Modelling Weekend Travel - Worth the Extra Effort?

Modelling Weekend Travel - Worth the Extra Effort?


M Oliver, Mott MacDonald, UK and T van Vuren, Mott MacDonald and ITS Leeds, UK



Transport models tend to be built for peak periods and an average working day to cover the busiest times and largest annual proportions of demand. Building a similar representation from scratch for Saturdays and Sundays, as well as your average working day, may well be desirable, but will potentially triple and therefore cripple your surveys budget.

Already surveys tend to be the most expensive element of any practical implementation. Travel demand surveys, such as roadside interviews, will need to be carried out with the same rigour as for weekdays, but concentrated on fewer days. Household survey sample rates for weekend days will need to be the same as for weekdays; of course savings can be made here by issuing multi-day travel diaries, but compensation will be required for attrition on later survey days.

So why bother with the weekend?

The weekend is a large portion of the seven-day week, demand is also high, and there are city and intercity locations whose greatest pressure is experienced in weekend periods. Also, transport schemes will inevitably have an effect on weekend demand and in this time of austerity, every penny of potential benefit of transport investment should be accounted for.

Given the evidence of considerable weekend congestion problems on Motorways and around urban centres, it makes sense investigating the cost-effective development of practical travel demand models for weekend days. This paper investigates whether and how weekend travel patterns differ from those observed during weekdays, with the following objectives:
* Is it possible to derive comparative relationships between travel patterns on weekdays and on weekends?
* Can weekend travel be regarded as a single entity, or should Saturdays and Sundays be separated out?
* Can representative weekend representations of travel patterns be constructed from an existing weekday travel demand model?
* Can descriptive statistics be identified that inform us of whether or not modelling weekend travel is worth the extra effort?


Association for European Transport