Medway Council has appointed Fore Consulting to develop a new state-of-the-art traffic model for the area using Aimsun software. The model will cover the whole of the Medway authority area and will initially be used to test strategic development options for Medway’s emerging Local Plan and to help plan future infrastructure options. The model will also be used for other purposes including operational modelling of the highway network including traffic management and control strategies as well as detailed emissions modelling within the Air Quality Management Areas within Medway.
Given the proposed uses of the model, microsimulation was identified as being essential to underpin many of the area’s modelling requirements as it will be required to capture the detailed local effects of schemes to accurately ascertain scheme benefits. Microsimulation is also the only option for many schemes that involve detailed traffic signal modelling, traffic management, emissions and pedestrians, as these can only be accurately modelled at a microscopic level.
A key issue with the microsimulation modelling, however, is the interface with wide-area highway assignment models, which often provide cordoned demand for microsimulation models. Wide area models are essential to enable the strategic effects of transport schemes to be assessed based on the findings of detailed modelling at a local level. To overcome this problem, Aimsun was chosen as the preferred modelling platform due to its ability to model at macro, meso, micro and meso-micro hybrid levels using the same network and model database with interaction and feedback between the different model levels.
The proposed approach for Medway is to model the whole network at both macroscopic and microscopic levels. The macroscopic model will include detailed junction modelling and will enable the strategic impacts of proposals such as the Local Plan to the assessed. The route choice determined using the macro model will then be used together with dynamically chosen routes within the microscopic simulations to understand the detailed impacts of proposals. Modelling the whole of the Medway area using microsimulation will enable new levels of accuracy and realism to be achieved. Furthermore, through the two and three-dimensional animated simulations, impacts of proposals will be able to be simply and effectively communicated to key stakeholders.
The model will also make use of big datasets and, in particular, demand matrices for the model will be developed by CitiLogik using data from the Vodafone network, avoiding the need for costly and disruptive road side interview surveys whilst increasing accuracy through larger sample sizes. The model is expected to be complete in early 2017.