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The development of uniform performance indicators and indexes for road pavements is the key to performance evaluation and assessment and thus to the future planning of European road networks. Considerations towards this objective have already been undertaken by CEDR (Conference of European Directors for Road) and the European Union within the framework of TERN (Trans European Road Networks). Within the Third Strategic European Road Research Program (SERP III) drafted by FEHRL (Europe’s National Road Research Centres), this theme has been assigned high priority.

It is only the Europe-wide harmonization of specific road pavement performance indicators that permits international comparisons of existing road pavements from the perspectives of both the road users and the road operators. Uniform performance indicators could constitute a key prerequisite for future investments in road infrastructure projects at the European level.

It is envisaged that the application of such uniform indexes will allow the specification of minimum European standards for road pavements. In addition, it would also be feasible and useful to filter out those areas of the European road network where more investment is needed to attain such minimum standards (depending on the road category). Performance indicators for road pavements could, however, also be used as inputs to pavement management systems (PMS), for calculating maintenance needs and thus to provide objective arguments for the need of reinvestment in road pavements.