A message to iRAP partners in Europe:
Now that the end of 2023 is approaching, it is time to celebrate the achievements that took place this year and look forward to the next ones, always reminding ourselves that we all have the same vision in reducing road crash fatalities and serious injuries, which are still too many.
On November 7, the EuroRAP General Assembly took an historic step and unanimously voted for the dissolution of the EuroRAP entity. After 21 years of existence, the RAP programme in Europe is now being integrated into iRAP, the International Road Assessment Programme.
EuroRAP members have been instrumental in laying the foundation and inspiration for the Global Programme, which is now active in nearly 130 countries. Today, with this integration, RAP partners across Europe will benefit from having a streamlined administration and a more productive use of donor and partner resources.
The integration does not affect how you can make use of the iRAP tools, methodology, and resources which are already in extensive use across the region. These will remain freely available, as they currently are worldwide, for the benefit of all in road safety. Most importantly, the integration leverages iRAP’s well-established organizational structure, shaped around innovation and development, programme support, and delivery of strategic projects. The integration is already evident in several ways, for example:
- The Safer Journeys Lead for Europe position was established to focus on supporting partners and road authorities across the region.
- Collaboration with partners to deliver significant projects such as the EU-funded PHOEBE, ELABORATOR and IVORY, and working to develop new, innovative road safety projects.
- Supporting partner initiatives through CycleRAP, Star Rating For Schools SR4S, the Youth Engagement App YEA, Star Rating For Designs SR4D, and AiRAP; and translating the tools to local languages.
- Supporting agencies in their mission to assess and improve safety on the TEN-T and primary road network in addressing the RISM Directive, and equally on their secondary and urban roads.
- Supporting opportunities to share knowledge and experience, such as through the RAP in Europe: Advancing Road Infrastructure Safety towards 2030 event that took place in September, and through collaboration with global partners at events such as the ITF Summit and PIARC World Road Congress.
As of today:
- There is no fee to make use of the iRAP methodologies, tools and resources. However, as a charity iRAP will continue to welcome fair and voluntary contributions which are vitally important in ensuring that its activities are sustainable and remain accessible to every country.
- There will no longer be an official EuroRAP General Assembly. Rather, an annual RAP in Europe event will be held to enhance the road assessment programmes as a support to the road authorities decision-making process in road infrastructure safety.
- iRAP will integrate the EuroRAP website and social media within the iRAP website and social media and discontinue use of the EuroRAP logo. Partners that currently make use of the EuroRAP logo are invited to instead make use of the iRAP logo
- iRAP will welcome expressions of interest from countries that may want to establish their own local ‘RAP’ (similar to BrazilRAP, AusRAP and United Kingdom RAP), to formalize coordination between organisations involved in road infrastructure safety: road agencies, institutes, and NGOs. ‘National License Agreements’ that are currently in place will formally come to a natural end in 2023.
- The European Institute of Road Safety (EIRA), a not-for-profit entity established to support road safety projects in Europe, will continue in its role of helping countries make the most of the RAP methodologies, tools and resources.
- We will also continue as usual to reach out to you to get your latest RAP metrics, news about your road safety programmes, and produced knowledge resources (e.g. reports, research publications etc). We consolidate and record this information in the iRAP Partner Portal to support your programme tracking over time and the celebration of your success within the region and globally.
And last, but not least, I would like to reassure you that iRAP is dedicated to working with our partners in Europe. Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any specific question regarding the integration of EuroRAP in iRAP, or any technical question regarding our programmes and the use of our various tools.
I wish you all the very best end-of year, a Merry Christmas, and a very Happy, Healthy, and Safe 2024!
iRAP Safer Journeys Specialist for Europe