Advanced Demand Data Collection Techniques when Modelling for Cyclists in Chelmsford

Advanced Demand Data Collection Techniques when Modelling for Cyclists in Chelmsford

Nominated for The Planning for Sustainable Land Use and Transport Award


Csaba Kelen, Jacobs UK, Georgios Christou, Jacobs UK, Pablo Vilarino, Jacobs Spain


The paper describes how crowdsourced data, along with traditional surveys, was used to build, calibrate and validate the cycling model for the city of Chelmsford, UK.


Cycling is an activity that helps to reduce motorised traffic and to promote healthy lifestyles in the world in general, and in UK cities in particular.

The County of Essex has made lot of effort to promote cycling, by securing funding and planning for better cycling infrastructure. At the same time, the county seat, Chelmsford, is facing the challenge of significant socio-economic and travel demands growth, while trying to ensure sustainability. Essex needs to be in a position to understand the current and future transport issues, with a particular emphasis on sustainable travel modes. To facilitate this, Essex County Council commissioned Jacobs to build a cycling model, as part of the multi-modal transport model of Chelmsford.

This paper explains how crowdsourced and traditional survey data was used to build and calibrate the model, as well as how third party information was applied in validation. App-based origin-destination data, along with revealed preference and cycling surveys, were used to build a cycling trip generation and a trip distribution model. The cycle trip matrices were then refined via matrix estimation using app-based route data and volumetric data. Finally, a bespoke cycling route choice model was developed based on experience in other cities but taking account of Chelmsford travel conditions.

In addition, the paper discusses the main findings and lessons learned from the process of collecting cycling data from different sources; developing and marketing the mobile app; collecting, cleaning and using the various data sources in the development of the cycling model.

The model, including the cycling component, was delivered to Essex County Council in January 2017. It is currently used to evaluate the impact of the schemes proposed in the Chelmsford Growth Package, as well as in the Local Planning Spatial Option testing, together with various infrastructure and policy measures in Chelmsford.


Association for European Transport