked manually and, in
addition, data can be stored for future analysis. Authorised users can purchase, or be issued with, a tag that
is installed on-board.
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Relevance for Large Scale Events
Such strategies are clearly extremely relevant for the management of traffic during large-scale events when
the road network has to cope with exceptionally high levels of demand and there are likely to be a large
number of vulnerable users, e.g. pedestrians, present in and around the sports/cultural venues, e.g.
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stadiums. During large events, access control can be a very effective way of preventing congestion in such
areas and increasing safety.
Since a road pricing strategy is unlikely to be implemented specifically for a sporting or cultural event, we
focus on the following approaches:
 Access Control
 Environmental Traffic Management
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Mobility demand can be influenced though a number of different mechanisms, including:
road pricing (or congestion charging) i.e. the imposition of a fee for using the road network, or part
of the network such as motorways or a city centre zone;
access control (used to limit vehicular access to a given area. It can be applied with or without
payment for circulation within the area concerned);
environmental traffic management (a variation of the above, where the main purpose of the
system is to limit environmental pollution in a given area).
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The main technologies currently in use for access control mare:
Dedicated Short Range Communication System (DSRC): this kind of system uses short range data
communication (typically at 5.8GHz) between the road infrastructure and an OBU (on-board unit)
installed in authorised vehicles. The technology is ‘non-invasive’ for the user, in the sense that the
OBUs are usually small, easy to install and highly reliable with regard to the percentage of errors in
the transmission of data. The equipment is often supplied free of charge by the system manager,
although sometimes a deposit is requested or a monthly fee. If a tariff is foreseen (for example
when the vehicle travels within a charging zone), this may be made on board or off board. In the
former case, payment can be by smart card (a prepaid card is inserted in the OBU and can be
recharged when the credit falls below a given level). In the latter case, the amount is debited from
the user’s current account or credit card. The approach does however involve high costs for the
equipment on the road infrastructure as it is necessary to set up tolling stations.
Increasing automation has made considerable improvements possible by moving from Single Lane 1
systems to Multi Lane Free Flow2 . Examples of Multi Lane Free Flow DSRC with an open architecture are
the road charging system on Austrian motorways, in Australia, Canada and Chile.
Vehicle Positioning System (VPS): this technology combines the use of GPS (Global Positioning
System) for the location of vehicles via satellite and Mobile Communication Technology (GSM) for
Systems characterised by physical barriers result in the slowing down of vehicle flows when payment is made.
Systems without physical barriers permit a much faster throughput of vehicles.
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communicating the amount of the toll to the Operations Centre, which deals with the debiting and
invoicing of the customer.
The OBU is equipped with a GPS receiver which identifies the position of the vehicle on the road network.
When the system detects that the vehicle has entered a payment zone, it begins to measure the distance
covered. When the vehicle leaves the zone, the total distance is calculated and the relevant payment make
either on board by smart card or off board with a debit to the current account or credit card of the user.
The advantage of this technology is that it requires the installation of only a limited number of electronic
portals for enforcement purposes and, in the case of poor reception of the GPS signal, DSRC type devices to
support the on-board positioning device. The system is also versatile in the sense that the controlled area
can easily be modified. On the other hand, it has the disadvantage of involving the installation of devices on
all vehicles, and the GPS technology is subject to a certain margin of error.
Also in this case the OBU is normally supplied free of charge (or on payment of a deposit) while installation
takes around four hours and requires specialised personnel. The most well-known example in Europe is the
one used in Germany for tolling trucks using the motorway network.
Automatic Number Plate Recognition System (ANPR): this system involves the use of fixed or
mobile video cameras but does not require installation of on board devices. On the road
infrastructure, it is necessary to set up cameras with ANPR software (Automatic Number Plate
Recognition) at strategic locations – usually entry points to the restricted area. Several cameras are
required: one to take a close-up image of the number plate, while another photographs the entire
vehicle (in some countries both the colour and make of vehicle must be recognised). The videocameras are equipped with software able to read the number plate and transmit this information
to a processing centre, where it is compared with the database of all authorised vehicles.
If payment is foreseen for use of the restricted area, a debit procedure is carried out for all (authorised)
customers. If a vehicle is not authorised a fine is issued.
Such a system is operated in the centre of London for managing the Congestion Zone. Outside Europe it is
also used in some non-urban locations, e.g. in Australia and Chile, in association with DSRC technology.
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The impact of access control can be very significant. Schemes have been shown to result in a considerable
reduction in congestion, traffic delays, pollution levels, and noise (see details below). There can however be
some disadvantages including:
the diversion of traffic to other routes, causing congestion in zones adjacent to a protected area;
inconvenience for the disabled and elderly;
confusion for visitors not familiar with the area if the ‘rules’ are not clear;
negative impact on business activities in the area with restricted access,
inconvenience residents and people living/working in the area affected.
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For a successful scheme, especially during a large-scale event, it is important therefore to pay attention to
the following aspects:
provide special arrangements for the disabled
provide adequate public transport facilities in order to minimise inconvenience to travellers and
promote a ‘modal shift’. In this way people who would otherwise have used private cars can be
‘diverted’ to public transport
provide sufficient information so people are aware of the details of the access control strategy in
consult with all residents and other ‘local’ people or businesses in the area likely to be affected and
if possible make special arrangements (e.g. issue special passes) to avoid causing undue
Access control can have a positive impact
within the area concerned, but unless well
managed it can lead to increased
congestion outside the area.
When private traffic is reduced, e.g. in a city
centre, it can result in increased regularity
of bus services and reduced trip time.
For the above reasons, public transport can
become more attractive and lead to greater
use of bus travel or cycling.
The reduction of vehicular traffic, especially
in city centres, can reduce pollution levels.
Reduced traffic levels or restricted times of
access for vehicles, including delivery
vehicles, can make it safer for pedestrians
and cyclists as long as average vehicle speed
- 18% travel time
- 78% traffic in zone
Rome Limited Traffic Zone
controlled by electronic gates
- 20% traffic during the
restriction periods
London Low Emission Zone
The LEZ has had no impact on
vehicle volumes
Rome Limited Traffic Zone
controlled by electronic gates
+3% shift to pedestrian
+1% shift to public transport
+ 50% shift to PT
Bologna GAUDI trial
- 50% air pollution level
London Low Emission Zone
In 2008 the LEZ saved 28
tonnes of particulate matter
from landing in London’s air
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remains low.
Access control used to protect a residential Barcelona
area and prevent entry of external traffic
Increased park space
(Links will be provided where possible to descriptions of the projects or studies concerned).
[*, ** or *** indicate the strength of the impact]
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Integration potential
Access control can be integrated with a number of other tools to improve its effectiveness. These include:
enforcement systems
UTC (urban traffic control)
priority vehicle systems
pedestrian priority zones.
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A key factor for access control systems is handling violations effectively and working with a minimum of
extra manpower, with automatic detection of offences and identification of vehicles. From the users’
perspective the system should be easy to understand and use (e.g. through smartcard system) and reliable.
Since good public awareness and acceptance are key factors for successfully implementing an access
control system, public consultation and involvement activities should be carefully planned.
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a) in previous large events
Some examples of Access Control schemes operated during past ‘large-scale events’ and also other
examples are given below.
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Access control was used to prevent
protect a residential area near the
Games site. (In 1995, the scheme was
extended to the city centre)
Summer Olympics 1992
Access control implemented to
mountain areas to reduce congestion
and increase safety.
Winter Olympics 2006
(Links will be provided where possible to descriptions of the projects or studies concerned).
[*, ** or *** indicate the strength of the impact]
b) in more general context
London Low Emission Zone
The Low Emission Zone (LEZ) was introduced in 2008 to encourage the most polluting heavy diesel vehicles
driving in the Capital to become cleaner. The LEZ covers most of Greater London. To drive within it without
paying a daily charge, lorries, buses and coaches are required to limit the amount of particulate matter
coming from their exhausts to a given level (Euro III) .
Vehicles that do not meet the required standard and which travel into the LEZ must pay a daily charge
(£200 for a lorry bus or coach or £100 for a larger van or minibus) or risk a penalty charge notice (£1,000 or
£500 respectively). For all operators, there are a range of options to comply with the scheme:
buying a new or newer vehicle,
fitted an approved particulate matter filter
re-engining the vehicle or converting to gas with a spark ignition
Enforcement of the LEZ is through cameras placed throughout greater London. These identify vehicle
registration number and check them against a database to determine if the vehicle is compliant, is exempt
or has paid the fee.
Experience form 2008 shows that the Low Emission Zone has been very successful: the majority of
operators take action to clean up their vehicles in advance of LEZ standards coming into force so that the
majority of the benefits from the new LEZ standard will be delivered in 2011.
However to ensure that London meets the required standard by the end of 2012, LEZ standards became
more stringent on January 2012: lorries, buses and coaches need to meet a tighter standard (Euro IV for
particulate matter) to drive in London without paying a daily charge. Also in January 2012 vans and
minibuses were affected for the first time and needed to meet a Euro 3 standards to drive in London
without paying a daily charge. Only the oldest and dirtiest vehicles in this group (those over 10 years old)
are targeted.
The LEZ forms a part of the Mayoral Air Quality Strategy.
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Operation of the scheme is sub-contracted to a number of suppliers. IBM runs IT systems and operations.
Siemens run cameras which are used for enforcement.
A database was created to enable enforcement of the scheme using information from Driver & Vehicle
Licensing Agency (DVLA – the driver licensing body for all of Great Britian), the Society of Motor
Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT – the motor manufacturing trade association in the UK ) & operator
own registration data. Foreign registered vehicles are held to the same standards as UK registered vehicles
and must register with TfL to show they meet the required standards (currently TfL has over 120,000
foreign registered vehicles on its database). If any operator believes the information held by TfL on their
vehicle is incorrect they may provide suitable evidence via a registration and TfL will update their vehicle
TfL provide information leaflets, a dedicated call-centre and operates a website giving full information on the scheme including a vehicle compliance checker
where operators can input their license plate number and find out how the LEZ affects them.
Access Control and Shared Road Space in Barcelona
Barcelona has implemented various ITS-based tools to manage the travel demand in sensitive areas of the
city since the 1990s. These include a smart-card based access control system in the historic La Ribera zone
and a lane management system.
Car-owners living within the area controlled by the access control system obtain a smart card which enable
them to enter to the zone, while other vehicles can obtain time-limited permits for the access. On the
whole vehicle access is restricted in defined time windows (two-three hours periods during the morning
and the afternoon) and commercial vehicles for goods deliveries can gain free access to the area at other
times. CCTV is used to monitor entry and exit points and video conferencing enables drivers to request
special access during the restricted periods.
Since users received the smart cards without paying, the system was attractive. As regards the obtained
results, car traffic within the area controlled by the access control system has been reduced by 78% and
vehicle travel times have fallen by 18%.
The “Tidal Flows” system controls the use of several lanes which can be used in one direction during the
morning peak and in the other in the afternoon peak, providing more efficient use of road space without
compromising safety. Signs which display the direction of each lane can be controlled manually or
automatically through the Urban Traffic control Centre. The system proved to be efficient since had not led
to any safety problems and there were considerable benefits in managing peak-hour traffic flows without
the need to construct additional infrastructure.
ROME Limited Traffic Zone controlled by electronic gates
Rome decided to implement new clean zones with a complex series of actions, according to the guideline
provided by the Urban General Traffic Plan (PGTU), now reinforced and enlarged by the Strategic
Sustainable Mobility Plan (SSMP), approved in 2010. Besides, there are in Rome serious reasons to apply
“clean zones”: congestion and environment as well as a strong need to preserve the historical and
archaeological city: any changes to its narrow roads or the implementation of new underground is difficult,
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due to the fact that the present fabric of the city is built on the ancient ones. More, Rome has the status of
double Capitol, both for Italian State and for Vatican City, with their administrative loads and events as well
as periodic large sport events: the number of tourists (>23 million per year) and of the tourism coach
(>200.000 per year) are issues to take into account.
The general Millenium project, where the SSMP is the mobility part, aims to rebuild Rome in several areas
like a sustainable energy master plan, where the conditions for a sustainable development are inspired by
an overall plan of longer-term policies based on climate change mitigation as well as on economic recovery
and social integration and employment in Rome. The project started in 2010, the year in which the new
entity is born officially named territorial Rome Capital, and closes in 2020, the year of XXXII Olympics for
which Rome Capital has put its candidature as host venue.
The infrastructural network of Rome in 2020 will be “naturally” suitable and ready to sustain the Olympic
Games event, according to PSMS implementations. Interventions to be implemented for the year 2020 that
are more directly functional for the event are largely related to the enhancement / upgrading of existing
The Strategic Plan for Sustainable Mobility provides a number of implementation tools whose development
is therefore placed on different time horizons. Alongside the long-term strategy were in fact identified a
series of short-term, more timely responding to real situations of criticality that is now in the city of Rome.
The short-term policies are covering different areas of action: the fluidity and the regulation of traffic, the
reorganization of the network of surface public transport, road safety, the application of ITS technologies,
optimization of existing metropolitan, strengthening the parking system. Among the strategic actions for
the short term, the project “Pedestrian City Centre” has to be put in place within 2014 in more steps.
The reduction of congestion and lowering of pollution through access management and enforcement is
expected to improve the health conditions of residents and visitors to the restricted area. Currently, the
historical centre suffers from high pollution – in particular benzene, CO, NO and PM10 – which are potent
health risks, especially for children. In addition, these reductions in disbenefits from transportation can lead
to improved attraction to the historical centre and, subsequently, economic growth. Rome’s objectives for
scheme revenues is to dedicate everything to mobility related projects.
The pricing and enforcement policies in place in Rome include both payment for on-street parking and
payment for accessing certain areas of the city. The main objective pursued since the beginning of the
Access Policies in Rome, going back to the late 80’s, has been the protection of the unique cultural heritage
of the city from the dangerous effects of traffic pollution. The turning point was the implementation of the
LTZ system with “electronic gates” in October 2001.
Limited Traffic Zones (LTZ) are used to restrict vehicle access to residents and essential users (many of
whom must pay a yearly charge) and are supported by paid parking schemes in surrounding areas. The
general idea is to forbid access to cars, increase the supply of Public Transport and increase the number of
parking pricing slots along the LTZ cordons.
Rome has implemented a complex Access Control System. The first scheme, supported by electronic gates,
was implemented in 2001, in order to safeguard the central area of the city. After two years since the
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implementation of the central LTZ scheme, once the automatic system had been tested and fine-tuned,
other “sensitive areas” and “sensitive time bands” have been identified and a decision to limit car traffic
has been issued and implemented according to a daily and night scheme, showed in the following picture.
Daily and nightly LTZ schemes controlled by e-gates in Rome
The enforcement is different upon the zones, e.g.: Mon-Fri 6.30-18.00 and Sat 14.00- 18.00 for the City
Center LTZ; Fri-Sat 23.00-03.00 for “night” LTZ (eg. Monti, Testaccio).
The scheme foresees that in principle people or residents working inside the specific LTZ area can have
access by car, upon specific request, registration and payment of a permit, through ATAC offices. There are
a number of exemptions: LPT (Local Public Transport), taxis and disabled people have free access;
institutions, freight carriers, public utility vehicles, etc that are included in the “authorised” category have
the right to a permit if they pay specific tariffs.
A “White List” of authorised users is defined and updated, so that non-authorised vehicles that access the
LTZ during the enforcement times are detected by the ANPR system and automatically receive a fine of 68
These LTZ systems includes the use of presently 54 electronic gates implemented on access roads to the
zones that optically detect the plate of vehicles by APNR (Automatic Plate Number Recognition) techniques.
As the camera on the e-gate detects a car, a picture of the plate is taken and sent to the control centre. The
ANPR allows comparing each plate number to the “White List” database. If there is a mismatch and after a
software a fine is automatically issued to that plate.
“Traffic restrictions in ZTL's” service available on ATAC mobile, the info-mobility application in Rome or in
the website, gives real-time information on the status of each gate.
The revenues coming from the payment of the annual fee and from violations are used to recover the
environmental externalities and to fund new investments in City Public Transport services .
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Automatic plate number recognition process (Municipal Police user interface) & vertical signalling at
The majority of results come from the ACS+RP scheme of the Central Zone, implemented in 2001 with the
support of the electronic Gates. The other schemes are too recent for a lot of data, but generally the
registered trend is the same.
In general, modal split was influenced by all the changes in the city, but the Access Control and Road Pricing
Schemes played major roles, as already highlighted. Before and after data show that, in 2002, modal split in
the central area was 30% public transport, 27% private cars, 23% motorbikes/mopeds and 20% pedestrians.
The 2005 data revealed that these proportions had switched to 31%, 22%, 24% and 23%, respectively. The
most important result is the decrease of private cars in favour of three point increase (percentage) for
walking, thus suggesting that citizens reduced their use of the car for trips of short distances.
An appreciable reduction in air pollution was measured and emissions strongly decreased and exceeded
expectations, partly also due to the ban on diesel and gasoline fuelled vehicles not meeting Directive
91/441/CE requirements from circulating in the Rail Ring area (including all the LTZ zones), which came into
force in January 2002.
The benefit of the Access Restriction is also evident when traffic flows and illegal through-traffic are
considered: the former decreased by 20% during the restriction periods and by 15% in the morning peak
hour (8.30-9.30). The proportion of illegal accesses decreased from 18% to less than 10% of the total traffic
flows, during the four years of the gates implementation (even though, currently, still about 20.000
vehicles/week illegally access the area).
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Valore assoluto degli accessi sanzionabili nel periodo di esercizio
Valore percentuale degli accessi sanzionabili rispetto alla domanda di accesso
Trend of the fines for access violation in Rome LTZ historical centre: years 2002 - 2005
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