York becomes UK’s first city with real-time transport model

Image result for computer linked traffic signals gifs

York has become the first city in the UK to introduce city-wide real time transport modelling to help ease congestion and pollution.

Working in partnership with PTV Group, Wood Group and independent strategic modelling experts RelativeGAP, City of York Council has started using the latest innovation and cutting-edge technology to manage the road network.

In areas it has previously been introduced, area wide travel times have been reduced by nearly 10 per cent.

Previously, the council has monitored the network through staff monitoring CCTV and social media feeds, with network monitoring operators and transport engineers manually implementing new signal changes to manage the flow of traffic better in busy periods.

With the new PTV Optima installed in the control room, the council can now adopt a more pro-active approach in monitoring and changing the network live to best suit traffic conditions.

For example, if there was a road traffic collision on the York outer ring road, the new software will be able to predict the impact on the wider road network based on the current traffic conditions. This will give the council the ability to react ‘live’ by changing traffic light timings across the city (where needed) and informing people sooner of the impact and possible delays.

This is the first real-time transport model of this scale that has been used for live traffic management in the UK. Other cities outside of the UK to use similar modelling include Vienna, Abu Dhabi, Moscow and Sydney.

The introduction of the new modelling system follows a successful bid by City of York Council, as part of the ‘Smarter Travel Evolution Program – STEP’, which is funded by the Government.

There has already been some criticisms of the system with problems identified on the Hull Road, Other motorists have criticised what seems to be inadequate green phase signal times on The Mount near the Holgate Road junction, despite relatively low traffic levels.