Modelling Signalised Urban Networks in London - A Strategy Approach

Modelling Signalised Urban Networks in London - A Strategy Approach


J Robinson, Transport for London, UK



The Directorate of Traffic Operations (DTO) within Transport for London is responsible for "Keeping London Moving", through active management of the road network. The capacity of London's road network is essentially capped and the challenge for the DTO, given the continuing increases in demand, is to improve the efficiency of the network, while maintaining a balance between the needs of all road users. This includes pedestrians, cyclists and bus passengers, with the emphasis on optimising "people movement".To address these issues, the DTO recognised the need for a fundamental review of its approach to network control planning, both at a strategic and a tactical level. It has put in place a long term programme to address these issues and this paper gives an overview of the programme, provides information on progress to date and describes in more detail some of the lessons learnt.

The strategic programme to support network planning has three major elements:(1) A common approach to network modelling.The initiation and design of traffic schemes on London's road network is undertaken by a variety of agencies, including local authorities (Boroughs), developers, consultants, as well as TfL itself.DTO is tasked with the network impact assessment and operation of these schemes to ensure the balance for all road users is maintained. This task is dependent upon comprehensive and accurate modelling.There is a need for a consistent and high quality approach and this is being addressed by the creation and publication of Modelling Guidelines. The Guidelines are now in daily use across a number of agencies and the paper will provide a practical insight into the guidelines themselves and their impact so far.(2) Integration of modelling and planning from the local level design to London-wide planning.Traditional approaches have used a range of different and isolated tools for local traffic control planning, junction design, area planning and long term strategic assignment models. DTO is implementing processes and initiating system and product development to deliver integrated solutions. This will link models across the full planning and design spectrum. The concept involves sharing data between the following: Operational systems (UTC, Remote Monitoring etc.). Traditional local level models (Linsig, Transyt etc.). Micro-simulation models. Assignment models. High level strategic models.The paper will give practical examples of the use of these integrated techniques in the planning and design of various large scale proposals including: intensified bus priority route corridor strategies; major London tram schemes; Crossrail; and the proposed extension of London's Congestion Charging Zone.(3) TrainingLondon, in common with many major cities, has found that there is a severe shortage of staff with the appropriate mix of engineering and analytical skills required to design, develop and operate London's complex road network.DTO is addressing this through a unique UTC training and development programme. Launched in 2003, the programme addresses three key urban traffic engineering skill areas: modelling, network design and network operation. There has been a major investment in a 2-year training programme for over 30 graduates, which is designed to create the skills London needs over the next 5 to 10 years. The paper will outline the main topics in the syllabus and give a progress report as the first group of graduates completes the course.


Association for European Transport