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Large event logistical and support traffic management (SVI1999/143)

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Network and traffic management systems (NTM)
Transport mode
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Transport sectors
Passenger transport


Background & Policy context

Transport planning and management schemes for large cultural, sporting and commercial events, fairs or exhibitions, are generally exceptional arrangements which depend greatly on the type, magnitude, duration and programming of the venues, whether single or multi-site, urban, suburban or rural. Besides spectator/visitor traffic management, this research project deals mainly with the logistical support of events and mega-events, often underestimated.


Based on the monitoring of four or five case events, the study will explore key organisational aspects of multi-operator services required by large scale events. Emphasis will be put on transportation and accessibility management as well as logistics of event support systems. 


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Swiss Government: State Secretariat for Education and Research
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


Because they vary so much in nature, major events have an exceptional and unique character that requires special organisation for security, accessibility and transport. Traffic flows are unusually large with heavy concentrations in space and time, requiring measures to superimpose them on normal traffic, which is often difficult in large cities or urban zones.

It is not widely known that logistical support  covers all of the traffic generated by the event with the exception of spectator traffic. The scale and complexity of these flows of people and goods are generally underestimated. They fall into five or six categories of participants, which can be subdivided into multiple different functions depending on the event. Although more easily controlled, since these logistical participants are mostly known or listed, their specific mobility needs are extremely varied and highly demanding.

In view of the variety of logistical functions and their specific mobility needs, planning involves some conflicts. The organisation of functions into a hierarchy according to their role and mobility and accessibility requirements makes it possible to establish families for which transport and accessibility plans are implemented.

In order to define planning and management that responds to the mobility requirements of logistical support, transport plans are based on three basic forms of intervention:

  • accreditation
  • information/communication
  • signposting

These measures are complementary and adapted to suit the event.

In the case of closed-site events, accreditation, including all functions and requirements, can be used to manage all mobility needs for all types of participants. It is set up under the direction of the security managers of the event.

Information / communication and signposting are targeted at one or other of the functions. Although there are sophisticated solutions for pedestrian information and signposting, for the moment road signposting remains the weak link.

Dynamic management of the event, with the installation of a command, control and communication centre, is a fundamental element of the organisation. It is essential for any event that requires security and a suitable accessibility and transport mechanism.

The performance and reliability of the logistical supports are essential for the success of the event. Because of the increasing needs of logistical and charitable participants, mega-events highlight

Innovation aspects

What are the prospects for an improvement in logistical traffic management in the medium to long term using new technologies?

Dynamic signposting has not yet come up with a suitable system for logistical traffic management. The graphics, colours and messages that can be transmitted are not yet adequate.

Road telematics, using a GPS guidance system combined with an on-board message receiver, can provide an ideal communication system to which it is worth giving serious thought. It can be used to send targeted information to each logistical participant with instant updating. An identical system could be deployed using mobile telephones for all other types of mobility.

The developments in electronic accreditation systems that manage rights and access control provide extraordinary flexibility of use. Accreditations that employ leading-edge technologies can be used for other purposes, such as an electronic purse, on the event sites.

Delivery management could include stock tracking technologies that are currently being developed. The adoption of this technology would affect all delivery logistics and transfer management zones, pricing, etc.

All of these technologies would require a precise approach and refinement to respond to the logistical support traffic mobility needs and requirements.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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