Case study Reiswijzer, pre-trip information about roadwork disruptions

Reiswijzer is an email service in the Central Netherlands region to warn users of possible disruption caused by roadworks. Subscribers to the service receive a pre-trip email with information about traffic disruption on their route due to roadworks.

These alerts are only sent if roadworks are actually in progress. Since 2014 a digital interactive map indicating the location of roadworks has also been made available via a special website ( One unique feature of Reiswijzer is that the information is sent several days in advance, so that travellers can opt for an alternative (such as a different mode of transport).

Reiswijzer continuously checks whether scheduled roadworks (as fed into systems such as LTC) have actually been started up. The strategic road network, provincial roads and important local arterial roads are all covered. This data verification ensures that the Reiswijzer information is always highly reliable.

Background and aim

Since 2010 no fewer than eleven urgent projects in the Central Netherlands region have had a major impact on the Netherlands’ central infrastructure hub around Utrecht. To give road users warning of possible disruption, Rijkswaterstaat decided to offer road users a reliable instrument with pre-trip information about problems caused by roadworks. The aim of this measure is to keep traffic in the region flowing as well as possible.

Meanwhile the urgent roadworks that initially prompted the measure have long since been carried out. But the service is still up and running because the ability to supply reliable roadworks data remains valuable, not least in view of future Smart Mobility applications. Moreover, the strategic road network in the Central Netherlands region is due to undergo further extensive changes in the coming years. So the data verification and Reiswijzer will remain available to road users. After all, the service has proved its reliability and the users genuinely do something with the information they receive (see ‘Scope and effect’).

Scope and effect

Measurable reach:

  • start-up (2010): 18,000 subscribers to the email service
  • today (2016): over 3,000 subscribers to the email service (see ‘Points for attention’). Added to this, the digital interactive map is used several hundred times per day

A survey has been held among those who subscribe to the email service. Some findings from that study (effect): 14% of subscribers do not alter their journey as a result of the email service. But 86% of them do:

  • 45% opt for a different route
  • 28% leave earlier or later
  • 13% opt for a different mode of transport

The picture below shows these results broken down by road category (motorway, provincial road, local road).

Results broken down by road category

The high number of users acting on the information proves that Reiswijzer is an effective instrument. What’s more, the reactions from subscribers are positive, because the pre-trip information gives them ample time to think about alternatives.

Points for attention

  • Coordination with vanAnaarBeter: when Reiswijzer was started up the vanAnaarBeter roadworks alert system already had national coverage. Reiswijzer was launched alongside this system, but not with everyone’s blessing. Rijkswaterstaat insisted on developing Reiswijzer in order to optimise the roadworks data and deliver genuinely reliable pre-trip travel information. Later the scope of Reiswijzer was extended to provincial roads and major local roads, a functionality that vanAnaarBeter does not offer, and never will.
  • Privacy legislation: initially the service operated on Rijkswaterstaat software. After this, there were two necessary changes of software (ending with Goedopweg). With each change, users had to re-subscribe for privacy law reasons. As a result, a lot of subscriptions were lost. In addition to this, the number of new subscribers was also far lower because many of the roadworks on the strategic road network had since been completed. So people felt less need for disruption alerts.

Can the measure be deployed more broadly?

Early in 2017 Rijkswaterstaat will carry out another user survey into the effectiveness of Reiswijzer. Whatever the outcome is, the collection and verification of data will continue.

In view of the current Smart Mobility developments, it would probably make less sense to set up a service like Reiswijzer for new projects. That said, Reiswijzer has definitely provided valuable lessons for other projects, notably regarding the need for data verification (at the front end of the process) and the usefulness of offering reliable pre-trip travel information to road users. Which is something no other service does.

Going forward, it may be useful to make the output of verified data available via the service providers. In this way it might be possible in future to disseminate this data in a smarter way among road users. Reiswijzer is currently studying these options.