Supporting Sound Planning and Decision Making
Around 15 years ago. Aberdeen City Council, in partnership with Transport Scotland, Nestrans and Aberdeenshire Council, developed a Strategic Transport Model to inform a variety of transport strategies and future transport and development options for assessment.
Implementing sustainable mobility
The baseline data that informs the modelling process needs updating regularly to ensure that the information is still relevant and reflects Aberdeen's current growth and development priorities, including those for the transport network.
This is of particular importance as it allows urban planners to then predict changes required to the built environment (using traditional gravity model principles).
However, the need to conduct appropriate data collection on an increasingly congested road network means there have been significant issues in keeping the model up to date.
New technologies for use in data collection are becoming available, but only recently have these been able to provide robust data and become more cost-effective.
There is an opportunity to use various forms of digital information capture devices to support data collection; these will allow the Strategic Transport Model to be updated and maintained more easily. Having up-to-date and current data will also enable ‘current’ movement patterns and the impact of changes to be assessed more quickly and easily.
With the need to establish a new transport hierarchy after the opening of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, the information gathered will enable an early assessment of the impact that this major new road infrastructure has on movements, alongside the impact of any subsequent changes made through traffic management and vehicle routing strategies.
This offers the opportunity to establish a continuous improvement cycle that will use captured data to continually refine the evidence and information used to support future decision-making, thereby reducing costs and the disruption of using conventional techniques.
In addition, once a data collection system has been established there is an ability to collect data on an on-going basis without significant investment beyond the initial set up cost.