What is the Best Place for Models?

What is the Best Place for Models?


D Gilmour, S Cragg, A Irvine, Transport Scotland, UK


This paper discusses the role of models and the choices facing strategic transport planning organisations regarding where and how models are developed and applied. It considers the key drivers for these changes and their implications for management, audit


Transport Scotland’s LATIS service manages the development and application of a range of national and regional transport models for strategic transport and land use planning purposes. These models, built in different platforms by a number of consultants, are used to provide the evidence to support the appraisal of transport projects and policies.

The recent procurement of consultants to provide ongoing transport planning, modelling and audit services required evaluation of the existing LATIS service, consideration of emerging needs and identification of innovative ways in which to operate the service moving forward.

This paper considers two aspects of “place”: role and location. It considers the changing role of models within strategic transport planning organisations and emerging needs. Secondly, it considers how and where models are hosted, developed, run and applied. The main drivers of change are discussed, including technology, policy, emerging agendas and wider changes within the transport planning industry. These changes have implications for the management of modelling resources and the application of models, how models are audited and quality assured, the range of outputs and how they are used and disseminated.

The paper will explore emerging drivers including “big data” and the “cloud” by combining the experiences and ideas of three strategic transport planning organisations- Transport Scotland, Transport for London and the National Roads Authority Ireland.


Association for European Transport