Much of the consultancies work over recent years has involved working with local authorities to develop regional spatial strategies or local development frameworks. In this type of project the focus is on developing tools which can be used to effectively plan growth within a local area and develop transport schemes that offer a sustainable solution to the growth.
Here are some brief details about some projects we have conducted in this area.
Gloucestershire Regional Spatial Strategy Phase 2
Date: 2006 to 2007
This project built upon the work already completed for Gloucestershire for the recent major scheme bid and the initial regional spatial strategy work undertaken in 2004. The work involved refining the major scheme bid model so that it could be used to test a range of land use options which were specified as part of the regional spatial strategy process. The county used outputs from the model to develop and justify their strategy during the examination in public phase. This has recently been completed. It is envisaged that this model will continue to be used and will form the basis of the counties modelling work for the future.
Ashford Area Strategic Transport Model (AASTM)
Working in conjunction with RPS Transport Planning the objective of this project was to build a strategic transport model for use in planning land use in the Ashford area. Ashford has been identified as an area for rapid potential growth and the model was to ascertain where the best location for this growth would be and to assess what the best transportation solution would be to the increase in transport usage.
PDC built the model using Visual-tm, the multi modal modelling software. The model incorporated over 100 zones and investigated the potential of improving existing modes such as bus alongside introducing new modes such as LRT and guided bus.
Initially matrices were built from RSI sites along with other data sources such as the Census. Assignment, mode choice and distribution models were calibrated. The model was used to forecast up to 2031.
Over 40 different land use scenarios have been tested using the model and an optimum solution has been chosen.
Gloucestershire Regional Spatial Strategy Phase 1
We were appointed to develop a multimodal strategic model and to use it to test a number of spatial land use options for the future development of the Cheltenham and Gloucester area. The model was constructed using the company’s Visual Transport Modeller software, and also made use of the Census Matrix Tools software developed by PDC on behalf of the Department for Transport. The results of the model were used as inputs to the Regional Spatial Strategy for the South West.
The entire project spanned a period of three months, including matrix building, model building, all scenario forecasts, comparison of land use options and the production of the final report. It used a land use transportation model covering trip generation, distribution modal split, public transport assignment and capacity restrained highway assignment. The model iterated until the supply/demand equilibrium was achieved. It covered the whole county of Gloucestershire, with more detail in the twin conurbations of Cheltenham and Gloucester. 23 zones were designated as potential areas for new development. Matrices and tripends were obtained using a combination of the census data and TEMPRO, the national tripend model, as well as an existing SATURN model of the area. Mode choice coefficients were taken from PDC’s extensive library and calibrated using census data and the county’s household interview statistics.
A total of eight scenarios for the forecast year of 2026 were tested, covering four land use options for development and two overall levels of development. The model was able to differentiate between strategies on the basis of such variables as mode split and congestion levels in and around Cheltenham and Gloucester. It was also able to demonstrate trends associated with enhancing public transport services.
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