UK’s first ever city-wide predictive modelling to be deployed in York

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Predictive traffic modelling software is to be deployed to create a real-time city-wide transport model for the first time anywhere in the UK.

As part of the Smarter Travel Evolution Programme (STEP), the city of York is using software from multimodal transport planning firm PTV Group with the aims of reducing traffic jams, emissions and travel times, as well as improving the reliability of the transport network, create better public spaces and enhance safety.

Consultancy firm Wood has been appointed as lead partner in implementing the project. The company will work in partnership with Relative Gap, an independent strategic transport modelling consultancy, and PTV Group.

York is turning to innovation and cutting-edge technology in a bid to enhance the city’s long-term plan for transport provision

The goal is to deploy predictive modelling software for the first time on a city-wide scale in the UK, to test strategies in a virtual environment and run multiple scenarios simultaneously.

The real-time model will also provide predictions of traffic responses to planned and unplanned events using live and historical traffic data, ensuring the best possible strategy can be implemented quickly and efficiently.

The project team will support the city’s mission by designing and deploying a live model of York’s traffic network, in a dynamic digital representation fed from a wide range of real-time data sources.

In addition to traffic optimisation through the live model, a strategic model will provide information as the basis for long-term decision making concerning the local transport plan, development planning and business case applications, for example.

James Gilchrist, assistant director for transport, highways and environment, at City of York Council, said: “These new strategic and real-time models will enhance York’s long-term plan for transport provision and provide more informed, robust business cases for the implementation of future projects, in compliance with transport analysis guidance.

“Cutting-edge real-time technology will be able to conduct traffic predictions up to 60 minutes into the future.

“This insight will facilitate smarter transport decision making, optimised traffic signal plans and better travel advice for road users across the historic city.”

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