Cooperation with neighbouring countries

Through effective partnerships with Belgium, Germany, the UK, France and Sweden Rijkswaterstaat aims to coordinate cross border day-to-day operations on our main road and waterway networks. Sharing hands-on expertise improves work quality, adds to experience and can avoid duplication of work.

We are regularly in touch on operational matters in areas ranging from planning, management and maintenance to work instructions. This not only applies to our roads but also to our waterways: we call this ‘cooperative corridor management’. We cooperate at various levels, including ministries, executive agencies and industry parties.

Our work with Germany (BAW, BASt, BMVI, Die Autobahn, GDWS and Straßen.NRW) and the UK (Highways England) covers the areas of traffic, digital infrastructure and procurement management. We work with Voies Navigables de France on facilities for electronic reporting of voyage and cargo data and construction technology for locks. We also create joint projects with neighbouring countries, such as the Nuvit project which we are currently implementing together with Trafikverket in Sweden.

Belgium – Roads and Traffic Agency (AWV)

Rijkswaterstaat has worked closely with the Flemish Roads and Traffic Agency (AWV) for many years. The AWV manages about 7.000 km of regional and motorways and more than 7.700 km of cycle paths.

The collaboration with Rijkswaterstaat focuses on information sharing and timely communication, preparing balanced and objective programmes, effectively managing the available knowledge and carrying out high-quality, innovative work.

Since 2006 the Flemish Agency for Roads and Traffic, Highways England and Rijkswaterstaat have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA). Certain specific areas of co-operation mentioned in the agreed in this MoA are: Traffic Management Systems (CHARM Programme), road safety and big data.


BAW - Bundesanstalt für Wasserbau/Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute

The Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute (BAW) works to ensure the maintenance and further development of waterways as safe, economically viable and environmentally-friendly modes of transport.

BAW advises and supports the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration. This regarding to the expansion, new construction, operation and maintenance of Germany’s federal waterways, in the specialised field of waterways engineering.

Rijkswaterstaat works closely with BAW to produce expert reports, share specialist technical concepts and on-site consultancy, contribute to the drafting of international standards (CEN) and share practice-related research and development.

Die Autobahn

Because of a major reform, the Autobahn GmbH of the Federal Goverment was founded on 13 September 2018. In 2021 die Autobahn GmbH will take over planning, construction, operation, maintenance, financing and asset management responsibilities of the whole German motorway network. These activities are currently being carried out by 16 regional government road authorities. With approximately 13.000 km of motorway, it will become one of Europe’s largest Road Authorities.

In 2019 Autobahn GmbH joined the already existing Four Nation Road-Worker Safety Working Group together with Highways England, the Flemish Agency for roads and Traffic, the also German Straßen, NRW (North Rhine-Westphalian road authority) and Rijkswaterstaat. 3 other working groups are to follow in 2021, concerning winter service, bridges and road pavement.

UK – Highways England

Rijkswaterstaat and Highways England work together in a project-by-project setting.

In the CHARM programme the 2 organisations focus on jointly developing and implementing a future-proof traffic management system. Both parties are keen to work more efficiently and flexible in their traffic centres with the same number of people. A smart ICT platform will be used in traffic centres and among the road-by-road inspectors and officers on duty. In the CHARM programme (2015-2020), they work together on the implementation of an existing traffic management platform: DYNAC, an Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS) from the market leader Kapsch TrafficCom.

The Coordination and Support Action AM4INFRA aimed to overcome the legacy of European transport networks under which they have been developed incrementally (and mostly fragmented) over time, within the specific setting of mode and country under various policies and service levels.

Building on ongoing bottom-up actions, best practices and contemporary experiences of 4 National Infrastructure Agencies that are considered frontrunners in the development and application of asset management in their networks governance, it delivered the first ever common European asset management framework approach. AM4INFRA enables consistent and coherent cross-asset, cross-modal and cross-border decision making in the context of the European White Paper on Transport.

France – Voies Navigables de France (VNF)

Voies Navigables de France (Waterways of France) is the national operator of river ambition. The only establishment operating in the entire French territory, it is at the heart of the river ecosystem. Since 2017 Rijkswaterstaat has an cooperative agreement with VNF on scientific and technical assistance related to the design and construction of the Euro Canal Seine Nord Europe project.

On top of this agreement, it has been decided to set up a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between VNF and Rijkswaterstaat. The MoA will intensify working together on for example water management, traffic management and ageing infrastructure.

Sweden – Trafikverket

The Swedish Transport Administration (Swedish: Trafikverket) is a government agency responsible for long-term infrastructure planning for road, rail, shipping and aviation transport. It constructs, operates and maintains all state-owned roads and railways and operates many ferry services. The agency is a member of the Nordic Road Association.

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