Development and Application of the Greater Manchester Strategy Planning Model



Development and Application of the Greater Manchester Strategy Planning Model

Authors

COPLEY G, Oscar Faber, SKINNER A, MVA, SIMMONDS D, David Simmonds Consultancy and LAIDLER J, Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive, UK

Description

Greater Manchester is a large conurbation in the North West of England with a population of approximately 2.6 million. It is a polycentric urban area, with ten district councils. Manchester City Centre, as the largest urban centre, acts as the Regional Ce

Abstract

Greater Manchester is a large conurbation in the North West of England with a population of approximately 2.6 million. It is a polycentric urban area, with ten district councils. Manchester City Centre, as the largest urban centre, acts as the Regional Centre and is the primary focus of the public transport network. However, the presence of many other important urban centres in the conurbation leads to a very complex pattern of travel demand.

The conurbation has an extensive motorway network and the orbital motorway (M60) isdue to be completed in the near future. Other than for travel to the Regional Centre, bus is the main mode of public transport. The suburban heavy rail network, which terminates at the periphery of Manchester City Centre, is operated mostly by short two or three car trains at typical frequencies of 15 to 30 minutes, and its usage is accordingly rather low. The first line of the Metrolink LRT system opened from Manchester to Bury and Altrincham in 1992 and a major programme of extensions to the system has gained government support.

In Greater Manchester, as in other metropolitan areas, recent years have seen a rapid growth in car ownership, leading to a dominance of car travel, with accompanying reductions in public transport services. Over the same period, there has been a dispersal of economic activity, so that many journeys are only feasible by car, stimulating further car ownership and reduced public transport, in the classic vicious circle. This has led to worsening traffic congestion and reduced accessibility for people without access to a car.

To counter the adverse impacts of these changes, the Greater Manchester local, authorities (which comprise the ten district councils and Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority) have been pursuing policies which seek to reinforce the existing urban pattern. In addition, they have sought to revive areas that have declined as a result of the major industrial and commercial restructuring of the late twentieth century. The provision of high quality public transport is regarded as critical to achieving these objectives. In order to plan measures to tackle these transport issues the Greater Manchester Authorities commissioned a model that would enable them to examine the consequences of alternative transport strategies1 and scenarios2 in a comprehensive manner.

The Greater Manchester Modelling System (GMMS) is a two-tier modelling system, comprising strategic transport and land-use models at the upper level, with detailed traffic and public transport assignment models at the lower level. The Innovative part of GMMS is the Greater Manchester Strategy Planning Model (GMSPM) which is based on MVA's strategic transport model START (1) and the DELTA (2) land-use model of the David Simmonds Consultancy. In this paper we outline the concept and structure of GMSPM, but concentrate on results from the model, some of which have been used to support the Local Transport Plan submission for Greater Manchester.

Publisher

Association for European Transport